Chicago Cubs: Even now, should the team trade for Justin Verlander?
Justin Verlander is undoubtedly one of this generation’s best pitchers. The Chicago Cubs might need another pitcher as they look to make another playoff push. Is this the answer?
Well, it isn’t that easy. Since the waiver deadline is less than a week away, if the Chicago Cubs want to act, they need to do so quickly.
The team’s ace, Jon Lester, is still injured. This could factor into the decision of whether or not to pull the trigger on any deal. But even when Lester wasn’t injured, he was looking sub-par, to say the least.
Then again, can the Cubs make a deep run having to rely on guys like John Lackey and Mike Montgomery?
Right now, he has a 3.90 ERA and 1.301 WHIP in 27 starts this year, but those numbers don’t always tell the whole story.
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Verlander is 34 years old and whenever you have a pitcher over 30, you look to see what their velocity numbers look like.
The reason why that’s the case is because whenever you see someone lose a lot of velocity, it could be a sign that things are going downhill.
It appears that Verlander hasn’t only maintained his numbers, they are actually up. According to his FanGraphs page, he still his average fastball is 95.7 mph, up 1.4 mph from last year.
2016 was actually one of Verlander’s best seasons, even in his age 33 season. He barely missed out on picking up the American League Cy Young honors. He had a 3.04 ERA, 1.001 WHIP and 10 strikeouts per nine in 34 starts. It’s a shame that he pitches for the Double-A team that is the Detroit Tigers.
Of course, no one can accurately tell you when any player is going to go start to show their age and if they say they do, they’re lying.
But Verlander will turn 35 in February, which means there is an elevated risk of him falling off the face of the earth. He doesn’t exactly have a team-friendly deal, either.
He is set to make $28 million each of the next two seasons with a $22 million option for 2020. Yay?
It’s tough to live up to a deal like that, especially going into your age 35,36 and 37 seasons. If you ask me, a 3.90 ERA is not worth $56 million over two years. It would be too much money for not enough time quality time; most importantly this season. Keep in mind, the Cubs would also probably have to give something up for him, too.
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The Cubs should just want until Lester is healthy, and they will be ready to make another playoff push. Or they could look for a cheaper option. In the end, though, Verlander’s price is too steep.