Justin Verlander staying with Astros on one-year, $25M deal

Earlier on Wednesday, it was reported the Atlanta Braves were among potential contenders to sign ace and two-time American League Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander. 

It appears Verlander was happy to stay put. 

As noted by ESPN’s Jeff Passan and The Associated Press, Verlander is returning to the Houston Astros on a one-year contract worth $25 million that includes a player option for a second season. 

Mark Berman of Fox 26 first reported the specifics of the deal. 

It’s a gamble worth taking for everyone involved. Verlander turns 39 years old in February and has taken the bump to face opposing MLB batters just once since the start of the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign, as he underwent Tommy John surgery in September of that year and spent the 2021 season recovering from that setback. Earlier this month, he held a throwing exhibition in front of personnel from approximately 15-to-20 clubs and reportedly impressed. 

The veteran previously rejected the $18.4 million qualifying offer from the Astros before signing with the team he first joined shortly before the 2017 MLB trade deadline. 

Brian McTaggart of the league’s website noted this past March Verlander is attempting to become only the 10th known pitcher to successfully return after needing Tommy John surgery following his 37th birthday. Considering one-time All-Star Noah Syndergaard agreed to a one-year, $21 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday, the Verlander contract could prove to be a steal for the Astros if the future Hall of Famer is healthy. 

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