Free Agent pitcher Justin Verlander is set to re-sign with the Astros, after declining the qualifying offer worth $18.4 million.
After reports swarmed that the Houston Astros were likely not to re-sign Justin Verlander, the future Hall of Famer inked a contract with the ball club. His brother, Ben, was the first to report the news, as Justin declined the Astros’ qualifying offer almost an hour before the report.
While declining a qualifying offer worth $18.4 million, Verlander is returning on a one-year deal worth $25 million, as reported by Mark Berman of Fox 26. The contract comes with a player option for the second year.
Verlander hasn’t pitched in a major-league game since July 24, 2020. The now 38-year-old has since undergone Tommy John surgery and rehabbed his way back to throwing mid-90s on his fastball in a recent throwing session.
The recent Cy Young winner’s last outing ended after only 73 pitches, six innings of work on Opening Day in 2020.
Verlander was reportedly expected to sign with an East Coast team, but with the Astros giving him a check and training in Florida, the ball club met some of the right-hander’s wants. Verlander and owner Jim Crane also have a close friendship and loyalty to the Astros.
The last time Verlander pitched a full season, he posted a 2.58 ERA over 223 innings (34 starts), which led all major-leaguers. The righty struck out a career-high 300 batters as well, while having the most wins, lowest WHIP and hits per nine innings in all of Major League Baseball.
With Verlander re-signing, the Astros will not receive of a Competitive Balance Pick, since he is returning to the franchise. Carlos Correa has since declined his qualifying offer as well, and if he were to not re-sign, the Astros’ would receive a pick with his departure.