Houston Astros Finalize Justin Verlander Signing ... During the Lockout?

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Houston Astros Finalize Justin Verlander Signing … During the Lockout?

Chicago Cubs

Of all the transactions I thought might be possible during the MLB lockout, a big league team officially signing a big league player to a big league deal was certainly not one of them.

But apparently that’s on the table in certain circumstances? Because:

The best one could guess here is that the deal was considered completed before December 1 for all meaningful purposes, and since it was just certain language being resolved … that was still OK to do during the lockout? It’s weird. It doesn’t actually make any sense to me, to be honest.

So, updating our understanding of the types of transactions that can be completed during the lockout: (definitely) minor signings for players who did not finish the season on the 40-man roster, (maybe) minor league signings for guys who were not on the 40-man roster as of the lockout (if the signing process was already underway?), invites to big league Spring Training, minor league trades, and … big league signings that were basically all done before the lockout started but needed a little finalizing? Is Verlander’s the only one that falls into that category – was it truly a weird one-off? – or are there others that might suddenly get finalized?

Weird stuff. Anyway, Verlander is now officially back with the Astros (it was never expected to fall through), on what was originally reported as a one-year, $25 million deal with a player option for 2023 at the same price. So, effectively a two-year, $50 million deal, but he can leave after next year if he wants. Subject to whatever tweaking happened in these final talks … during the lockout.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.