While Justin Verlander was not traded by the July 31 deadline, the Detroit Tigers’ ace can still be moved. The Tigers placed him on revocable waivers on Wednesday.
The #Tigers placed Justin Verlander on revocable waivers today, source says. Name came up at the deadline, but he stayed put in Detroit.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) August 2, 2017
This certainly isn’t a surprise. This kind of thing happens all the time after the July 31 deadline. It may mean essentially nothing. On the other hand, if Verlander is going to be traded in August, this will be the first step.
Given his salary, it’s unlikely that Verlander will be claimed. If he is, though, Detroit would be able to either pull him back, work out a trade or let the team take him (and his remaining salary). If more than one team claims him, the first preference would go to the American League team with the worst record, then the National League team with the worst record.
If he clears, then the Tigers would be free to trade him anywhere. Though, it is worth nothing that any other players on 40-man rosters involved in the deal would also need to clear. It’s also important to remember that Verlander’s no-trade clause is still in effect here, so he can choose where he goes.
Prior to the July 31 deadline, Verlander was linked to the Chicago Cubs, who reportedly had issues with his salary. Verlander is owed $28 million in both 2018 and 2019, and has a $22 million option for 2020 that will automatically vest should he finish in the top five in Cy Young voting in 2019.