Justin Verlander

#35 SP / Houston Astros / EXP: 15YRS Height: 6-5 Weight: 225 lb Age: 38 College: None Bats/Throws R/R

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  • Verlander (elbow) agreed to a one-year, $25 million contract with the Astros on Wednesday, which includes a player option for 2023, Mark Berman of KRIV 26 News reports. Verlander officially passed on the $18.4 million qualifying offer extended by Houston prior to Wednesday's deadline, and it didn't take long for him to reach a more lucrative deal. The 38-year-old missed the entirety of 2021 while recovering from Tommy John surgery, and he was still as effective as ever during his last full season with a 2.58 ERA, 0.80 WHIP and 300:42 K:BB over 223 innings during 2019. The right-hander recently impressed at a showcase workout and is expected to enter spring training with minimal restrictions.

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  • Verlander (elbow) rejected the Astros' $18.4 million qualifying offer for 2022 prior to Wednesday's deadline, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports. Though an $18.4 million salary for a 38-year-old pitcher coming off Tommy John surgery would certainly seem to be a fair deal, Verlander is confident he'll be able to secure a two-year contract -- and potentially at a higher annual average value -- on the open market after he reportedly impressed during a recent throwing showcase in front of several teams. A return to Houston may not be in the cards for Verlander, whom Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic believes is more inclined to sign with either an East Coast-based team or Detroit, the organization with whom he began his career. Regardless of where he lands, Verlander is expected to report to spring training with few restrictions since he'll be more than 16 months removed from his elbow procedure.

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  • Verlander (elbow) threw approximately 25 pitches at a showcase workout Monday, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. Verlander reportedly sat around 94-to-97 miles per hour with his fastball, right in line with his average of 95 mph since the start of the 2017 season. The veteran righty is working his way back from September 2020 Tommy John surgery and is heading into his age-39 season in 2021, but he should still generate plenty of interest from teams if he doesn't accept the Astros' $18.4 million qualifying offer the club extended him over the weekend. He wasn't showing any signs of slowing down prior to his injury, striking out 35.1 percent of opposing batters while walking just 4.7 percent en route to accruing a 2.56 ERA from 2018 to 2020. He has until Nov. 17 to accept the qualifying offer, but expect him to test the open market if he believes he can get a multi-year deal.

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  • Verlander (elbow) is expected to receive a qualifying offer from the Astros this offseason, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports. Verlander could potentially have an interesting decision on his hands. If healthy, he'd almost certainly receive more than the qualifying offer, which was worth $18.9 million over one year last year. He'll enter next season as a 39-year-old coming off of Tommy John surgery, so it's much less clear what his value will be on the open market. If he rejects the offer and signs elsewhere, Houston will receive draft-pick compensation.

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  • Verlander (elbow) will not pitch this season, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports. Astros general manager James Click closed the window on Verlander's potential return this season during a radio interview Wednesday. Verlander had Tommy John elbow surgery Sept. 30, 2020, so the 38-year-old's ability to pitch in 2021 wasn't feasible given the injury's typical 12-to-14 month recovery period. He'll now enter the offseason as a free agent and will be 39 by the time spring training opens in February. Verlander said he wants to pitch into his 40s and was a Cy Young winner in 2019 and runner-up in 2018.

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