Justin Verlander re-signs with Astros on one-year, $25 million deal
Justin Verlander’s first career raid representation didn’t last long. Verlander is returning to the Houston Astros after declining the one-year, $18.4 million qualifying offer before Wednesday’s deadline. His younger brother, Ben, broke the news on Twitter.
🚨IT’S OFFICIAL🚨@JustinVerlander is signing with Houston Astros!!
— Ben Verlander (@BenVerlander) November 17, 2021
Verlander received a one-year contract worth $25 million with a player option for 2023. Because he rejected the qualifying offer this offseason, Verlander won’t be eligible to receive it next offseason or the other point in his career moving forward.
The soon-to-be 39-year-old Verlander has not pitched since Opening Day 2020 due to an elbow injury that might later require Tommy John surgery. By all accounts his rehab has gone well and Verlander are going to be able to pitch come preseason . The Astros know Verlander’s medicals better than anyone and clearly they felt comfortable re-signing him.
In 2019, his last full and health season, Verlander won the AL Young and pitched to a 2.58 ERA during a league-leading 223 innings with elite strikeout (12.1 K/9) and walk (1.7 BB/9) numbers. Verlander may be a future Hall of Famer and will return thereto level directly in 2022, though Tommy John surgery comes with risk, especially at age 39.
With Verlander back within the fold, the Astros are expected to travel into next season with Verlander, Luis Garcia, Lance McCullers Jr., José Urquidy, and Framber Valdez in their rotation in some order. Youngster Cristian Javier could squeeze because the No. 6 starter or potentially enter a high-leverage bullpen role full-time.
Our R.J. Anderson ranked Verlander the No. 17 free agent on the market. Although he declined the qualifying offer, the Astros will neither receive nor forfeit draft picks as compensation for re-signing Verlander.