After an early-season injury and a few resulting scuffles, 40-year-old Justin Verlander has been the same old JV throughout most of the first half for the 2023 New York Mets, a disaster wrapped in an enigma wrapped in foie gras. That's great news for the Dodgers.
According to Ken Rosenthal's notes column from Sunday night, Verlander's open eyes have led him to reconsider a trade in the wake of the Mets' unceremonious dumping of Max Scherzer to the Texas Rangers. “When you see that happen, you can’t help but think what it says for next year," Verlander stated in the wake of the trade, openly wondering whether he'd prefer to spend his age-41 season with a competitive team.
The Dodgers can be, and always have been, that competitive team. While a return to the Astros would seem to be a more comfortable landing spot for Verlander and his family (do they still have that house?), Rosenthal asserts that buzz surrounding a potential Dodgers fit continues to grow.
The Dodgers certainly need starting pitching. It would help if that starting pitching had a postseason pedigree. It would also seem beneficial if said starter had a 1.43 ERA in his last seven starts. Check, check, check.
Dodgers and Justin Verlander buzz growing louder after Max Scherzer trade
According to Rosenthal, the Dodgers-Verlander chatter is growing, though Los Angeles would likely be a bit uncomfortable with the vesting option that guarantees the righty an expensive 2025 season if he hits 140 innings next year ($35 million).
Think about it, though. Sure, that might make the Dodgers a little hot under the collar, but which MLB teams can swallow that sum with relative ease? The Mets and the Dodgers. Alright. Great. Get it done.
Mets GM Billy Eppler spoke on the record Saturday night and attempted to assure everyone that this was neither a fire sale nor a liquidation, but rather a "repurposing" of Steve Cohen's billions. This season came with monstrous expectations, though, despite the knee-jerk reaction that it seemed a bit ridiculous to use a $500 million sum to bring back last year's roster, but swap Verlander in for Jacob deGrom. Had the Mets really gotten that much better? Answer: Nope.
Whether it's a fire sale, liquidation, tomato, or to-mah-to, it can certainly be classified as a massive failure. Before the Mets outbid the field on both Verlander and Scherzer, the Dodgers were reportedly in on both. It couldn't hurt to try again and grab one of the few pieces that's worked in Flushing this year.