We continue to edge closer to the 2017 MLB non-waiver trade deadline, which is set for 4 p.m. ET on Monday. This means we’re heading into the final weekend in which teams can make straight-up deals—a weekend that could be filled with activity.
This is the final stretch for those teams looking to bolster their rosters for postseason runs. It’s also the last chance for teams looking to sell off assets to openly do so before the offseason. We’re here to dig into the latest trade rumors as the final trade weekend begins.
Tigers Interested in Dealing Iglesias
One of the biggest names on the trade market is Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander. However, he isn’t the only notable player Detroit could move before the trade deadline. Shortstop Jose Iglesias could also be on the move.
According to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney, Iglesias will be traded before Monday’s deadline:
Iglesias isn’t necessarily a big-name player, and the market for shortstops isn’t what it is for, say, pitchers. However, there are a few good reasons for teams to consider the 27-year-old. Iglesias has a career on-base percentage of .381, and he’s a solid defender.
The Cuban is also young and can be controlled through next season. His contract has him slated for arbitration in 2018. If a team does acquire him, it won’t have to do so exclusively as a short-term rental. This means teams that aren’t necessarily contenders could be interested in dealing for him as an investment in the future.
Detroit looked into moving Iglesias during the offseason but was unable to do so. If Olney believes the shortstop will be moved before Monday, he must be generating at least some interest around the league.
Would Bringing Verlander to L.A. Be a Mistake?
One player the Tigers could trade who has generated some interest is Verlander. One team that could be interested in adding him is the Los Angeles Dodgers.
According to Jon Morosi of the MLB Network, the Dodgers are confident they can add either Verlander, Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish or Oakland Athletics pitcher Sonny Gray:
Would adding Verlander be the right move for the Dodgers? They could use a top-tier pitcher while Clayton Kershaw is sitting on the disabled list. They could also look to bolster their pitching rotation heading into the postseason.
Tom Verducci of SI.com, however, believes the Dodgers should proceed with caution because of Verlander’s red flags:
“The greatest risk with Verlander is that you’re investing prospects and a ton of money into not just the rest of this year, but also his age-35 and -36 seasons. There has been some talk that the Tigers might pick up the $9.3 million or so due him for the rest of this year. Okay, but that still leaves a $56 million bill over the next two years, and for what kind of pitcher?
Look around baseball right now. Find me a qualified, conventional pitcher that old who is even league average.
You can’t. Doesn’t exist.
For the first time in 47 years, no conventional pitcher (that excludes knuckleball pitcher R.A. Dickey) 35 or older has thrown enough qualified innings with an adjusted OPS of at least 100. Fifteen years ago there were a dozen. Older aces, or even near-aces, are extinct.“
As Verducci pointed out, there would be a lot of money involved with a Verlander trade. He’s due to earn $28 million in each of the next two seasons, plus the remainder of this year’s $28 million salary and a $22 million vesting option in 2020. Verducci also pointed out the future for an aging Verlander might not be especially bright.
The other problem is that Verlander isn’t exactly having a career year now. He’s gone 5-7 with a 4.50 ERA this season. There certainly isn’t a guarantee that adding Verlander would bring the Dodgers a championship. If it doesn’t, it could be looked back upon as a monumental mistake.
A short-term guy like Darvish—who is in the final year of his contract—might make more sense for L.A.
Darvish Officially Available?
The 30-year-old Darvish’s future in Texas has been a bit murky over the past couple weeks. He has been floated as a trade possibility, but there has remained the chance he could stay where he is for the remainder of the year.
The Rangers aren’t out of the wild-card race, so they’ve been forced to weigh the possibility of making a postseason run against the potential value of a Darvish deal. T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com was recently convinced Darvish could be remaining in Texas:
“The needle is swinging back toward Yu Darvish remaining with the Rangers. The needle seems to swing with every trade rumor and tweet that emerges, but Major League sources indicated Monday the Rangers were strongly leaning toward not trading Darvish unless they are overwhelmed by an offer or their postseason hopes crash with another losing streak this week.“
It appears the needle has moved once again and that the Rangers are ready to part with the pitcher. According to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Texas let teams know Darvish is available:
There’s a reason why the Rangers are confident they will get a good return for Darvish: They should. While teams are looking at a short-term rental, they are also looking at a quality pitcher and a low financial commitment.
If a contender like the Dodgers simply wants a pitcher for this postseason, Darvish is the perfect candidate. That team can decide in the offseason whether it wants to try committing to him long term.
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