Houston Astros keep ace Justin Verlander with a one-year, $ 25 million

The Houston Astros and right-hander Justin Verlander agreed to a $ 25 million one-year contract with a playing pick for a second season, sources confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday.

Verlander won the U.S. League’s Cy Young Award for Houston in 2019 but appeared only during the 2020 season shortened by a pandemic due to elbow problems. He had surgery to repair an ulnar lateral ligament on September 30, 2020, and missed the entire 2021 season, his last before the end of his contract with the Astros.

He arranged a showcase for about 20 teams earlier this month and looked healthy and sharp, said Astros general manager James Click.

The 38-year-old Verlander rejected the Astros’ $ 18.4 million qualifying offer before agreeing to the contract with the Astros.

Houston acquired Verlander before the 2017 trade deadline, and he helped the Astros win the World Series that year. He was named the AL Championship Series MVP going 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA in the Astros’ seven-game series win over the New York Americans.

Verlander is a two-time Cy Young Award winner, also winning the award in 2011 with the Detroit Tigers as he set career bests with 24 wins and a 2.40 ERA.

The eight-time All-Star is 226-129 in his career with a 3.33 ERA for 17 seasons. He is one of two active pitchers with 3,000 strikeouts (3,013) in his career, along with Max Scherzer, who has accomplished the feat this season.

The details of Verlander’s contract were first reported by FOX 26 in Houston.

Jeff Passan of ESPN and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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