ASK BA: Did The Tigers Get Enough For Verlander?
Q: The Astros are having all the fun now with Justin Verlander, but did the Tigers get enough in return to justify the deal?
Jon Erkkila, Arkeny, Iowa
BA:When a team trades one of the best pitchers in the game, they are highly unlikely to get an equivalent player in return. That shouldn’t be the expectation for the Tigers.
Starting pitchers of Verlander’s caliber are rarely dealt at the trade deadline. But when they are, they can make an outsized impact.
When the Mariners traded Randy Johnson to the Astros in 1998, they received Freddy Garcia, Carlos Guillen and John Halama. All three lived up to expectations, but none had a run to match Johnson going 10-1, 1.28 in 11 starts with the Astros.
The Indians were less successful when they traded C.C. Sabathia to the Brewers in 2008 for four prospects. Michael Brantley ended up turning into an above-average regular, but Sabathia went 11-2, 1.65 over the rest of the season for the Brewers.
Verlander went 5-0, 0.66 in five regular season starts for Houston and then recorded a 2.21 ERA in 36.2 postseason innings. Considering his importance to the Astros run to a World Series title, the Astros have already "won" this trade. Anything they get out of Verlander over the next two seasons is simply a bonus.
But just because the trade lived up to the Astros expectations doesn't mean that the Tigers can't win it as well. In return, the Tigers got three solid prospects. Righthander Franklin Perez is one of the better pitching prospects in the game. Catcher Jake Rogers has a chance to be a regular and center fielder Daz Cameron has outstanding power and speed.
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In my mind that is a fair return. As good as Verlander is, nothing he can do would turn the 2017 (or 2018) Tigers into contenders, and Detroit landed one of the better prospect packages of the deadline season.