Reason 3: Financial Implications and The Kyle Tucker Problem
Verlander's contract is worth $86.7 million over its first two years, with a $35 million vested option for the third year if he pitches more than 140 innings in 2025. This initially seemed burdensome, as it appeared to dictate the contract extension of popular outfielder Kyle Tucker a foregone reality.
However, the Astros' front office has potentially improved their odds of keeping the Gold Glover. In addition to Verlander, the Mets provided $54 million in cash compensation to the Astros, effectively splitting the contract payment. Instead of a $43 million outlay for two years, the Astros are now expected to pay around $29 million over 2 1/3 years. While the move eases the financial burden, it also puts emphasis on re-signing Tucker. Although capable, Dana Brown and Owner Jim Crane need to take action, ideally sooner rather than later.