It was the rumored quick-pivot for the New York Mets upon losing Jacob deGrom, and it is indeed happening: Justin Verlander is headed to NYC.
Verlander, it seems, couldn’t get anyone to offer that third year, but he does get it in the form of a vesting option from the Mets:
The guess here is that the two-year deal comes with an AAV sliiiiightly higher than Scherzer’s was ($43.3M), and that if the option vests, the full three years will top the $130M guarantee.
Verlander, 39, was an absolute monster this past year for the Astros, even coming off of Tommy John surgery at his age. He was a unanimous Cy Young winner, and is about as close as you can come to replacing Jacob deGrom in the rotation at this moment.
UPDATE: Sure enough, it’s the Scherzer deal – though I’m gonna stick by my speculation that, when the final accounting is done, Verlander will have pushed the AAV forward ever so slightly:
In terms of market impact here, you’re mostly now looking at Carlos Rodon as the next big arm to go, and you have to wonder if the Dodgers or Yankees step up with the big offer, or if they’re waiting on a lower-tier guy like Kodai Senga.
Surely the Mets wouldn’t go after Verlander AND Rodon, right? I mean, they do have the rotation openings …
UPDATE 2: All right, well, guess I was wrong about the third year option value: