2) The NY Mets are only trading Justin Verlander in a fantasy baseball league
Justin Verlander’s season may not be going the way we wanted it. He’s one of the Mets most responsible for the state of the team being what it is. Trading him is infinitely more likely than Lindor because of the length of contract. Even so, how many teams are going to take on what could be potentially two and a half more years of high paychecks for an aging ace?
If Verlander was pitching well, sure, he’s a mercenary some desperate team might take on. We know a thing or two about desperate teams taking a chance on Verlander. The amount of money the Mets are paying him seems ridiculous at this point given how his year has gone.
Now 8 starts into his season, Verlander is 2-3 with a 4.40 ERA. This includes his successful outing against the New York Yankees last week when he allowed just one run over 6 innings. It was as close to vintage Verlander as we have seen in 2023 and yet it didn't result in a win for him and 6 innings felt slightly short-changed. Hey, recording 18 outs and allowing a single run to score feels like it deserves a victory lap at this point.
Other teams see Verlander floundering and the only way they'd ever add him to their roster via trade is if the Mets hand him over, eat a large part of the contract, and don't ask for much back. Steve Cohen doesn't seem like the kind of guy to admit to defeat. After all of the hype, the jersey sales, and marketing around Verlander, pulling the plug this soon goes against the nature of the owner and logic.