Clearance: Tigers Trade Upton, Verlander (and Upton)
If there was any doubt that the Detroit Tigers are now in full rebuild mode, the final day of August erased that doubt. The Tigers parted ways with two of their best players on Thursday.The Tigers have been trading away pieces (Justin Wilson, Alex Avila, J.D. Martinez) since July, but with the August 31st deadline for players needing to be on team rosters to be eligible for post season play staring at them, the Tigers went (almost) all the way into retooling for the future.
At midday, the Tigers traded outfielder Justin Upton to the Los Angeles Angels for pitching prospect Grayson Long and the proverbial player to be named later. Upton is in the midst of a solid season at the plate, but could opt-out of his mega-contract after next season.
Then, the big deal came around midnight as the team bid adieu to one of the best pitchers in team history. Verlander was traded to the Houston Astros for in return for three top prospects. Franklin Perez, a right handed pitcher, Daz Cameron, an outfielder, and catcher Jake Rodgers. Rogers is the oldest of the three at age 22.
Verlander is considered a future Hall of Famer, and maybe the best right handed pitcher in Tigers history, but he is 34 years old and expensive.If the prospects coming to the Tigers pan out, it will set them up for years.
The only players from this decade's glory teams for the Tigers remaining are Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Ian Kinsler. Cabrera's contract is considered by many, untrade-able.