Mets keeping options open, speak with Justin Verlander

Justin Verlander Mets rumors
Justin Verlander (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

The Mets certainly appear to be actively pursuing potential backup options for their starting rotation if Jacob deGrom opts to sign elsewhere.

According to a report from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, the Mets have spoken with Verlander over Zoom. 

The 2022 American League Cy Young Award winner isn’t showing any signs of slowing down — even after undergoing Tommy John surgery two years ago. At the age of 39, the right-hander went 18-4 with a 1.75 ERA and 0.829 WHIP in 175 innings pitched. 

Helping the Houston Astros win a second-ever World Series crown, it doesn’t appear the franchise is clamoring to bring him back despite the impressive season.

“Really, truly it’s been a hell of a ride no matter what happens whether I stay or don’t,” Verlander said earlier this month. “I really enjoyed my time with this group of guys and this city. It’s been a blessing and a wonderful time in my career.”

The full extent of the Mets’ interest would likely come down to whether or not they can retain deGrom, who is reportedly getting plenty of interest from the Texas Rangers. Verlander would logically slot in at the top of the Mets rotation, then, alongside Max Scherzer. 

It would be an imposing duo, albeit a veteran one as Verlander will be 40 next season and Scherzer 39. 

Speaking of Scherzer, his contract is reportedly the sort of deal that Verlander is looking for, per multiple reports. The Mets ace signed a three-year, $130 million that set an MLB record for the richest annual salary ($43.3 million). 

The state of the Mets’ rotation is one of the largest unknown entities in baseball. While they wait to see what the future holds for deGrom, Chris Bassitt and Taijuan Walker also opted out of their contracts to become free agents. 

It’s left the organization thin on proven starting pitching depth with Carlos Carrasco, Tylor Megill, David Peterson, and Joey Lucchesi as the only legitimate starting options under contract behind Scherzer. 

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