Well, either his teammates don’t actually hate him, or the ones that do are gone, or the team simply doesn’t care. Whatever the case, the Houston Astros are retaining Justin Verlander, as he returns from Tommy John surgery.
The announcement came from his brother on Twitter:
🚨IT’S OFFICIAL🚨@JustinVerlander is signing with Houston Astros!!
— Ben Verlander (@BenVerlander) November 17, 2021
No details yet, but you can presume it’s for more/longer than the one-year, $18.4 million qualifying offer he rejected earlier today. The market impact here is minimal, since the Astros were either going to retain Verlander or sign another starting pitcher in his place. The Cubs weren’t going to be involved on Verlander either way, so him going back to the Astros is more or less fine.
Verlander, 39 in February, will be pitching for the first time this year post-TJS, and post-sticky stuff enforcement ban. It’ll be interesting to see how he looks.
UPDATE: It’s an ENORMOUS guarantee for 2022, though I wonder if part of that guarantee is buyout-related (and also how much that second year would be for):
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) November 17, 2021
The short-term, high-AAV price tags might be QUITE HIGH these days, friends, after Noah Syndergaard got $21 million from the Angels.