Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Tigers trade Justin Verlander to the Astros

30 Comments

Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports that the Tigers and Astros agreed to a trade involving starter Justin Verlander. This comes after a rash of uncertainty around midnight ET in which it appeared Verlander had been traded, then wasn’t, and then there was a lot of confusion as to why the deal fell through.

The Tigers will receive pitching prospect Franklin Perez, outfield prospect Daz Cameron, and catcher Jake Rogers from the Astros, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

Adding Verlander is a big deal for the Astros, who are basically guaranteed to win the AL West barring a collapse of epic proportions. Verlander will fortify a playoff rotation behind Dallas Keuchel, making the Astros significantly more fearsome in October.

Verlander, 34, has a 3.82 ERA and a 176/67 K/BB ratio in 172 innings this season. He’s picked things up particularly lately, posting a 2.31 ERA in his last 11 starts dating back to July 8. The veteran is set to earn $28 million over the next two seasons and has a vesting option for 2020 worth $22 million potentially.

Perez, 19, was the Astros’ No. 3 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. Between High-A Buies Creek and Double-A Corpus Christi, the right-hander has posted a 3.02 ERA with a 78/27 K/BB ratio in 86 1/3 innings.

Cameron, 20, was the Astros’ No. 9 prospect. Taken in the first round (37th overall) in the 2015 draft, Cameron — the son of former major leaguer Mike Cameron — has hit .271/.347/.467 with 14 home runs, 73 RBI, 79 runs scored, and 32 stolen bases in 506 plate appearances with Single-A Quad Cities this season.

Rogers, 22, was the Astros’ No. 11 prospect. He was selected in the third round of the 2016 draft. This season, between Quad Cities and Buies Creek, the backstop-slash-DH has hit .265/.353/.476 with 18 home runs and 70 RBI in 479 PA.

Video: Kurt Suzuki breaks World Series Game 2 tie with long solo homer

Bob Levey/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The postseason has a knack for finding unlikely heroes. Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki was 1-for-23 in the postseason entering Wednesday’s Game 2 of the World Series. The Nats and Astros each plated two runs in the first inning, then went otherwise scoreless through the sixth inning. In the top of the seventh, with Justin Verlander returning to the mound, Suzuki demolished a high, 1-0 fastball just below the train tracks in left field at Minute Maid Park, breaking the 2-2 tie.

Verlander proceeded to walk Victor Robles, prompting manager A.J. Hinch to take his veteran starter out of the game. Ryan Pressly came in to attempt to keep it a one-run game.

The underdog Nationals held on to defeat the Astros 5-4 in Game 1. Another victory by the Nats in Game 2 would put the Astros — heavy favorites according to oddsmakers — in a big hole.

Update: Pressly walked the first batter he faced, Trea Turner. Adam Eaton successfully sacrifice bunted both runners over. After Anthony Rendon flied out to shallow center field, Hinch decided to issue his team’s first intentional walk of the entire year to Juan Soto, loading the bases. Howie Kendrick then hit what appeared to be an inning-ending ground out, but Alex Bregman booted the ball as he moved to his left. Turner scored to make it 4-2. The floodgates opened when Asdrúbal Cabrera lined a single to center field, bringing home two more runs to pad the lead to 6-2. While pitching to Ryan Zimmerman, Pressly uncorked a wild pitch to allow the two base runners to advance. Zimmerman followed up with a slow roller down the third base line which Bregman barehanded and proceeded to throw away. Two more runs scored. 8-2. Yiiiikes, Astros.