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RUMOR: Dodgers reportedly no longer interested in Justin Verlander

Among the teams that have been closely pursuing Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander over the last few weeks have been the Los Angeles Dodgers. That, however, no longer seems to be the case.

The Dodgers are “out of the Justin Verlander sweepstakes,” as Ken Rosenthal reports. MLB Network radio host/insider Jim Bowden also had this to offer regarding the matter, piggybacking what Rosenthal reported.

The consensus seems to be that the Dodgers are getting a vibe that Detroit currently wants any potential suitor to not only take on the entirety of Verlander’s remaining contract, but also be willing to fork over a higher-level prospect as well.

Oct 2, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) throws a pitch against the Atlanta Braves in the fifth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles is one of multiple teams that have been scouting Verlander, and really the Tigers in general, extensively for roughly a month now. The 34-year-old has compiled a 4.50 ERA in 21 starts this season but he’s been significantly better over his last four starts, registering a 2.77 ERA in that span.

By and large, JV has been his typical JV self in 2017. Of his 21 starts, only five has he allowed four or more earned runs. But the biggest red flags, obvious of course, appear to be that Verlander is not getting any younger and he’s owed another $56M beyond this season.

And it makes sense from a Dodgers standpoint. They currently have the highest payroll in the league — majority of it on the disabled list right now — and have been on an absolute tear since late April, best team in baseball as a matter of fact, largely due to their youth.

The “Verlander to L.A.” speculation really skyrocketed over the last couple days when it was announced this past weekend that Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw would miss roughly 4-6 weeks with a back injury.

Multiple teams appear to still be interested in the former Cy Young and MVP winner, namely the Cubs, Brewers and Astros, two teams who, like the Dodgers, have scouted multiple players on the Tigers over the last month.

A friendly reminder, if you didn’t know already, that the MLB non-waiver trade deadline is at 4 p.m. ET on Monday, July 31.

Written by Alex Muller

MSU Graduate. Just a city boy born and raised in south Detroit. Baseball is life, a pitcher at heart. Freelance writer for MIPrepZone (News-Herald, Press & Guide).

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