The trade deadline is just one day and one night away. Justin Verlander (40, New York Mets) is two days away from being traded.
In his first start of the 2023 MLB regular season against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field in New York City, the 40-year-old right-hander allowed one run on five hits and one walk while striking out five in 5 1/3 innings. Behind Verlander’s strong performance, the Mets won 5-2, and Verlander improved to 6-5 on the season.
250 career wins. Despite becoming the 49th pitcher in Major League Baseball (MLB) history to reach the milestone, Verlander’s face was not a happy one after the win, as he had been the subject of trade rumors for days. Despite the win, the Mets remain in fourth place in the National League East with a 50-55 record. Their chances of winning a championship this season have been thwarted.
A day earlier, the Mets traded another ace, Max Scherzer, to the Texas Rangers. In exchange, they received Luis Angel Acuña, a prospect who could be a future powerhouse. Already, the team’s closer, David Robertson, was traded before Scherzer.
That leaves Verlander. At $43.33 million per year, Verlander is the highest-paid closer in the league, along with Scherzer. The Mets will likely want to unload Scherzer, just as they unloaded Verlander. And there are plenty of teams looking for him. The Atlanta Braves, Houston Astros, and Los Angeles Dodgers are among the teams that have inquired about trading for Verlander, according to MLB Trade Rumors.
The price is not expected to be low. “Teams that were looking for salary relief from the Mets, like the Scherzer trade, have found that the Mets value Verlander differently,” said Andy Martino, a Mets reporter for SNY in New York City. “To get salary relief in a Verlander trade, you have to ask for a higher-value prospect.” Acuña’s prospect ranking is 44th in MLB, which means he’d have to be worth more than that.
If the Mets’ demands are that high, it narrows it down to one destination. With only one top-100 prospect each, Houston and the Astros can’t match the Mets’ demands. Instead, the Dodgers, who have a whopping eight, can. 스포츠토토
“The Dodgers’ deep prospect pool makes them a more desirable trade partner than Houston, Verlander’s hometown team,” said Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. “Verlander has a full club trade veto, meaning he can choose his next team. He turned down a two-year, $80 million offer from the Dodgers last winter to sign a two-year, $86.6 million deal with the Mets.” However, the Dodgers’ postseason aspirations this season and beyond could be an inducement for Verlander, as it was for Scherzer when he agreed to the Texas trade. Whether his wife, model Kate Upton, will agree to leave New York after just eight months will also be an important factor, though Los Angeles, California, home to Hollywood, may be more attractive to the family than Houston, Texas.
“The buzz surrounding the Dodgers and Verlander among scouts is growing,” Rosenthal said, but he also noted that “the Dodgers are not the only ones.