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Astros Almost Acquire Justin Verlander, Then Don't?

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Colorado Rockies Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

What the heck just happened?

Earlier tonight, Chris McCosky of the Detroit News reported the Astros were very close to acquiring Justin Verlander from the Tigers.

Not ten minutes later...the deal was off.

The Tigers and Astros, if you choose to believe it, agreed to Daz Cameron, Franklin Perez and Jake Rogers for Verlander, a veteran of 13 seasons with Detroit, runner-up for the Cy Young last season and subject to many a Houston rumor this season.

The repercussions of this no-deal are still substantial. If the reports are true, Jeff Luhnow went for what would have been one of the biggest August blockbuster deals since the Dodgers-Red Sox mega salary dump of 2012, a shift from the perception of his deadline dealings in July. Regardless of your opinion on whether or not prospects should have been dealt to fortify the MLB roster, Luhnow's actions support the idea that upgrading the roster was definitely a focus after a rough month of August for the club.

A trade report like this getting out into the media rarely happens when the Astros are involved. The initial reports coming from a Detroit writer, though suggest the story broke from the Tigers end. And what about no-trade clauses? Luhnow took some heat in 2016 for "complaining" about his dealings being affected by player no-trade clauses. Cole Hamels and Jonathan Lucroy were heavily rumored the last two seasons to Houston, but wouldn't waive NTCs to do so. None of this was confirmed, but this one is concrete if true - Verlander didn't want to come to Houston, for whatever reason.

So, it's been an interesting night for trade dealings in August, which again, almost never happens. At 10:15 Verlander was nearly an Astro, and at 10:25 everything was back to "normal" - as if anything can be normal when a team gets that close to a trade for Justin Verlander.


McCosky is now saying it isn’t clear if the deal failed because of Verlander’s no-trade clause or it was the Astros pulling out. The additional tweet screams of a sports writer trying to mend fences since Verlander will still be in town at least until the offseason.