The Detroit Tigers and Houston Astros pulled off a last-second blockbluster deal that sent former Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander to the first-place Astros, minutes before the 11:59 ET trade deadline Thursday evening.
A person with direct knowledge of the deal told USA TODAY Sports that the deal was completed, ending a day of drama that had the erstwhile Tigers franchise pitcher in and out of a deal to the Astros, who have the best record in the American League.
Verlander has up to $78 million remaining on his contract and full no-trade protection, which made a deal burdensome. But the two clubs got it done with not more than seconds to spare before Verlander would no longer be postseason-eligible for the Astros this year.
So ends the Verlander era in Detroit, which began with the right-hander winning the 2006 American League Rookie of the Year award and ended 11 years later with 183 wins, a Cy Young and MVP award in 2012, five top-5 Cy Young finishes and two trips to the World Series.
That's exactly what the Astros are hoping to get from Verlander, 34, who is making $28 million this season and in 2018-19. There is a $22 million vesting option for 2020.
Contributing: Anthony Fenech