Verlander back with Astros (source)

November 17th, 2021

MLB.com is keeping track of all the latest news and rumors surrounding right-hander .

Read all about Verlander here.

Nov. 17: Verlander and Astros agree to one-year deal with option (source)

Just minutes after the deadline passed for players who were tendered a qualifying offer to either accept or decline it, a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand that the veteran right-hander reached a deal to return to the Astros. Per Feinsand, it's a one-year, $25 million pact with a player option for 2023.

Nov. 16: Potential JV suitors include trio of AL East contenders, Tigers, Angels

The Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays were in on Noah Syndergaard before he agreed to a one-year, $21 million deal with the Angels on Tuesday, and all three clubs are believed to have interest in Verlander as well, reports MLB Network insider Joel Sherman in an article for the New York Post.

Per Sherman, the Yankees seem more serious than their division rivals about pursuing Verlander, and they could have an advantage in Eric Cressey, their director of player health and performance. Verlander has been rehabbing at Cressey's Florida facility, much like Corey Kluber did last offseason before signing a one-year, $11 million deal with New York.

As an added bonus, Sherman notes that Verlander and Yankees ace Gerrit Cole -- and their spouses -- were said to get along well when the two pitchers were with the Astros in 2018-19.

MLB Network insider Jon Heyman has heard that Verlander is a possibility for the Tigers, who kick-started the starting pitcher market when they signed Eduardo Rodriguez to a five-year contract. Verlander, of course, pitched for Detroit from 2005-17 before being traded to the Astros. The right-hander’s former manager in Houston, A.J. Hinch, is now running the show in Detroit.

Heyman speculates that the Angels could also be a fit for Verlander as well, noting that the Halos are “interested in big arms on short-term [deals].” Verlander is expected to turn down the Astros’ one-year, $18.4 million qualifying offer, as Syndergaard did with the Mets' QO. Coming off Tommy John surgery and heading into his age-39 season, it would be a surprise if Verlander ends up signing a deal longer than two years, though Sherman suggests he potentially could get north of $40 million per year.

Nov. 8: Verlander drawing early interest

While the Astros extended Verlander the one-year, $18.4 million qualifying offer on Sunday, there is a “strong chance he tests the market,” according to MLB Network insider Joel Sherman.

If Verlander does indeed decline the offer, there should be no shortage of interest, despite the fact that the 38-year-old is returning from Tommy John surgery and hasn’t pitched in a game since July 24, 2020. According to Sherman, 15-20 teams were in attendance at Verlander’s Monday workout, including both the Yankees and Mets.

Verlander’s four-seam fastball averaged 94.6 mph in his last full season (2019), so the fact that he was pitching in that range during the workout could be a good sign that his arm strength is back to normal.