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.
The player option in Verlander’s one-year, $25M free-agent contract with the Astros, per @MarkBermanFox26, effectively will make it a two-year guarantee. Verlander has a home in West Palm Beach, FL, where the Astros train in the spring.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 17, 2021
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.
Houston #Astros GM James Click on Justin Verlander, who has yet to decide whether he will accept their qualifying offer or move on: "Hopefully he's back with us in 2022 and helping us out, because he looks like the Justin Verlander who is a Hall of Famer and Cy Young winner.''— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) November 10, 2021
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.