The Blue Jays are one of the teams attending Justin Verlander’s throwing showcase

Cam Lewis
2 years ago
Though he’s made just one start over the past two seasons, Justin Verlander is one of the most interesting pitchers on this winter’s free-agent market.
Verlander allowed two earned runs on three hits and one walk while striking out seven on opening day for the Houston Astros in 2020. After the game, he was diagnosed with a forearm strain.
That forearm strain would keep Verlander out for the rest of the 2020 season and ultimately resulted in him getting Tommy John surgery, which kept him out for all of 2021, as well.
The Astros gave Verlander a qualifying offer, so he can return to the team on a one-year deal worth $18,400,000, but he isn’t ruling out exploring the open market. Verlander is hosting a throwing showcase on Monday, and the Blue Jays are one of the teams in attendance…
It’s difficult to say how Verlander, who turns 39 years old in February, will look after having Tommy John, especially given he’s hardly pitched over the last couple of seasons.
In his two full years with the Astros, 2018 and 2019, Verlander was excellent, perhaps even better than he ever was during his time with the Detroit Tigers. Verlander threw 437 innings over 68 starts with the Astros those two seasons, posting a sparkling 2.55 ERA while striking out 12.2 batters per nine. He finished second in Cy Young voting to Blake Snell in 2018 and then edged out teammate Gerrit Cole for the award in 2019.
Expecting Verlander to be that good at this stage is probably a stretch, but it isn’t unreasonable to assume he can still be a very effective starter.
From a Blue Jays perspective, Verlander really would be an ideal fit. No, not just because he’s pretty much a lock to throw a no-hitter when he pitches in Toronto.
Since he’s nearly 40, he won’t command a long-term deal like other big-name starters on the free-agent market like Robbie Ray and Kevin Gausman will. That works nicely for Toronto because they’ll need to start paying guys like Vladdy Jr. and Bo Bichette sooner rather than later.

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