MLB free agency: Justin Verlander re-signs with Astros for a one-year, $ 25 million deal.

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Justin Verlander’s first career outing in free agency didn’t last long. Verlander returns to the Houston Astros after a one-year decline, a $ 18.4 million qualifying bid by Wednesday’s deadline. His younger brother, Ben, broke the news on Twitter.

Verlander has been given a one-year contract worth $ 25 million with player selection for 2023. Because he rejected the qualifying offer this offseason, Verlander will not be eligible to receive it next offseason or any other point in his career going forward.

The soon-to-be 39-year-old Verlander has not pitched since Open Day 2020 due to an elbow injury that would later require Tommy John surgery. By all accounts his rehabilitation has gone well and Verlander will be ready to present coming spring training. The Astros know Verlander’s doctors better than anyone and obviously they felt comfortable re-signing him.

In 2019, his last full and healthy season, Verlander won the AL Cy Young and threw to a 2.58 ERA in league-leading 223 innings with an elite strikeout (12.1 K / 9) and a walk (1.7 BB / 9) numbers. Verlander is a future Hall of Fame and could return to that level as early as 2022, although Tommy John surgery comes with a risk, especially at the age of 39.

With Verlander back in the fold, the Astros are expected to go into the next season with Verlander, Luis Garcia, Lance McCullers Jr., José Urquidy, and Framber Valdez in their rotation in some order. Youngster Cristian Javier could come in as the No. 6 starter or maybe move into a high-leverage role full-time.

Our RJ Anderson ranked Verlander the number 17 free agent on the market. Although he turned down the qualifying offer, the Astros will neither receive nor lose draft picks as compensation for re-signing Verlander.

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