Ranking the 15 Worst Signings in Houston Astros History

Houston Astros v Pittsburgh Pirates
Houston Astros v Pittsburgh Pirates / George Gojkovich/GettyImages
2 of 16
Justin Verlander
League Championship Series - Houston Astros v New York Yankees - Game Five / Mike Stobe/GettyImages

15) Justin Verlander-2 years, $66 million

What?! How can one of the best pitchers in the history of the franchise make this list?

Well, let's think about this. Justin Verlander arrived at the 2017 waiver deadline and was dominant in Houston. The Astros rewarded Verlander before the 2019 season with a two year, $66 million extension to cover the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

Verlander threw six innings in those two seasons. He was injured in his first start of the COVID-shortened 2020 season and missed all of 2021 after undergoing Tommy John.

Yes, he was dominant from 2017-2019. Yes, he won the Cy Young in 2022. That does not change that he received $11 million per inning worked in a two-year span. Seeing as Houston came within a game of the World Series in 2020, lost the World Series in 2021 and won in 2022 with Verlander scuffling his way through the postseason, could the $33 million Houston gave Verlander have been better suited in retaining George Springer? Or maybe they offer an earlier extension to Altuve, Bregman or Tucker with the money.

This contract would be much higher on this list than it is had it been a free agent signing rather than an extension or had he walked after 2021. That he returned in 2022 keeps it lower on the list.