If the Rangers wanted to blow it up, they could blow it up spectacularly. Yu Darvish to the Dodgers for all of the prospects. Cole Hamels and money to the Brewers for most of the prospects. Adrian Beltre to the Red Sox for a plurality of the prospects. They could sail into August with a fortified farm system, and all they would have to give up are their hopes and dreams.
However, this brings us to the Greater Theory of Rebuilding and a comic-sans chart that I made a couple years ago for the White Sox.
The answer to this depends entirely on one thing: How much money are the Tigers sending along with Verlander? The 34-year-old is owed $28 million in each of the next two seasons, plus whatever he’s still owed from the 2017 season. If the Tigers want to chip in after determining that owing, say, two-thirds as much money while getting a prospect back is better than watching Verlander’s trade value potentially fall lower, then hey, there’s your answer. If the Tigers’ response is that they want all of the money taken care of by Milwaukee but in return they’ll reduce their expectations for a prospect return, then that’s probably something that could work, too!
If the Tigers want to play that in-the-middle game they’re so fond of in other areas of team development, and demand that they pay nothing or very little while the Brewers give up a major prospect in exchange for a Verlander who doesn’t look like anything like the Verlander who signed this deal to begin with, then, well, we’re all wasting our time a little bit here, aren’t we?