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Tigers trade Verlander, Upton as rebuilding process begins

Sep 1, 2017

The Detroit Tigers have two fewer Justins today.

Earlier yesterday, Detroit traded outfielder Justin Upton to the Los Angeles Angels for minor league pitcher Grayson Long and a player to be named later.

Upton, 30, was in his second season in Detroit. This year, he has a .279 batting average, 28 home runs and 94 runs batted in. After the season, he would have been able to opt out of his six-year contract with the Tigers.

The trade, and Upton's subsequent new team photo prompted this Tweet from pitcher Justin Verlander:

Later that night, the team traded Verlander to the Houston Astros.

The Tigers will receive three prospects in return. Right-handed pitcher Franklin Perez, outfielder Daz Cameron and catcher Jake Rogers have all been playing in the Astros' minor league system.

Verlander, 34, had played his entire career with Detroit and was a fan favorite. In 2006, the right-hander was the American League Rookie of the Year. In 2011, he pitched his second no-hitter, won the Cy Young Award as the American League's top pitcher and was also named the league's Most Valuable Player.

You can watch that no hitter below:

Verlander's career record with the Tigers is 183 - 114. He is 10 - 8 this season with an earned run average of 3.82. 

Detroit has struggled this season and the moves allow Upton and Verlander to join teams that still have playoff hopes.

The deals also confirm that the Tigers are entering a rebuilding period.