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Tigers place Justin Verlander on revocable waivers

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Tigers have placed starter Justin Verlander on revocable waivers. It’s the beginning of August, so we’ll continue to hear about veterans with sizable contracts being placed on waivers. This news comes as no surprise.

Verlander, 34 has struggled to a 4.29 ERA with a 126/60 K/BB ratio in 130 innings across 22 starts this season. He’s owed the remainder of his $28 million salary for this season and will make $28 million in each of the next two seasons. He has a vesting option worth $22 million in 2020. That option vests if he finishes in the top-five of 2019 Cy Young Award balloting.

Verlander is very likely to pass through waivers because of his contract. If and when he does, the Tigers can pursue a trade normally in which they could agree to cover a portion (or all) of his remaining contract. An acquiring team would need to complete a deal for Verlander before September 1 in order for him to be eligible for the post-season roster. Verlander has a full no-trade clause, so he ultimately has the final say in whether or not he changes addresses.

Nick Williams has been trying to sell Jake Arrieta on the Phillies

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CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.

Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”

On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”

Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.

Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.