In its latest update on Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander, MLBTradeRumors indicated there has been a "surge of interest" in the righty, with Jon Morosi of MLB Network stating that another organization “has emerged as [a] possible suitor.”
I don't know, but I'm certainly hoping that mystery team is the Cubs.
Sure, Verlander is 34 years old and not having the best season of his career. And yes, he is owed a king's ransom. But there are three very good reasons why the Cubs should be interested in Verlander. First, the Cubs have two pitchers eligible for free agency after the season in Jake Arrieta and John Lackey, so they need another starter beyond this season.
Secondly, Verlander has been pitching very well of late. As MLBTradeRumors acknowledges, Verlander has "posted a strong 3.34 ERA with 109 strikeouts and 37 walks over his last 105 innings (17 starts)."
And finally, Verlander has postseason experience and would be a huge asset to throw out there against the strong lineups that the Nationals and Dodgers have. The Tigers ace has pitched in five different postseasons with the Tigers, and has a 7-5 record with a cumulative 3.39 ERA over that span.
In 2012 and 2013 he was particularly strong, going 4-2 with ERAs of 2.22 in '12 and a minuscule 0.39 the following year. that year, in three starts, Verlander allowed just 10 hits over 23 innings, with just one earned run and 31 Ks against only 3 walks.
Look, any contender could be that team peeking into the availability of Verlander, but it would make sense if it was the Cubs, because of the aforementioned reasons, plus the fact that the Cubs did talk to the Tigers about Verlander around the deadline. They even consummated a deal with Detroit, acquiring lefty reliever Justin Wilson and catcher Alex Avila. So there is a connection there.
As for the money, sure it's huge, but keep in mind that after this season the Cubs would only be on the hook for two more years. Theo Epstein doesn't mind paying a big salary as much as he does mind laying out the five to seven years it would take to sign a free agent pitcher such as Yu Darvish or their own Arrieta.
Verlander is only one year removed from famously almost winning the Cy Young. I say "famously" due to Kate Upton's infamous tweet following Rick Porcello's award, in which the model/actress wrote "Hey @MLB I thought I was the only person allowed to fuck@JustinVerlander ?!"
Which brings me to another reason why I want the Cubs to get Verlander—to have her around town. But seriously, he's still a good pitcher, he's a leader, and with all that money owed to him, one would think that it wouldn't take top prospects to get him.
Either Detroit provides salary relief in the trade, and then asks for top prospects, or a team agrees to pay all of the remaining money owed to Verlander and then doesn't have to come up with a lot of players.
And for what it's worth, the Cubs have the money to afford Verlander, so why not go out and take a chance on him? After all, it's only money.
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