The waiver trade deadline has come and gone for 2017, but, unlike most years, yesterday’s was very action-packed. The epicenter of that action was Detroit, Michigan, where the Tigers traded two high priced big-name players. Thursday afternoon, the Tigers unloaded Justin Upton, sending him to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. General Manager Al Avila didn’t stop there. Late Thursday night, he traded Justin Verlander to the Houston Astros for three prospects. Third-ranked Astros prospect, pitcher Franklin Perez headlines the haul headed to the Motor City. Houston also claimed outfielder Cameron Maybin off waivers from the Angels on Thursday.
Verlander’s acquisition should once again make the Astros the favorites to make the World Series in the American League. This move gives them an elite top duo of Dallas Keuchel and Verlander in their rotation. Until yesterday, Houston’s biggest postseason flaw was their rotation behind Keuchel. Now they look positioned to make a deep run late into October. They finally have enough pitching that should be capable of winning the low-scoring pitching duels that postseason baseball is all about.
This trade came a month later than it probably should have, but at least the Astros front office stepped up and realized that when you have been the best team in the American League almost all year, you have to do whatever it takes to ensure that October will be no different. Even though Houston looks to be positioned amongst the AL’s elite for years to come, there are no guarantees in baseball.
The Astros, on paper, have what it takes to win the last game of the year. Now they just have to do it on the diamond.