Justin Verlander has been an intriguing trade target in recent weeks, what with the Tigers falling out of contention and all. Trading him was never going to be easy, however, as his large contract, full no-trade rights and the Tigers desire to maximize his return are all, in one way or another at odds. Still, some rumors have percolated about interest from the Dodgers and Astros, among other teams.
The percolating can likely stop, however, as Jon Morosi — the most plugged-in national reporter when it comes to the Tigers — says that it is unlikely that Verlander will be moved:
If that’s what he was hearing at 11am this morning, it’s likely to stick given that it would take the Tigers a good while to talk to Verlander to get him to agree to waive his no-trade rights, even if a tentative deal is struck. Given the 4pm deadline, that’d be a tough call.
So, as of this moment, it would seem that Sonny Gray is the top starting pitcher available between now and the deadline.
Mets left-hander Jason Vargas has a non-displaced fracture of the hamate bone in his right hand, the team announced Sunday. Vargas sustained the injury after taking a comebacker off of his hand on Friday and is expected to consult with a hand specialist later today as the team settles on a course of action. Comments from GM Sandy Alderson indicate that surgery is a possibility, though the left-hander may also pitch through it for the time being.
Vargas, 35, signed a two-year, $16 million pact with the team last month. He completed a four-year run with the Royals in 2017, earning his first career All-Star nomination with an 18-11 record in 32 starts and producing a 4.16 ERA, 2.9 BB/9 and 6.7 SO/9 over 179 2/3 innings. Prior to the incident, the southpaw was expected to help fill out the back end of the Mets’ Opening Day rotation.
Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News estimates that Vargas will likely miss the start of the season as he faces a two- to six-week recovery period. It’s a disappointing turn of events for a pitching staff that has been absolutely ravaged by injuries over the last couple of years.