By now, everyone knows that New York Mets starting pitcher Justin Verlander is on the trade block. After New York parted ways with Max Scherzer on Saturday night, there's little doubt that the Mets are going to be sellers at the MLB trade deadline.
There has been speculation that the Cincinnati Reds could be involved in trade talks to acquire New York's other ace, former Cy Young Award-winner Justin Verlander.
While this would fill that need of a veteran starter who's controllable beyond the 2023 season, Verlander isn't exactly who Cincinnati should be targeting at the trade deadline. What are three reasons the Reds should avoid trading for Verlander?
1. The asking price for Justin Verlander would cost the Reds a top prospect.
So what's the market look like for an aging starting pitcher like Justin Verlander? Well, the New York Mets basically set the market for such a deal after trading Max Scherzer on Saturday night.
In exchange for Scherzer, the Mets received Luisangel Acuña. The younger brother of Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuña Jr., the outfield prospect is ranked among the Top 100 prospects in all of baseball according to MLB Pipeline.
The Mets are paying down quite a bit of Scherzer's salary in order to secure a prospect like Acuña. With the deep pockets of Steve Cohen, one would think the Mets owner would have no problem taking a similar approach if New York decides to deal Verlander before Tuesday's deadline.
Verlander has a full no-trade clause and is owed $43-million next season. Honestly, with so little money committed to the 2024 payroll, the Cincinnati Reds could take on Verlander's contract without any cash attached.
A trade involving Justin Verlander would likely cost the Reds a top prospect like Edwin Arroyo, Cam Collier, or Carlos Jorge. While all three are years away from the big leagues, Nick Krall has stated that he's looking for sustainability. That cannot be achieved by dealing a young prospect for an aging veteran pitcher with a gigantic contract.