Portrait of Justin Verlander

Justin Verlander PAstros

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2019 Projections (Preseason PECOTA - seasonal age 36)
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Birth Date2-20-1983
Height6' 5"
Weight225 lbs
Age36 years, 8 months, 0 days
WARP Summary

MLB Statistics

Historical (past-seasons) WARP is now based on DRA..
cFIP and DRA are not available on a by-team basis and display as zeroes(0). See TOT line for season totals of these stats.
Multiple stints are are currently shownClick to hide.
2005 DET MLB 2 2 11.3 0 2 0 15 5 7 1 100 11.9 4.0 0.8 5.6 0% .350 1.76 4.54 7.15 111 5.97 128.5 -0.1
2006 DET MLB 30 30 186.0 17 9 0 187 60 124 21 107 9.0 2.9 1.0 6.0 0% .294 1.33 4.38 3.63 104 5.27 107.4 1.1
2007 DET MLB 32 32 201.7 18 6 0 181 67 183 20 104 8.1 3.0 0.9 8.2 0% .279 1.23 4.05 3.66 92 3.68 76.0 4.5
2008 DET MLB 33 33 201.0 11 17 0 195 87 163 18 103 8.7 3.9 0.8 7.3 0% .296 1.40 4.20 4.84 106 5.19 110.6 0.8
2009 DET MLB 35 35 240.0 19 9 0 219 63 269 20 104 8.2 2.4 0.8 10.1 0% .319 1.18 2.84 3.45 74 2.99 64.2 6.9
2010 DET MLB 33 33 224.3 18 9 0 190 71 219 14 110 7.6 2.8 0.6 8.8 0% .286 1.16 2.93 3.37 79 2.77 62.6 6.5
2011 DET MLB 34 34 251.0 24 5 0 174 57 250 24 108 6.2 2.0 0.9 9.0 0% .236 0.92 3.02 2.40 77 2.47 57.4 7.7
2012 DET MLB 33 33 238.3 17 8 0 192 60 239 19 103 7.3 2.3 0.7 9.0 0% .273 1.06 2.89 2.64 80 2.75 63.0 6.8
2013 DET MLB 34 34 218.3 13 12 0 212 75 217 19 100 8.7 3.1 0.8 8.9 0% .316 1.31 3.30 3.46 89 3.31 79.2 4.3
2014 DET MLB 32 32 206.0 15 12 0 223 65 159 18 105 9.7 2.8 0.8 6.9 0% .317 1.40 3.77 4.54 106 5.26 128.9 -1.1
2015 DET MLB 20 20 133.3 5 8 0 113 32 113 13 109 7.6 2.2 0.9 7.6 0% .267 1.09 3.46 3.38 104 4.60 107.5 0.8
2016 DET MLB 34 34 227.7 16 9 0 171 57 254 30 108 6.8 2.3 1.2 10.0 35% .255 1.00 3.44 3.04 95 3.40 75.3 5.1
2017 DET 0 28 28 172.0 10 8 0 153 67 176 23 109 8.0 3.5 1.2 9.2 34% .283 1.28 4.05 3.82 102 4.03 85.7 3.0
2017 HOU 0 5 5 34.0 5 0 0 17 5 43 4 104 4.5 1.3 1.1 11.4 32% .194 0.65 2.67 1.06 86 3.08 65.5 0.9
2018 HOU MLB 34 34 214.0 16 9 0 156 37 290 28 96 6.6 1.6 1.2 12.2 31% .272 0.90 2.81 2.52 73 2.33 52.1 7.3
2019 HOU MLB 34 34 223.0 21 6 0 137 42 300 36 102 5.5 1.7 1.5 12.1 36% .219 0.80 3.30 2.58 74 2.51 51.5 7.9
2017 TOT MLB 33 33 206.0 15 8 0 170 72 219 27 108 7.4 3.1 1.2 9.6 34% .271 1.17 3.83 3.36 100 3.87 82.3 3.9

Statistics for All Levels

'opp' stats - Quality of opponents faced - have been moved and are available only as OPP_QUAL in the Statistics reports now.
Minor league stats are currently shownClick to hide.
2005 DET MLB AL 2 2 11.3 0 2 0 15 5 7 1 100 11.9 4.0 0.8 5.6 0% .350 1.76 4.54 7.15 111 5.97 128.5
2006 DET MLB AL 30 30 186.0 17 9 0 187 60 124 21 107 9.0 2.9 1.0 6.0 0% .294 1.33 4.38 3.63 104 5.27 107.4
2007 DET MLB AL 32 32 201.7 18 6 0 181 67 183 20 104 8.1 3.0 0.9 8.2 0% .279 1.23 4.05 3.66 92 3.68 76.0
2008 DET MLB AL 33 33 201.0 11 17 0 195 87 163 18 103 8.7 3.9 0.8 7.3 0% .296 1.40 4.20 4.84 106 5.19 110.6
2009 DET MLB AL 35 35 240.0 19 9 0 219 63 269 20 104 8.2 2.4 0.8 10.1 0% .319 1.18 2.84 3.45 74 2.99 64.2
2010 DET MLB AL 33 33 224.3 18 9 0 190 71 219 14 110 7.6 2.8 0.6 8.8 0% .286 1.16 2.93 3.37 79 2.77 62.6
2011 DET MLB AL 34 34 251.0 24 5 0 174 57 250 24 108 6.2 2.0 0.9 9.0 0% .236 0.92 3.02 2.40 77 2.47 57.4
2012 DET MLB AL 33 33 238.3 17 8 0 192 60 239 19 103 7.3 2.3 0.7 9.0 0% .273 1.06 2.89 2.64 80 2.75 63.0
2013 DET MLB AL 34 34 218.3 13 12 0 212 75 217 19 100 8.7 3.1 0.8 8.9 0% .316 1.31 3.30 3.46 89 3.31 79.2
2014 DET MLB AL 32 32 206.0 15 12 0 223 65 159 18 105 9.7 2.8 0.8 6.9 0% .317 1.40 3.77 4.54 106 5.26 128.9
2015 DET MLB AL 20 20 133.3 5 8 0 113 32 113 13 109 7.6 2.2 0.9 7.6 0% .267 1.09 3.46 3.38 104 4.60 107.5
2015 TOL AAA INT 2 2 8.3 0 0 0 10 2 12 0 100 10.8 2.2 0.0 13.0 0% .435 1.44 1.35 3.24 59 4.16 91.2
2016 DET MLB AL 34 34 227.7 16 9 0 171 57 254 30 108 6.8 2.3 1.2 10.0 35% .255 1.00 3.44 3.04 95 3.40 75.3
2017 DET MLB AL 28 28 172.0 10 8 0 153 67 176 23 109 8.0 3.5 1.2 9.2 34% .283 1.28 4.05 3.82 102 4.03 85.7
2017 HOU MLB AL 5 5 34.0 5 0 0 17 5 43 4 104 4.5 1.3 1.1 11.4 32% .194 0.65 2.67 1.06 86 3.08 65.5
2018 HOU MLB AL 34 34 214.0 16 9 0 156 37 290 28 96 6.6 1.6 1.2 12.2 31% .272 0.90 2.81 2.52 73 2.33 52.1
2019 HOU MLB AL 34 34 223.0 21 6 0 137 42 300 36 102 5.5 1.7 1.5 12.1 36% .219 0.80 3.30 2.58 74 2.51 51.5

Plate Discipline

YEAR Pits Zone% Swing% Contact% Z-Swing% O-Swing% Z-Contact% O-Contact% SwStr%
2008 3421 0.4911 0.4557 0.7973 0.6286 0.2889 0.8551 0.6759 0.2027
2009 3898 0.5195 0.4928 0.7522 0.6040 0.3727 0.8103 0.6504 0.2478
2010 3736 0.5171 0.4582 0.7815 0.5864 0.3210 0.8411 0.6649 0.2185
2011 3914 0.5026 0.4655 0.7569 0.6111 0.3184 0.8161 0.6419 0.2431
2012 3759 0.5001 0.4908 0.7409 0.6452 0.3363 0.7964 0.6345 0.2591
2013 3681 0.5042 0.4787 0.7577 0.6546 0.2997 0.8173 0.6252 0.2423
2014 3396 0.4944 0.4685 0.7957 0.6468 0.2941 0.8471 0.6851 0.2043
2015 2146 0.4907 0.4809 0.7742 0.6638 0.3047 0.8298 0.6577 0.2258
2016 3662 0.4896 0.4984 0.7304 0.6587 0.3446 0.8036 0.5963 0.2696
2017 3545 0.5106 0.4880 0.7630 0.6514 0.3176 0.8380 0.6025 0.2370
2018 3423 0.5273 0.5083 0.6810 0.6609 0.3381 0.7494 0.5320 0.3190
2019 3242 0.5126 0.5188 0.6629 0.6594 0.3709 0.7445 0.5102 0.3371

Injury History  —  No longer being updated

Last Update: 12/31/2014 23:59 ET

Date On Date Off Transaction Days Games Side Body Part Injury Severity Surgery Date Reaggravation
2014-09-15 2014-09-19 DTD 4 3 Right Fingers Blister -
2014-08-12 2014-08-23 DTD 11 10 Right Shoulder Soreness -
2014-02-25 2014-03-11 Camp 14 0 - Abdomen Recovery From Surgery Core Muscle 2014-01-09 -
2014-01-09 2014-01-09 Off 0 0 - Abdomen Surgery Core Muscle 2014-01-09 -
2013-07-15 2013-07-20 DTD 5 1 Right Thigh Tightness Quadriceps - -
2013-04-25 2013-04-25 DTD 0 0 Right Thumb Blister - -
2012-05-13 2012-05-13 DTD 0 0 Right Thumb Laceration Broken Callus - -
2011-04-04 2011-04-06 DTD 2 1 General Medical Gastrointestinal Food Poisoning - -
2006-09-25 2006-10-05 DTD 10 6 Right Arm Fatigue -
2006-08-02 2006-08-11 DTD 9 8 Right Arm Fatigue - -
2006-05-11 2006-05-18 DTD 7 5 Right Fingers Blister - -
2005-08-03 2005-09-06 Minors 34 0 Right Shoulder Tightness - -


Year Team Salary
2021 HOU $33,000,000
2020 HOU $33,000,000
2019 DET $8,000,000
2019 HOU $20,000,000
2018 DET $8,000,000
2018 HOU $20,000,000
2017 DET $28,000,000
2016 DET $28,000,000
2015 DET $28,000,000
2014 DET $20,000,000
2013 DET $20,000,000
2012 DET $20,166,667
2011 DET $12,916,667
2010 DET $6,916,666
2009 DET $3,675,000
2007 DET $1,030,000
2006 DET $980,000
12 yrPrevious$197,685,000
13 yrPvs + Cur$225,685,000
2 yrFuture$66,000,000
15 yrTotal$291,685,000


Service TimeAgentContract Status
13 y 2 dISE Baseball7 years/$180M (2013-19), 2020 option

  • 2 years/$66M (2020-21). Signed extension with Houston 3/24/19. Award bonuses: $200,000 for Cy Young ($175,000 for second in vote, $150,000 for third, $125,000 for fourth, $100,000 for fifth). $100,000 for WS MVP. $75,000 for All Star, Gold Glove, LCS MVP. Full no-trade protection. At signing, highest-ever average annual value for a pitcher.
  • 7 years/$180M (2013-19), plus 2020 option. Signed extension with Detroit 3/29/13, replacing final two years of previous deal. 13:$20M, 14:$20M, 15:$28M, 16:$28M, 17:$28M, 18:$28M, 19:$28M. 20:$22M option. 2020 option vests with Top 5 in 2019 Cy Young vote. Award bonuses, including $0.1M for All-Star selection. No-trade protection. Acquired by Houston in trade from Detroit 8/31/17 with $60,743,169 remaining on contract. As part of the deal, Tigers to pay Astros $17,355,191 ($1,355,191 on 10/15/17, $8M on 6/15/18 and $8M on 6/15/19. Verlander retains full no-trade protection and agreed to waive 2020 vesting option.
  • 5 years/$80M (2010-14). Signed extension with Detroit 2/4/10 (avoided arbitration, $9.5M-$6.9M). $0.5M signing bonus. 10:$6.75M, 11:$12.75M, 12:$20M, 13:$20M, 14:$20M. Award bonuses, including $0.5M for Cy Young.
  • 1 year/$3.675M (2009). Re-signed by Detroit 2/3/09 (avoided arbitration, $4.15M-$3.2M).
  • 5 years/$4.5M (2005-09). Signed Major League contract with Detroit 10/04. $3.12M signing bonus (paid 2005-09). 05:$0.1M, 06:$0.15M, 07:$0.2M, 08:$0.25M, 09:$0.6M. Salaries in majors: 05:$0.316M, 06:$0.35M, 07:$0.4M, 08:$0.5M. $0.9M in performance bonuses. If he would otherwise qualify for arbitration, Verlander may opt out and file for arbitration. Recalled 7/05. Optioned to Double-A 7/05. Recalled 7/05. Optioned to Triple-A 7/05.
  • Drafted by Detroit 2004 (1-2) (Old Dominion).

2019 Preseason Forecast

Last Update: 1/27/2017 12:35 ET

Weighted Mean?????0.0?00?.0000.000.00?0.00.0

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BP Annual Player Comments

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BP Articles

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BP Chats

2019-07-03 13:00:00 (link to chat)I'm rebuilding in one of my dynasty leagues. Actually, I'm rebuilding in all of them, but my question is just about one. Anyway... this week I traded Chris Sale and Justin Verlander for Drew Waters, Jordan Groshans, and Dustin May. How did I do?
(Aaron from Minnesota)
So here's the other end. Maybe it was two deals for Aaron that encompassed all these guys? I don't love it, Aaron. In fact, I checked to see if this was Aaron Gleeman just in case I had to be nice about it. It sucks. It's not good. Those three names for Sale alone...I can see. But then you just have Verlander for nothing. And I love May and Waters. Not good, Aaron. Not good. (Craig Goldstein)
2017-10-23 13:00:00 (link to chat)Counterfactual: What happens if the Astros didn't want to part with any prospects and didn't trade for Verlander?
(nschaef from NYC)
I mean they almost certainly still make the playoffs. It's just a matter of giving starts to [peers over roster] errr, Collin McHugh instead of Justin Verlander. You'd also have a clubhouse that's still justifiably ticked off about only trading for what's left of Francisco Liriano. (Nicolas Stellini)
2017-08-31 13:00:00 (link to chat)Does Jerry D trade for Justin Verlander? Better question, Does Jerry D trade for another Cardinal?
(jabuc47 from your backyard)
He'll probably orchestrate a deal that moves Verlander through St. Louis and get him then. Looooooove Jerry D. (Matthew Trueblood)
2016-12-01 19:00:00 (link to chat)In a 16 team H2H dynasty league with a fairly old pitching staff. I have the opportunity to deal my Jon Gray, Joe Ross, and Carl Edwards for Justin Verlander and the 12th pick in our rookie draft. Too much to give up for the aging ace?
(Alex from Charm City)
It's a little pricey for me but it's not crazy. You lose that trade if Gray eventually winds up somewhere besides Colorado, but you're trading a Coors starter, Ross - who has been OK - and a future reliever for Verlander and the pick. I'd try to squeeze a little more out of your opponent. (Mike Gianella)
2015-10-22 14:00:00 (link to chat)The 3 worst player contracts in baseball are:
(Ziggy from South Sider)
Justin Verlander's? Hanley Ramirez's? I'd have to take a longer look. Victor Martinez? Old guys signed to long deals and anyone signed a year or two before the real decision point. (Matthew Trueblood)
2015-07-23 17:00:00 (link to chat)Who plays more in the majors for next 5 years, Justin Verlander or Jose de Leon?
(Alex from B-More)
Verlander. (Mike Gianella)
2015-02-25 14:00:00 (link to chat)Hi Al, Of the top pitching prospects, Giolito, Syndergaard, Urias, and others, do you see any developing into a true ace, I mean, among the top half dozen or so starters in the game?
(Cal Guy from Cal)
Giolito. Giolito all day long. Urias I haven't seen. Bundy has a shot. I don't think Syndergaard, Appel or Gray will quite get there, but all these guys will be good.

I've had a couple conversations about this, but I tend to wonder if the obvious ones are less likely to make that last jump from 2 starter to true Ace. It tends to be guys with a flaw who figured it out at some point. Pedro Martinez was not someone people thought would be an Ace. Justin Verlander was not someone people thought would be an Ace.

Hunter Harvey has one of the better chances, I think. Super impressed when I saw him. If he's healthy, of course. I covered Rodon above, and as much as I loved Hoffman I don't think he'll ever clean up the command enough to be a real Ace. Alex Meyer... now that guy has a shot. I've seen him 4, 5 times. Most times no chance. First couple times I actually thought reliever. But one time I saw him and he figured his delivery out and had it all going. Wouldn't bet on it, of course, but I'm a believer in Meyer. Another page to the "big guys figure it out a little late" book, too. (Al Skorupa)
2015-02-04 19:00:00 (link to chat)Wondering about Justin Verlander, who are some recent examples of players who have bounced back decently at age 32 after losing a few notches off their fastball?
(hotstatrat from Midwestern-New England-New Yorker in Toronto)
Verlander doesn't really fall into the neat little box of comps. First off, he's a borderline generational talent. Add in the fact that he had core muscle surgery before 2014, some problems finding his release point in 2013, and you've got a lot of moving parts. I don't think it's just 'velocity loss' for him. He still has wicked stuff. It's all about fastball command. His fastball always looked 'light' to me--even at 100. When you watch Chapman or Ventura throw that hard, it's got huge life, and seems to really explode that last ten feet. Verlander's ball never did that-- it's a true pitch. I'm interested to see how he tinkers. (Jordan Gorosh)
2014-10-14 18:00:00 (link to chat)What's your take on Rick Porcello's season? Is he a top 20 pitcher going forward? Is the low ERA still likely with less than 6 k/9?
(Perry from Detroit)
Top 20, no. But he's been such a lightning rod of criticism in the Tigers community for Not Being Justin Verlander, and now he had the year Verlander wished he'd had. It all fell into place and jeez he'll still be just 26 next year. I think he can get better. (Matt Sussman)
2014-10-14 18:00:00 (link to chat)What do you think Justin Verlander will do in 2015? Besides wear tight pants and show off his ample arm hair?
(John from Cincinnati)
The company line we're all supposed to be saying is, "he was hurt last offseason and now this year he'll have his full recovery time." Bottom line, a lot could happen between now and then, but if you want a prediction I think he competes for and wins the fifth starter job out of training camp. (Matt Sussman)
2014-09-08 13:00:00 (link to chat)Who will have the most SB this year? Hamilton or Gordon?
(Phil from Pennsylvania)
Hamilton will go stat-chasing in the final few games and take it. But boy, hasn't that been the most anticlimactic part of this season? Dude's going to end up with like 65 steals. That's so unhistoric. Once I had this idea for an article that was going to look at the most promising potential "events" of the year, like... okay, like Justin Verlander when he seemed likely to throw a no-hitter every game, and he was going up against the league-worst offense (the Padres or something), so what are the odds he'd throw a no-hitter, what actually happened, etc. Or if Chris Davis was facing Bronson Arroyo, four-homer potential, whatever. But I didn't write it because the outcomes were so boring. They just looked like normal games. Davis hit a double. Verlander gave up five hits and one run. Performances that were neither interesting because of how extremely good or because of extremely, counterintuitively, bad--just banal, unexceptional, games like any other game. Anyway, that's sort of how I feel about Hamilton this year. I wish he has 11 stolen bases and 65 CS, or 110 stolen bases and 4 CSs, but instead he's just a normal fast guy with normal fast-guy baserunning numbers. There's just NEVER that much space between the outliers and the rest in this stupid sport. (Except Bonds and Pedro.) (Sam Miller)
2014-07-28 19:00:00 (link to chat)You're Dave Dombroski. What do you do this trade deadline, what do you do in August, what do you do in the offseason?
(Francis from Boston)
Hooray, I'm Dave Dombrowski! Finally I look good in striped polos. Well I'm running out of prospects as well as Prospect Erector Sets, so a lefty reliever is all I can afford this year. Andrew Miller coming back to Detroit for that purpose would be super cool, but I would NOT give up what was traded for Miller the last time. In the offseason I begrudgingly let Max Scherzer get his money somewhere and ask really nicely if Justin Verlander wants to spend his money on a right fielder. (Matt Sussman)
2014-07-25 14:00:00 (link to chat)Miggy made comments over the ASB suggesting that Justin Verlander may not be fully recovered from off-season surgery. Do you see anything in his delivery that confirms this? He still seems to be able to go out there every 5th day, he's just not his usual dominant self. Could this explain the decreased velocity, as he just is not able to have as much power/momentum as usual? Wouldn't that show up when watching him? He doesn't appear to be hurting on the mound...I guess I'm just curious as to how he can go out there every 5th day, not look like he's hurting, perform ok, yet still be hurt without people noticing?
(The Dude from Office)
I wrote about Verlander about a month ago:

The off-season surgery could be negatively impacting his torque, and therefore velocity, but the velo concerns about Verlander have been largely overblown. He has lost about 0.5 mph per year over the past few years, so this year's 0.7 mph drop is not an anomaly so much as a continued trend.

This does bring up the point that player's are not have the same functionality every day, and that performing at something less than 100% is part of a ballplayer's reality. This is why I eschew the term, "True Talent," because a player's talent level is continuously dynamic due to health (both physical and mental), coaching/training/conditioning, and more.

On the jukebox: Pink Floyd, "Sheep" (Doug Thorburn)
2014-06-27 14:00:00 (link to chat)What pitchers would you be targeting as buys/sells right now?
(Shawnykid23 from CT)
The buys: Justin Verlander, Matt Cain, Doug Fister
The sells: Johnny Cueto, Scott Kazmir, Garrett Richards (Doug Thorburn)
2014-06-11 12:00:00 (link to chat)How much would Justin Verlander get as a free agent this offseason if he hadn't signed his extension?
(daren from Visalia)
He'd probably still get a ton. I don't know that he'd get $140 million, but he very well might. Teams need pitching badly, and Verlander, though he hasn't Verlanded as much this season, was still widely seen as one of the best starters in baseball as recently as three months ago. Remember him in the post-season last year? I sure as heck do. Wow. Someone would pony up for that. Remember, what a player gets is as much about how good he is as who is doing the bidding. Think the Yankees wouldn't want Verlander? And the Dodgers want everyone, so. I'll say he gets $139 million. Less, but... (Matthew Kory)
2014-06-11 12:00:00 (link to chat)In an ESPN Standard 10-team 12 Keeper league, I have Springer and Taveras in a loaded outfield (B. Hamilton, Trout, Braun, Puig, Ellsbury)...looking to move one or two of them. Generally speaking, is receiving a top flight SP enough in a straight up deal here or should I target elite positional players instead? Also, in such a league, how hesitant should I be to trade the younger prospects over the established guys?
(pmitchell60 from NOLA)
I'm so not a fantasy guy, but this one is interesting for a few reasons. Generally speaking I think we over-rate young players. There's so much volatility (a word I consistently misspell) that getting established stars (to the extent such a thing exists) has great value. Without more specifics, if you can win this year, it's worth it to give up youth.

As for pitching vs. position players, we all know how crazy pitchers are. Sam Miller wrote a tremendous piece that you should all read on Justin Verlander. Verlander, you may recall, was the best pitcher in baseball or close to it and Sam makes a convincing case that he's not that anymore. He's 31. Remember how everyone kept saying Roy Halladay was a horse and an innings eater and he ate innings for breakfast with no repercussions and you could just put him out and his arm could absorb endless abuse and then his arm blew up and that was it? Pitchers are so all over the place.

And now my coffee has arrived! Hooray! (Matthew Kory)
2014-06-17 20:00:00 (link to chat)So,I own Justin Verlander. I'm presuming there'there's nothing to do but hope he figures it out, as it's unrealistic to expect a good offer. What do you think?
(Dave from anytown, usa)
We definitely agree that it's a local minimum in terms of his value. As a result, unless you think this is going to end up as some kind of midpoint in an ongoing trend where his value continues to decline, you're better off holding on and hoping he can rectify the poor trends in both his peripherals and actual results. If you're pretty sure it's not going to get better, you might as well shop for the best offer you can get from another owner that still believes. (Scoresheet Chat with Ben, Jared, and Ian)
2014-05-15 20:00:00 (link to chat)25 February 2014 Team A trades $9 JJ Hardy and $10 Brian Dozier to Team B for $38 Justin Verlander Contract years are the same for all players. Team A was willing to give up 43 middle infield home runs in order to get Verlander, letting Team B off a pre-auction high salary hook. Dynasty league with salary inflation to kick in next year, normal $260 limit at auction. Unlimited keepers so long as under the salary limit. Now the team that traded for Verlander wants to trade him back to the same owner. Its clearly a dump trade. One thing that is bothersome besides the fact that were about two months before normal dumping time is that the dumping Team A is in THIRD PLACE in a league of 15 teams: #3 Team A trades $38 Justin Verlander and $12 Chase Utley to #1 Team B $1 Jose Fernandez and $1 Jedd Gyorko As a commissioner, would you allow this trade or call for a vote?
(TeamPineTar from KC)
As commissioner, the first thing I would do is eliminate trade vetoes. (Bret Sayre)
2014-05-21 13:00:00 (link to chat)I just traded Julio Teheran for Justin Verlander. Even trade or will Teheran continue to outperform Verlander ROS?
(cubfan131 from IA)
That's a perfect sell-high, buy-low. That phrase is used too often and usually unrealistically ("sell high on Alfredo Simon!" ... yeah cool, cuz I can totally get Stanton for him... GTFOHWTS!!!) I LOVE Teheran (he is my NL Cy Young pick), but there is at least *some* regression coming in those numbers while I believe Verlander will iron himself out as the season evolves. Might feel scary after last night from the pair, but I like it. (Paul Sporer)
2014-04-08 14:00:00 (link to chat)Do you buy Justin Verlander's claim that his core muscle issue was behind his disappointing 2013 season? Would that kind of issue affect his command and velocity?
(Otto from Cleveland)
It could certainly be related, and it supports some of the visual evidence from last season. He appeared to be off-line for much of last year, as if an invisible wall was pushing him to the glove side, an element which compromised his positioning at release point and therefore impacting his pitch command. A core issue would most certainly impact velo as well, given the critical role of the core muscles in generating torque. It is interesting that he improved so drastically at the end of the year, so one has to wonder if the core issue was feeling better or if that element was not solely responsible for the issue (while appreciating the cascade effect of injuries, in which pitchers compensate their mechanics to play through pain). (Doug Thorburn)
2014-04-08 14:00:00 (link to chat)Hi, thanks for taking time out to do the chat. I've got 2 questions for you please: Albero Tirado - what do see as his ceiling, and what do you think he'll settle in as? Justin Verlander - how worried should we be about 5 Ks in 14 IP? Cheers, Daff
(Daff38 from Sheffield, UK)
My pleasure, Daff. I really enjoy these chats - it's one of the perks of the trade.

I wish I could go in-depth on Alberto Tirado, but I haven't seen him pitch yet so I'll have to defer to our awesome prospect team. I'm also not too worried about Verlander - he has the stuff, the delivery, and the track record to feel confident going forward. Small sample caveats aside, if there are still things that he is honing then I trust his ability to make those adjustments, and he can be effective even while at something less than peak form. (Doug Thorburn)
2014-03-24 13:00:00 (link to chat)Justin Verlander recently said he believes that the undiagnosed core muscle injury he addressed this offseason likely contributed to his mechanical and performance problems in 2013. Without knowing the extent of the injury, how plausible does that explanation sound? What sorts of effects might you expect a core/groin issue to have on a pitcher's velocity, command, mechanics, etc.?
(Michael from IL)
I find it plausible. His command was the biggest problem (also some velo issues) during that lull so it doesn't surprise me to see him suggest it was a problem. I'm very excited for his 2014, though. (Paul Sporer)
2014-02-28 14:00:00 (link to chat)We alway hear that certain lefty pitchers throw a great curve but the same kind of reverance isn't given out to righty's. Now is that due to camera angle always being over the pitchers right shoulder providing a more open angle to see the action of the curve or is there something to lefty's that throw sick curveball's like Zito in his day?
(Chris from Phoenix)
Is that true? I feel that there are plenty of righty curveballs that deserve praise, but I think that fastball velocity comes into play here. For example, Justin Verlander has an 80 curve yet it is typically overshadowed by his 80-grade heater. Lefties tend to have lesser velocity due to the fact that we are plucking 35-40% of the pitcher pool from a group that makes up 10% of the population, so the thresholds of expectation have to be lowered. For that reason, I think that secondaries often gain more attention from southpaws given the commonly underwhelming velocity.

On the jukebox: Dredg, "Gathering Pebbles" (Doug Thorburn)
2014-02-03 13:00:00 (link to chat)Realistic expectations for Justin Verlander in 2014?
(Sandy from Minnesota)
210~ Innings of SP2-3 baseball. Mid 3 ERA, good K rates, a few clunkers mixed in but overall still a very good pitcher. (Mauricio Rubio)
2014-01-21 18:00:00 (link to chat)Verlander has a defense behind him finally. Return to historical norms in sight or start of the precipitous adding curve decline?
(twtw from boulder)
Justin Verlander was a lot better in the second half due to a mechanical adjustment the team made that improved his velocity. If he's healthy this year, he bounces back quite a bit. I don't see the defense improving him as much as the fact that he's just a stud/workhorse when he's on. (Mike Gianella)
2013-12-20 14:00:00 (link to chat) Do you think Justin Verlander's mechanics will allow him to hold up for the majority of his contract, and do you think he will figure out how to pitch like his former self at a diminished velocity?
(Greyson from Richmond)
I think that Verlander's mechanics are more than fine, and the only wrinkle is a stiff landing leg. He did lose his delivery for a stretch last season, in which it looked almost as if an invisible wall was pushing him off his line of kinetic energy, causing him to veer to the left (glove-side) of his ideal delivery. He fixed the issue by September, and his velocity was vintage Verlander in September-October ... considering that most pitchers lose velo near the end of the year, his high-octane performance late in the season indicates that he is just fine in terms of velo. (Doug Thorburn)
2013-10-11 14:00:00 (link to chat)Thanks for the chat, always enjoyable. Any insights into how Justin Verlander regained his form in his last few regular season starts and carried that into the series with the A's. It was a treat to watch. Hot streak or actual mechanical adjustments?
(Jim H from Sphinx Park, CO)
Verlander has been tinkering with his delivery all season, and for much of the year he was struggling to repeat the balance and stride elements of his motion - which wreaked havoc on pitch command. He finally found his signature delivery near the end of the season, giving him the pitch repetition and command that make him one of the best pitchers in the game. Pitch command can be the difference between elite and simply good, and Verlander was a living testament to the phenomenon for much of the year.

I have often said that Verlander is like his own power reliever, as his ability to build velocity within a game gives batters several different looks over the course of 7 or 8 innings - we saw this yesterday, with the A's swinging through fastball after fastball and unable to lock down the timing on his heat. (Doug Thorburn)
2013-10-17 13:00:00 (link to chat)Justin Verlander surged at the end of the year. Do you expect the 2012 version of Verlander next year, or is this a starting pitcher finally showing signs of age and wear?
(SenatorsGuy from Montana)
can I say both? I expect his mechanical fixes to last (apparently his release point got out of whack) but I wouldn't be surprised if he loses a tick as 2014/2015 go by. (Harry Pavlidis)
2013-07-29 11:00:00 (link to chat)Among others, Cole Hamels, Justin Verlander, and CC Sabathia are #1's having more mortal 2013 seasons. Fluky seasons, or reasons to be concerned?
(Sara from Tacoma)
Add Matt Cain to this list also, and yes I would be very concerned. The teams made major investments in these pitchers and the lack of performance is always a reason to be concerned. (Zach Mortimer)
2013-07-08 14:00:00 (link to chat)Re: Jonathan Gray. How does what you say about liking his mechanics mesh with what other scouts said about his "stiff front leg" perhaps relegating him to the bullpen? Are you just looking for different things?
(Seth from SF)
It is all about how we judge specific elements such as that stiff landing leg, as well as looking at and emphasizing different aspects. I do prefer to see more flex in the front knee from foot strike into release point, rather than a stiff front leg, but it is not nearly such a big issue as to relegate him to the bullpen. Justin Verlander has always had a very stiff landing leg, yet he seems to do just fine in the starting rotation. (Doug Thorburn)
2013-06-20 13:00:00 (link to chat)Paul, What is your perfect adult beverage? Perfect adult female? And perfect adult baseball player?
(Tony from Home)
Probably some wine, I don't drink much anymore & I wouldn't know a good beer if it bit me in the face; Scarlett Johannson still holding my top spot though it's contentious; and Justin Verlander with Allen Craig being my favorite non-Tiger (Paul Sporer)
2013-05-15 13:00:00 (link to chat)We heard a lot early in the season about velocity loss among some of the top pitchers this year, such as Justin Verlander and CC Sabathia. How much of the loss is "real," and how much does it matter for those pitchers?
(Dan Rozenson from Washington, DC)
it's real and it's spectacular. Well, maybe not spectacular. The Verlander theory I like best is he was maxing out pre-contract, and now he doesn't need to go full bore to stand out as an elite arm. Thing is, he is an elite arm even without the 100 mph stuff. His curve is nasty and he commands it and his velocity is plenty fine. CC is just a guy with a ton of innings on him, there's no way he would throw that hard forever. He's a pitcher and not a thrower, so, again, he should be just fine. (Harry Pavlidis)
2013-05-10 14:00:00 (link to chat)Hey, Doug. I always enjoy your work. Jonathon Gray, Oklahoma: I can see a lot of power, but it looks like a stiff landing leg. If so what are the long-term, short-term implications? Thanks.
(CyMature from Western Mass)
I am not a fan of the stiff landing leg in general, as it inhibits a pitcher's ability to track closer to the plate after foot strike. Pitchers with some flex in the knee of the landing leg are able to reap benefits for distance at release point. It is not a major issue, and should not hurt his draft stock or anything, but it is something that I would personally address if my team drafted him. Of course, a stiff landing leg hasn't stopped Justin Verlander from being the best pitcher on the planet.

On the jukebox: Thrice, "Stare at the Sun" (Doug Thorburn)
2013-03-19 13:00:00 (link to chat)What do you think are the most interesting story lines heading into the season?
(Frahm from The Hills)
Mike Trout is always an amazing storyline. PECOTA has him taking a sizable step back yet still being (I think) the fifth best player in baseball by WARP. That's how nuts he was last season. Can he do it, or realistically, some large portion of it, again? I can't wait to find out.

The other one is obvious too, but I think Bryce Harper is going to get serious MVP consideration this season. Can Justin Verlander do it again? Are the Yankees finally done? Can the Dodgers add more talent (and payroll) at the deadline? Can the Dodgers win or are they some bloated mess? (I'm rooting for both.) Will the Astros lose 110? 120? 206? (Matthew Kory)
2013-02-27 20:00:00 (link to chat)In my AL-only Dynasty Lg, I acquired Mike Moustakas, Addison Reed, Byron Buxton and the 6th overall pick for Justin Verlander & my 10th, 11th and 12th round picks. Was this a good pick-up, considering that I have Matt Moore, Yu Darvish, Derek Holland and Tommy Milone as my top starters
(jlarsen from Chicago)
Hard to say considering I don't know what those picks would typically fetch in your league. That seems like a lot to give up since it's an AL-only. Your staff looks deep, but this isn't a mixed. I do like Buxton a lot, but I don't like the idea of giving up Verlander without getting a top hitter back. I have been burned in the past dealing an ace pitcher for a package of players rather than one big hitter in return. (Mike Gianella)
2013-02-22 13:00:00 (link to chat)Gimme a factoid
(Rich from San Francisco)
Oooh, I will try to come up with something original if I can this hour, but my favorite factoid that I came up with in the past month was this: Craig Kimbrel had more three-pitch strikeouts in 2012 than Justin Verlander. (Sam Miller)
2013-03-01 13:00:00 (link to chat)Loved thr article on velocity risers. You mention creating hip-shoulder separation as a key element to doing it, and single out the possibility of delaying trunk rotation. Justin Verlander seems to do that really well. Are there specific pitchers you think could find an extra tick or two by just rotating earlier with their lower half, headed into a new season?
(Matt Trueblood from Fridley, MN)
Great question and awesome observation on Verlander. His torque is incredible, with a killer combination of upper-body load, delayed trunk rotation, and mechanical repetition.

There are a umber of pitchers who tend to rotate the hips very late, choosing to fire hips and shoulders together, though this technique places the kinetic responsibility lower on the chain. Some of the pitchers who use this "hip whip," and who would likely benefit from greater hip-shoulder separation include: Mike Fiers, Mike Minor, Matt Harrison, and Clayton Kershaw.

Kershaw's strategy is more than likely tied to his hip problems, and he is the #1 pitcher that I would like to see find a more efficient method for generating torque. The problem is that he has recently found his ideal timing, after years of struggling with repetition, and making such an adjustment could set him back for a stretch while he coordinated the new mechanics. So it's hard to fault the team for not making an adjustment.

On the jukebox: Pantera, "Cemetery Gates" (Doug Thorburn)
2013-02-26 14:00:00 (link to chat)When you think of The Face of MLB...what five ballplayers first come to mind?
(High Life Man from Avon, CT)
From a baseball business standpoint, that's an interesting question. The first five that jumped to mind were Derek Jeter, Albert Pujols, Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera, and Mike Trout. (Daniel Rathman)
2013-01-22 13:00:00 (link to chat)Clayton Kershaw, David Price and Justin Verlander walk into the Owner's Meeting. Who walks out with the biggest contract and for what amount?
(Scott Boras from Columbia, CT)
Probably Kershaw because of the age. Beats me on the amount. Something unprecedented (for pitchers) with a lot of zeroes. All three would get paid extremely well. (R.J. Anderson)
2012-10-25 13:00:00 (link to chat)is there any truth to the rumour that Verlander punched Jeff Jones in the mouth after the game?
(marinersstill from henderson, nv)
I'm not sure Justin Verlander actually knows who Jeff Jones is. That look of amusement on his face when Jones came out? It looked like what outfielders look like when a streaker runs onto the field. The inquisitive question that everybody interpreted as "why are you out here?" I think it was "lol who are you?"

As for the "rumour," I know you are just spreading lies and subterfuge because you hate America. "Nevada." Yeah sure okay, Canadian. (Sam Miller)
2012-09-20 13:00:00 (link to chat)In your notes you frequently use the term "near elite" I understand that is there due to the obvious rarity of truly elite tools/pitches. What are some of the tools/pitches you've seen that you'd call truly elite?
(Klochner from MN)
Bill Hamilton's speed; Mike Trout's hit tool/speed tool/baseball tool; Neftali Feliz's fastball; everything Justin Verlander does; everything Miguel Cabrera does with the bat; Profar's instincts; Bryce Harper's raw power, etc. (Jason Parks)
2012-04-23 14:00:00 (link to chat)Has Justin Verlander shown anything so far that leads you to believe he can NOT reproduce the season he had last year?
(toadhunter911 from Eastpointe. MI)
He hasn't, but he's a pitcher so he's saddled with the inherent infallibility (did I spell that right?) of his kind. His arm/shoulder/elbow could explode at any moment. I don't expect it to, but that's always the danger. He's pretty awesome though and so far has been every bit the force he was last year. (Matthew Kory)
2012-04-23 14:00:00 (link to chat)In a 12 team mixed H2H league. 26 man 6x6 scoring. I have Jose Reyes and Dee Gordon, Gordon doesn't see much time, and I need SP help. What should I expect in return for Reyes and what for Gordon? I have been told for Reyes a top tier SP + B bat/B arm...people have scoffed at such offers though. Thinking Gordon could get Lohse type pitcher. Thoughts?
(MartinRiggs from Toronto)
OK, I'm really not much of a fantasy guy, but I'm learning. Reyes is a huge talent and plays in a big market. You very well could get some real pitching talent for him. As for Gordon, it probably depends on how desperate/smart the other people in your league are. I'd stay away from Lohse though. He's been excellent this year, but nobody, not Roy Halladay or Justin Verlander, is as good as he's been. (Matthew Kory)
2012-02-13 13:00:00 (link to chat)What is Jacob Turner's ceiling.......a poor man's Justin Verlander or a rich man's Rick Porcello?
(Rooney from King of Prussa)
He's actually not like either of this pitchers. (Kevin Goldstein)
2012-02-07 13:00:00 (link to chat)Is this the new lazy comp: College pitcher with huge stuff and mediocre numbers=Justin Verlander? I thought maybe it made some sense when applied to Gerrit Cole, but I read it applied to Mark Appel recently, and am afraid it's going to be the new thing.
(Ian from Columbus, OH)
I'm with you. It's a horrible comp. I love how we act like Justin Verlander's numbers were mediocre. In his Junior year he had 151 Ks in 105.1 innings. That's not mediocre. Also, so I can hype it, LONG chat on Monday to got with the unveiling of the Top 101. (Kevin Goldstein)
2011-08-26 16:00:00 (link to chat)What are your thoughts on a pitcher winning the MVP? Could Justin Verlander win the AL Cy Young and AL MVP this year?
(The Rose from Michigan)
I see both sides of the argument. Verlander certainly could. (John Coppolella)
2011-08-17 13:00:00 (link to chat)You're the new Angels GM. 2012 is coming, and all signs seem to point that Jered Weaver is going to go to free agency after that season, assuming the Mayans weren't right about the world ending. What's your: A) maximum offer to Weaver in hopes of signing an extension with the Angels. B) maximum offer to Weaver if he goes on the FA market C) If you believe your max offers won't get the job done, do you trade him before July 31, 2012?
(WestCoastMets from Los Angeles, CA)
The Angels had the perfect opportunity to lock up Weaver last season, at the industry-approved 5 years, $75 million that Felix Hernandez and Justin Verlander re-upped for. Instead, they took him to arbitration over $1 million after giving him what was probably an unreasonably low offer. I don't think there's a great chance they sign him after 2012, and I doubt they'll have a particularly constructive negotiation with him this off-season.

I'm not sure I'd trade him before he hits free agency, though. The Angels have a mini-window in 2012 before pretty much their entire team hits free agency, and if I rebuild I probably do it after that. (Sam Miller)
2011-01-18 13:00:00 (link to chat)I've got an outfield heavy team in an 11 team, standard 5x5 league with 5 keepers (boring, I know). I'm currently thinking David Wright, Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Justin Verlander and Matt Latos. But I also have Jay Bruce, Colby Rasmus and Cole Hamels as options. I've recently had the skill of kicking ass drafting starting pitching in the 9th-15th rounds, but who knows if that continues... Am I keeping the worst OF in Upton just because of hype? Which five of those eight do you keep?
(Adam from Philly)
I would see what you can get in a trade for Upton--I think he turns into something great, but you might find someone who buys him on the hype of his turning into even more. I would keep Bruce over Kemp though. Verlander/Latos is the right call for the SP, thanks to their respective parks. (Marc Normandin)
2010-09-21 13:00:00 (link to chat)But whose call was it to draft me first instead of Justin Verlander?
(Matt Bush from Prison?)
Matt Bush is a pitcher now! Also I think a lot of the people responsible for that were cleared out when Sandy Alderson came on board. (Marc Normandin)
2010-09-13 13:00:00 (link to chat)Please fill in the blank. This is the best NL Rookie Class since ________ (blank). Thanks! Bobby
(Bobby from New York)
Are we going strictly by league? Because the 2007 class had Ryan Braun, Troy Tulowitzki, Dustin Pedroia and Josh Hamilton among hitters, Tim Lincecum and Joakim Soria among pitchers. 2006 had Hanley Ramirez, Ryan Zimmerman, Andre Ethier, Prince Fielder, Ian Kinsler, Francisco Liriano, Justin Verlander, Jered Weaver, Josh Johnson, Matt Cain, Cole Hamels, Jonathan Papelbon (who used to not suck), Jonathan Broxton (ditto)...

There's a lot to be excited about with this year's rookie class (Posey, Heyward, Santana, Stanton) but I'm in no rush to appoint them the best class of the past five years until I see much more. (Jay Jaffe)
2009-10-08 14:00:00 (link to chat)I haven't heard anybody talk about this so maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to me that Leyland throwing his closer out there for 3 innings of work seems insane. Is he insane? Did the tigers have no other decent options? or am I an idiot? Thanks, in advance, Joe.
(Chris from Virginia)
I didn't mind riding Rodney, and it's not like he pitched all that poorly. If Raburn doesn't have the brain lock, we're not talking about this. What I would have liked to see, somewhere, some way, was Justin Verlander. Leyland mismanaged the sixth and seventh, which is where he lost the game. (Joe Sheehan)
2008-06-24 13:00:00 (link to chat)Here's a fantasy question for you if you're interested. I'd much appreciate it. Someone in my league just traded Ryan Howard, Justin Verlander, Josh Beckett, Curtis Granderson and Manny Ramirez for Cliff Lee, Ervin Santana, Carlos Gomez, Torii Hunter, Erik Bedard and Garrett Atkins. A lot of people are screaming veto, and I have to agree. The trade doesn't have any 'needs-based' or 'long-term' mitigating factors, either. As an important aside, the team getting the first set of players is in third while the other guy is near the bottom. Would you exercise a veto on this deal? Thanks!
(havens from bristol, CT)
Are we assuming good faith in this deal? Often a league has someone in it who is the Randy Smith of fantasy GMs and just gets suckered by everybody. I think that guy is fair game -- if he wears diapers, he shouldn't have been allowed in the league in the first place. I'm not for exercising the veto except in really apparent cases of dumping... You know, there was a parallel case in actual baseball, where for awhile Bowie Kuhn was negating trades just because he didn't like the players involved. He was actually sitting there and passing judgment on what the GMs were doing. Imagine if Bud Selig came in and said "Mets, you're overpaying for Johan Santana. No deal." That kind of thing was happening, and the more obvious opposite case as well, where he would have said, "Twins, Carlos Gomez isn't good enough. You need to hold out for a better position player or no deal." Like much of Kuhn's reign it was pathetic and unintentionally comical. (Steven Goldman)
2008-05-09 14:00:00 (link to chat)Is the riddle to the Tigers as simple as fixing the pen and letting everything else fall into place?
(Jim Clancy from Exhibition Stadium)
Well, there is still the ironing out of the best possible alignment of their defense and the lineup's needs, and it would be swell if Jeremy Bonderman started living up to our expectations, and Justin Verlander up to everybody's. (Christina Kahrl)
2008-04-15 13:00:00 (link to chat)Has it been proven the a high school pitcher is a bigger injury risk than a college pitcher? If so isn't that almost counter-intuitive? A high school pitcher gets drafted and has the care and watchful eye of a big league club monitoring his work. A college pitcher has his work based solely on the coach he needs to work the player to the max in order to keep his own job.
(Brian from Brooklyn NY)
Rany Jazayerli's series on the draft was, to me, the definitive word on this, but your point is right. I'd look at the college pitchers that weren't abused or that survived it without problems. Justin Verlander seems like the rosetta stone here, but there's just not enough public info. (Will Carroll)
2008-02-07 14:00:00 (link to chat)Now that Santana is out of the American League who do you see as the early favorite to win the Cy Young? Will Sabathia repeat or will someone step up and knock him off his perch?
(Martin from New Jersey)
John Lackey and Felix Hernandez are atop my list. Justin Verlander, because of the run support. (Joe Sheehan)
2008-01-10 13:00:00 (link to chat)Which young pitcher is comparable to Mike Mussina?
(Brian from CA)
Zack Greinke, in many ways.

A more traditional comp would be Justin Verlander. (Joe Sheehan)

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