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.
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Major League Baseball has told Cardinals infielder Kolten Wong that he has to get rid of the colorful arm sleeve he’s been wearing, pictured above, that pays tribute to his native Hawaii and seeks to raise awareness of recovery efforts from the destruction caused by the erupting Mount Kilauea.
[Wong] has been notified by Major League Baseball that he will face a fine if he continues to wear an unapproved sleeve that features Hawaiian emblem. Wong said he will stash the sleeve, like Jose Martinez had to do with his Venezuelan-flag sleeve, and find other ways to call attention to his home island.
None of these guys are being singled out, it seems. Rather, this is all part of a wider sweep Major League Baseball is making with respect to the uniformity of uniforms. As Goold notes at the end of his piece, however, MLB has no problem whatsoever with players wearing a non-uniform article of underclothing as long as it’s from an MLB corporate sponsor. Such as this sleeve worn by Marcell Ozuna, and supplied by Nike that, last I checked, were not in keeping with the traditional St. Louis Cardinals livery:
If Nike was trying to get people to buy Hawaii or Venezuela compression sleeves, I’m sure there would be no issue here. They’re not, however, and it seems like creating awareness and support for people suffering from natural, political and humanitarian disasters do not impress the powers that be nearly as much.