The Detroit Tigers pulled off a shocking last-minute trade that sends future Hall of Fame pitcher Justin Verlander to the Houston Astros in exchange for prospects Franklin Perez, Daz Cameron, and Jake Rogers.
That being said, there were open spots on the active roster following the trades of Verlander and outfielder Justin Upton.
"I think he'll add a dimension we don't have".
Jim Crane the owner of the Astros said Verlander at the start was reluctant but then chose to agree to the trade. Verlander was drafted by the organization, came up through the organization, and his promotion to the major leagues on a full-time basis in 2006 coincided with the club's magical turnaround and helped to usher in a decade of competitiveness.
The Houston Astros reported to spring training believing they were the best team in the American League. So, Verlander can expect better run support. He posted a 3.04 ERA and 1.00 WHIP while striking out 254 batters in 227.2 innings across two starts. But in addition to the pitching, Baez was the show again. After all, he has a 3.82 ERA and a 4.04 FIP.
The 'Stros are rich in prospects, but had remained hesitant to part with their best young talent while also taking on a significant piece of the $56MM still guaranteed to Verlander over the next two seasons. It would have been foolish just to trade him in a pure salary dump.
2014 and 2015 the fans thought he was done after battling injuries. In his first season, he was 17-9 with an ERA sitting at 3.63.
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Cubs manager Joe Maddon sounded more guarded during Thursday's pregame media session - maybe even a little distracted by everything buzzing around this team - not quite in the same entertainment mode that usually drives his on-camera performances in the Wrigley Field interview room. His fastball has averaged 95.3 miles per hour this year, nearly two full miles per hour better than last year (93.5 mph). He struggled to make contact past year during an aggressive Midwest League assignment, and his swing is being reworked.
It's a sad day for Tigers fans, no matter the reality of the situation.
In 2009, Verlander threw 67.9 percent fastballs with a mean velocity of 95.6 mph and just 2.3 percent sliders, per FanGraphs. When you mix that with the fact that his fastball velocity is up to its highest point since 2011 (95.68 mph), it looks like he may be overthrowing this year, which could be an attempt to compensate for diminished movement and control.
Those changes paired with his rejuvenated performance in 2016, especially in terms of strikeouts, are a positive sign when it comes to his staying power as he hits his mid-30s.
He cleared waivers last week after being designated for assignment by the Mariners.
The Astros (80-53) were the hot team to start the season this year. He also helped get the Tigers back to the World Series in 2012, but they didn't win that one either. "The one thing missing is a World Series ring".