The good news for Tigers fans is that according to Jon Paul Morosi a couple of sources say it is unlikely that the Tigers trade Miguel Cabrera this week. Salary relief would of course be nice, but Morosi raises another good point. Trading away a team’s best player likely sends the wrong message to the player you’d like to keep around.
Verlander, who is on the verge of receiving a big raise in salary arbitration, is on track to become a free agent after the 2011 season. If the Tigers trade prominent players such as Granderson and Jackson, they may have a difficult time convincing Verlander to remain in Detroit for the long term.
It’s quite the conundrum for the Tigers. The cash saved by in the future by moving Miguel Cabrera or Curtis Granderson would certainly help with the flexibility to sign Justin Verlander but it would also make the climate less attractive. Verlander will get his money regardless so he’ll be able to look for a favorable situation.
As for what it will take to sign Verlander, we can start by looking at some rumors swirling around Felix Hernandez who like Verlander is 2 years removed from free agency. Ken Rosenthal reports that the two sides are far apart on a long term deal where the starting point was a 4 year $45 million offer.
Hernandez should command more because as good as Verlander has been, King Felix has been better and is 3 years younger. Still, it would take probably $20 million to buy out Verlander’s 2 arbitration years and then $15-18 million per year after that at least.