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MLB Trade Rumors: Are the Marlins in on Justin Verlander?

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There is a “mystery team” in on Verlander. Could it be Miami?

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Chicago White Sox Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

After Tigers starter Justin Verlander passed through revocable waivers earlier this month, the Astros seemed to be the only team in on him. Detroit and Houston weren’t able to originally strike a deal, but the talks are reportedly heating back up.

However, there is now another team involved in the trade talks — the mystery team.

The Marlins really need another starting pitcher if they want to continue this playoff push, so would it really be that crazy to think that Miami is trying to acquire Verlander?

Probably, but let’s check out the logistics anyway.

First of all, the Marlins starting rotation has left much to be desired this season. With Edinson Volquez done for the year and Wei-Yin Chen nowhere to be found, Miami has leaned on these six guys down the stretch.

Marlins Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA FIP WHIP K/9
Name IP ERA FIP WHIP K/9
Dan Straily 151.20 3.80 4.23 1.17 8.19
Jose Urena 118.10 4.03 5.14 1.23 6.46
Adam Conley 77.10 5.12 4.50 1.38 6.75
Justin Nicolino 32.20 5.23 5.24 1.84 5.23
Chris O'Grady 26.10 5.47 4.95 1.56 8.89
Vance Worley 46.20 5.98 4.86 1.48 4.82
Marlins starting pitchers’ 2017 stats Data from Fangraphs

Verlander would most likely be an upgrade over any one of the guys the Marlins have thrown out there except for maybe Dan Straily. The 34-year-old Tigers righty has posted a 3.90 ERA and 1.30 WHIP with 9.05 K/9 over 166 innings this season.

Plus, the former MVP has been dominant over his last two starts, striking out 17 batters and walking only three while allowing three earned runs over 15 innings.

However, the issue for Miami would be price, in both trade value and contract. With Giancarlo Stanton’s contract filling up the books, it probably wouldn’t be smart for Miami to take on the $56 million Verlander is owed over the next two seasons, plus the vesting option for 2020.

The Tigers could eat some of the contract, but that would make them ask for more prospects out of an already-depleted Miami farm system. If the Marlins were to acquire Verlander, you could expect guys like Dillon Peters or Braxton Garrett (among others) to be on their way to Detroit.

A more creative deal involving a young major-leaguer like J.T. Realmuto could also be possible, but not probable, considering how much he means to the Marlins organization.

You also have to consider Verlander’s no-trade clause. But hey, who wouldn’t want to go from Detroit to Miami?

Is it a good idea for the Marlins to trade for Justin Verlander? Probably not. But, it sure would help to have him pitching that NL Wild Card Game in Arizona.