Five things to watch on MLB trade deadline day, starting with Justin Verlander


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Here are five things to watch leading up to the trade deadline at 6 p.m. ET Tuesday on what should be a drama-filled day.

1. What will happen with Justin Verlander? As first reported by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Chandler Rome, the Astros remain involved in talks to acquire Verlander, and some believe Houston is the right-hander’s preferred trade destination. Entering Tuesday, the Astros are the front-runner to land Verlander from the Mets. Houston owner Jim Crane is directly involved in the negotiations as is Mets owner Steve Cohen, along with their respective general managers, Dana Brown and Billy Eppler. The Mets are willing to pay down some of the money owed to Verlander and limit Houston’s financial exposure in return for more prospect capital. (Verlander is making $43.3 million this year, will make $43.3 million next year, and has a conditional $35 million option for 2025 that vests if he pitches 140 innings in 2024 and finishes the season healthy.)

Anything can happen, but Verlander’s first choice on a trade appears to be the Astros over the Dodgers, the other logical trade partner for the Mets, and Los Angeles doesn’t seem to be as engaged as Houston anyway. So, will the three-time Cy Young Award winner head back to the defending World Series champs and bolster their rotation in a pennant race against the Rangers and his former teammate Max Scherzer? We’ll see. But that would be something.

2. The Mariners appear set to trade outfielder Teoscar Hernández at the buzzer, with the Phillies, Giants and Blue Jays all in play. Seattle is looking to improve the contact rate of its lineup and is not expected to pursue Hernández, the major-league leader in strikeouts, in free agency this offseason.


What took so long? MLB execs discuss ‘weird,’ slow-developing hitters market

3. The Tigers are doing an excellent job of holding back starting pitchers Eduardo Rodriguez and Michael Lorenzen; they’ve waited to trade them to ensure they get the best possible return on deadline day. The Reds, Diamondbacks and Orioles are in the mix, with Baltimore considered the front-runner, as the deadline looms.

4. The Cardinals will likely have to wait until the Tigers trade Rodriguez and Lorenzen before they can get the best return for right-hander Jack Flaherty, which is expected to come from the runner-up in the trade for Detroit’s starters.

5. The Twins could disrupt the trade deadline for the Tigers and Cardinals if they decide to accept a lesser offer for Sonny Gray or Kenta Maeda, their impending free-agent starters. That just adds one more layer of drama to the final hours before the deadline.



MLB trade deadline primer: Top storylines, rumblings, best-available players



The life of an MLB GM at the trade deadline

(Photo of Justin Verlander: Brad Penner / USA Today)

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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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