Last night, Red Sox starting pitcher Rick Porcello edged Detroit's Justin Verlander out in the race for this year's American League Cy Young award. For Rick Porcello, the 2016 season marked a massive comeback from a putrid 2015 campaign. In 2015, Porcello amassed a 4.92 ERA while losing a whopping 15 games. It was so bad at one point the Red Sox decided to to put Porcello on the disabled list just to get his head straight. Conversely, in 2016, Porcello was the best pitcher in the American League. In 33 starts, Porcello went 22-4, while posting a 3.15 ERA in 223 innings of work.
Similarly, Verlander had just as good of a bounce back season, if not better, than Slick Rick. After an injury-plagued 2015 campaign in which Verlander only pitched in 20 games, the 2011 Cy Young and MVP award winner came back with vengeance this past season. In 34 starts, Verlander pitched to a tune of 16-9, while claiming a 3.04 ERA and striking out an AL-best 254 batters in 227.2 innings.
And thankfully, yet mysteriously, it looks as if Verlander is on the trading block. In 2009, Verlander signed a 10-year, $219.5 million contract with the Detroit Tigers that keeps him under team control through 2019, with a 2020 vesting option. While the deal is not that absurd by today's standards, mind you, David Price received a seven-year, $217 million contract this past offseason, Verlander will be 34 by the start of next season. Verlander shows no signs of slowing down, but the Tigers are looking to rebuild and could obtain a hefty return for the righty's services.
These rumors have not just popped up, as the Red Sox and Tigers were reportedly mulling a Justin Verlander-for-Hanley Ramirez swap at the beginning of the season. A season ago, Verlander was an aging pitcher coming off an injury and Hanley Ramirez was regarded as one of the biggest dogs in all of baseball.
My oh my how much a difference a year makes.
However, apparently, these rumors have not distinguished, but rather ignited a much bigger, perhaps even blockbuster, trade. In an interview with Jason Beck of MLB.com, Tiger GM Al Avila said the team was more than willing to answer calls on all their players, including Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander.
Both of these players would net a massive return, which can truthfully only be obtained by the Red Sox or Dodgers. All other teams simply do not have the ponies that are necessary to complete a trade like this. Because of the longevity of these rumors, you have to believe there is some truth and validity to them. Furthermore, Dave Dombrowski is familiar with the Tigers and left on good terms.
Justin Verlander would look phenomenal at the top of the Red Sox starting rotation. Simply put, he is my dream-acquisition for the Red Sox. David Price would not be relied upon as an ace, and Rick Porcello would not have so much pressure on him to repeat his 2016 season.
Plus, I think we have an inside track. His fiancé loves me: