justin verlander mets astros
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The trade rumors have been swirling back and forth around the Mets for the past few days. That’s especially been the case on Tuesday with their lone veteran ace left. Just on Monday, it seemed like the Dodgers were in a prime position to complete a Justin Verlander trade. But now? It could be the Houston Astros.

Of course, JV played for the Astros between late 2017 and 2022, winning two World Series titles with the club. He and his family are familiar with the city, the organization, the manager, and the majority of those still on the team. If Verlander were to waive his no-trade clause, would it only be for an Astros return?

From what’s been circulating on the interwebs, the following teams have all been in on the three-time Cy Young Award winner: Orioles, Dodgers, Astros, Braves, and Padres.

San Diego being included sounds weird because they’re not primed for a postseason run at the moment. But still, A.J. Preller likes to go against the grain, so we’ll see how serious they are. Houston has that prior connection with JV that could actually get a deal done. Meanwhile, the Dodgers and Orioles have farm systems worthy of the Mets’ time.

As for the Braves? Well, I can see why Billy Eppler is entertaining the idea (because that’s his job), but no thanks, bro. Hard pass.

Obviously, Verlander isn’t the only starting pitcher available for trade before the deadline. The Detroit Tigers are likely also busy with Michael Lorenzen and Eduardo Rodriguez both up for grabs. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi made it seem like teams will soon look elsewhere for rotation help instead of continuing to try and break the Mets down:

But then, SNY’s Andy Martino provides another plug for the Astros:

Mark Feinsand is also reporting that things have cooled off between New York and Houston Tuesday after getting close to a deal on Monday night:

We obviously don’t know the inner details of what’s going on here. One can imagine Eppler and Mets brass have had an open conversation with Verlander about what’s going on. Along with that, one can also imagine the veteran hurler has expressed his own wants and desires.

If Justin Verlander absolutely wants out of Queens and he’ll only accept a deal to Houston, then that’s what is going to happen. But if he hasn’t signaled he definitely wants to get traded, it’s a more fluid situation.

The latter is my guess because if that’s really what it came down to, there wouldn’t be so much opening bidding getting reported. Then again, that could be a move by the Mets to try and raise the price from Houston.

Who knows? Nobody does, except for a few. We’ll find out soon enough.

You can reach Matt Musico at matt.musico@xlmedia.com. You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.