Justin Verlander until Thursday night has been a staple of the starting rotation for the Detroit Tigers for 12 years, but that ended when he was traded to the Houston Astros.
The deal came only minutes prior to the midnight deadline where players who are traded will be eligible to play in the postseason.
His presence in the Houston starting rotation will bolster an Astros squad that already has the best record in the American League but has questions marks related to its starting rotation due to injuries.
For the struggling Tigers, the trade represented its latest move in rebuilding that already has seen players such as Justin Wilson, Alex Avila, and J.D. Martinez traded.
Hours prior to the trade involving Verlander, the Tigers traded Justin Upton their slugging outfielder to the Los Angeles Angels.
Al Avila the General Manager of the Tigers expressed the team’s sincere thanks for the years Verlander gave the organization.
Detroit was to receive a highly touted pitching prospect Franklin Perez, outfielder Daz Cameron, as well as catcher Jake Rogers in exchange for Verlander.
Verlander was the 2004 second overall draft pick from old Dominion University and in two years was pitching in the major for his first full season.
That season he was 17-9 with an ERA of 3.63 and won rookie of the year for the AL.
Verlander has been an All-Star six times, and has won the Cy Young and AL MVP. This season he is 10-8 with an ERA of 3.82, with 176 strikeouts with 67 walks across 172 innings pitched.
Consent by Verlander was required to make the trade happen and while unclear if he took his time agreeing to it, the deal became final two minutes before the midnight deadline.
Detroit reportedly will pay for a large amount up to $10 million of the remaining salary of Verlander’s.
Jim Crane the owner of the Astros said Verlander at the start was reluctant but then decided to agree to the trade.
Crane said that Verlander’s experience will add a new dimension to the Houston pitching staff. He has two years left on this contract making the team we have currently even stronger for the next couple of seasons.
Houston is currently 80-53 on the season and with 29 games left on their regular season schedule hold an 11 ½-game lead over the second place Los Angeles Angels.