Justin Verlander didn’t accept the qualifying offer, but he’s sticking around in Houston.
Ben Verlander, Justin’s brother, posted on Twitter on Wednesday night that the two-time Cy Young winner is re-signing with the Astros.
🚨IT’S OFFICIAL🚨@JustinVerlander is signing with Houston Astros!!
— Ben Verlander (@BenVerlander) November 17, 2021
According to Ken Rosenthal, the deal is worth $25,000,000 in 2022 with a player option for a second year worth the same amount of money. That’s obviously a lot more than the $18,400,000 that Verlander would have made if he accepted Houston’s qualifying offer.
The Blue Jays were reportedly among the teams who were in the mix for Verlander early this winter, which came as no surprise given the team attended his throwing session in Florida earlier this month.
Verlander, who turns 39 years old in February, has pitched only six innings over the past two seasons. He finished second in Cy Young voting in 2018, won the award in 2019, started opening day for the Astros in 2020, got injured, missed the rest of the season, had Tommy John, and wound up missing all of 2021 as well.
The thing that made Verlander an attractive option was the fact he wouldn’t command a long-term deal given his age and his injury. This would have been ideal for a team like the Blue Jays who are going to have to start dishing out some big contracts for their young stars sooner rather than later.
It’s unfortunate that Verlander didn’t come to Toronto, a place where he routinely throws no-hitters, but, at the very least, he isn’t joining the American League East!