17:04: The player option in the Verlander deal is also for $ 25MM, reports Jon Heyman of the MLB Network (on Twitter). Basically, it’s a two-year, $ 50MM warranty with a removal option after next season for the ISE Baseball customer.
4:47 pm: Verlander will earn $ 25MM next season, reports Mark Berman of Fox 26 (Twitter link). The deal also contains a 2023 game option.
4:41 pm: Justin Verlander re-signs with the Astros, announced his brother Ben Verlander of Fox Sports on Twitter. The news comes less than an hour after Verlander turned down a one-year, $ 18.4MM qualifying offer from Houston.
It is a bold strike by the reigning champions of the American League, who will keep Verlander over his rotation. The 2011 AL MVP has only appeared in the last two years due to an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery in September 2020. When we last saw him in full force, Verlander was as good as ever. He threw 223 innings of a 2.58 ERA ball in 2019, winning his second career Cy Young award and helping lead Houston to a pennant.
That kind of top-of-the-line production is nothing new for Verlander, an eight-time All-Star and future Hall of Fame. He posted a 2.52 ERA through 214 frames the previous year, and he has an incredible nine seasons of 200+ innings with ERA below 3.50 in his resume. Simply put, few pitchers can match the combination of workload and productivity that Verlander has put together year after year for most of his career.
Of course, there is a real risk that Verlander will not regain his top form coming out of two lost seasons. He will turn 39 in February, so it would be a pretty serious disadvantage even if he didn’t get out of a major arm procedure. The ceiling when investing in a player of this caliber is huge, however, a fact that is reflected in the seemingly robust interest that Verlander has generated during his short stay on the open market. Not only have some of the game’s top spenders been rumored to be involved in its market, Verlander’s deal pretty easily exceeds the projected two-year, $ 40MM figure MLBTR has projected to enter the offseason – especially once one factor in the player- friendly detachment. supply.
The Astros have determined that this is a risk-taking, justifiable attitude since they are right between a win-now window. Even facing the possible departure of Verlander, starting pitching was not exactly a necessity for Houston. Even when Verlander missed the entire 2021, the Astros ’starting staff ranked fifth in ERA (3.60), albeit with a mid-of-the-road strikeout and walking numbers. They face the likely departure of Zack Greinke to free agency and could look into businesses involving Jake Odorizzi this winter. Even still, Houston would return Lance McCullers Jr., Framber Valdez, Luis Garcia, Jose Urquidy and Cristian Javier – one of the stronger rotational cores around the link.
More will come.