Mets signing Justin Verlander to 2-year deal, get their big fish

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

The New York Mets are signing 2022 American League Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander to a two-year contract that includes a third-year option. The value of the contract is believed to be similar to Max Scherzer’s deal with the Mets, with multiple reports claiming that the total value is worth $86 million.

It’s a swift, bold response by the Mets to pick up the 39-year-old right-hander just four days after losing franchise cornerstone and two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom to the Texas Rangers.

Verlander, a three-time Cy Young winner himself and the 2011 AL MVP,  will immediately slot into deGrom’s spot atop the Mets rotation alongside Max Scherzer — which now combines for six Cy Young Awards. 

Max Scherzer Mets
Max Scherzer (AP Photo/Scot Tucker)

In his first full season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2020, Verlander was superb with the Houston Astros, going 18-4 with a 1.75 ERA, 0.829 WHIP, and 185 strikeouts in 175.0 innings of work. 

It was the final act of a career resurgence in Houston, a franchise he joined in 2017 after experiencing a swoon in the latter portions of his time with the Detroit Tigers, whom he spent the first 12-plus seasons of his career with. 

Since joining the Astros, Verlander went 61-19 with a 2.26 ERA and 0.883 WHIP on his way to a pair of Cy Young Awards.

He’ll be 40 next season, which certainly doesn’t lend itself to longevity, but the Mets are a team that’s in a win-now mode. They couldn’t afford to wait to either try and trade for deGrom’s replacement or develop him, either. 

Owner Steve Cohen and general manager Billy Eppler still have plenty of work to do — especially in the starting rotation. Verlander, Scherzer, Carlos Carrasco, David Peterson, Tylor Megill, and Joey Lucchesi are the only starters under contract for next season after Chris Bassitt and Taijuan Walker opted out of their deals this offseason. 

That means the Mets will have to sign at least one more mid-rotation arm to provide some more legitimate depth rather than carrying in a top-heavy, veteran rotation into 2023.

For more on Justin Verlander and the Mets, visit AMNY.com

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