The Detroit Tigers traded longtime ace pitcher Justin Verlander to the Houston Astros in a deadline deal late Thursday night, getting in return three prospects who suited up for the Quad Cities River Bandits.
Those three prospects are RHP Franklin Perez, outfielder Daz Cameron and catcher Jake Rogers. All three played for the River Bandits in 2016 or 2017, with Cameron being a current Quad Cities player at the time of the trade.
After hitting .143 in 21 games with the River Bandits last season, Cameron made great strides (especially in the second half) in his return to the team this year. He batted .271 with 14 HR, 73 RBI and 32 SB in 120 games with Quad Cities this season.
(Cameron is the son of former MLB outfielder Mike Cameron, who played for the South Bend White Sox in 1992 and 1993. You can read how Mike did as a Midwest Leaguer here.)
Assuming Cameron gets assigned to West Michigan — Detroit’s Midwest League affiliate — he potentially could face his former team in the playoffs, if both the Whitecaps and the River Bandits reach the championship series.
Rogers started this season with the River Bandits after batting .208 in 21 games with Quad Cities last year. He hit .255 with 6 HR and 15 RBI this season before being promoted to the High-A Buies Creek Astros, for whom he batted .268 with 12 HR, 55 RBI and 13 SB in 82 games.
Perez pitched for the River Bandits in 2016, going 3-3 with a 2.84 ERA, one save, 75 strikeouts and 19 walks in 66.2 innings (15 games/10 starts). He split this season between Buies Creek and Double-A Corpus Christi, cumulatively going 6-3 with a 3.02 ERA, three saves, 78 strikeouts and 27 walks in 86.1 innings (19 games/16 starts).
Verlander pitched 12 major-league seasons for the Tigers, with his best year being 2011, when he won the American League Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards after going 24-5 with a 2.40 ERA, two shutouts, 250 strikeouts and 57 walks in 251 innings (34 starts). This season he is 10-8 with a 3.82 ERA, 176 strikeouts and 67 walks in 172 innings (28 starts).
Verlander’s brother Ben played 56 games with the 2014 Whitecaps. The outfielder batted .208 with 1 HR and 23 RBI. He went on to play for the High-A Lakeland Flying Tigers in 2015, 2016 and 2017. This year he batted .230 with 1 HR and 14 RBI in 49 games before being released by the Tigers on June 23.