The New York Mets have begun to face the music as they continue to fall off the pace in the NL playoff race. They traded Max Scherzer to the Texas Rangers earlier this week, and now, it seems like the Justin Verlander domino will soon fall as well, with plenty of contending teams interested in trading for the 40-year old starting pitcher.

With hours left to go before the MLB trade deadline passes, as many as five teams remain in the hunt for Verlander's services. Per Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros, Baltimore Orioles, and Atlanta Braves are vying for the Mets veteran's services. Of course, only one team can come out on top in the Verlander sweepstakes, so it's imperative for teams to move quickly lest they run out of time to find a contingency plan.

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But in addition to those four teams, the mystery team that's reportedly in on Justin Verlander has emerged. Per Jon Heyman, the San Diego Padres are the aforementioned mystery party that's interested in a potential Verlander trade with the Mets.

According to previous reports, Verlander's preference is to land with his former team Astros, the current second-place team in the AL West. The familiarity with the team would do wonders for the Mets veteran who, despite not having the best of seasons in 2023, is still capable of pitching deep into ballgames and has the veteran mettle teams need to remain composed in the stretch run.

The Dodgers are also in need of some reinforcements on the pitching front given the many injuries that have beset their staff this season. However, previous reports stated that they were discouraged by their chances of trading for Justin Verlander.

The current AL East leaders Orioles also need a few upgrades in their starting rotation. Behind Kyle Gibson and Kyle Bradish, the Orioles' starters haven't been convincing. Verlander's veteran nous should be a huge help in cementing the Orioles' place atop the American League.

Meanwhile, the Padres don't exactly make sense as a destination for the 40-year old, as they currently have a 52-55 record, a ways away from the playoff picture in the NL.