Justin Verlander Trade Rumors: Tigers, Astros Remain in Contact, Deal Not Close

Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 16, 2017

ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 15:  Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers throws against the Texas Rangers in the second inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 15, 2017 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Houston Astros and Detroit Tigers have reportedly discussed a potential Justin Verlander deal so much they're both clear on where the other stands.

Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported Wednesday the two sides "have talked enough" about it and they have "a good understanding of the other's position." Morosi qualified a deal is not close but "circumstances are such that one phone call could create momentum rapidly, closer to [the] Aug. 31 roster deadline."

This comes after Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported Tuesday the two teams "recently reignited talks" on a possible Verlander trade, although he noted sources still called it a "long shot."

Heyman clarified "a decent gap is still believed to exist in talks" as the two sides determine the prospects the Astros would send Detroit's way and how much of Verlander's contract the Tigers would pay.

The 34-year-old Verlander is set to make $28 million in 2018 and 2019 before potentially making $22 million in 2020 if he finishes in the top five in Cy Young voting and triggers his performance-based contract option.

While Verlander's prime when he was the 2011 American League MVP and Cy Young winner may be in the rearview mirror, the six-time All-Star had pitched well as of late before Tuesday's outing. He allowed five earned runs and three home runs in his team's 10-4 loss to the Texas Rangers, but he had given up three or fewer earned runs in his previous seven starts.

In all, he sports a 4.11 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and 150 strikeouts in 151 innings and could bolster a Houston club that is just 2-6 in its last eight games.

The Astros are still a comfortable 12.5 games ahead of the Los Angeles Angels in the American League West, but the larger goal is a World Series title. Verlander has a 3.39 ERA in 16 postseason starts and has pitched in two different Fall Classics.