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Justin Verlander is staying in Houston

The Astros re-signed their ace soon after he rejected the club’s qualifying offer.

League Championship Series - New York Yankees v Houston Astros - Game Two Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

It seems Justin Verlander did not care to remain a free agent for long. The Astros re-signed the two-time Cy Young Award winner to a 1-year, $25 million deal, with a player option for a second year. Ken Rosenthal expects it will essentially be a two-year contract.

Verlander made one start in 2020 before sustaining an arm injury that eventually resulted in Tommy John surgery. The eight-time All-Star has been rehabbing throughout 2021 and will turn 39 in February next year.

The Astros brass evidently felt confident in the progress Verlander’s made, and supposedly looked like the JV of old when throwing in front of teams earlier this month.

Provided that Lance McCullers Jr. doesn’t experience any lapses while he rehabs this winter from his own arm injury, the Astros rotation already looked to be in solid shape heading into 2022. A healthy Verlander could ensure it remains one of the top starting staffs in baseball.