New York Mets, Justin Verlander reach agreement

Three-time Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander has agreed to a two-year, $86 million deal with the New York Mets, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan on Monday.

The deal includes a vesting option for the third year, a source told ESPN.

Verlander, who turns 40 in February, returned from surgery on Tommy John to lead the Houston Astros to their second World Series championship in 2022. He had the lowest ERA in the majors and was a unanimous winner of his third Cy Young Award – becoming the first player to earn the award after not promoting the previous season.

He went 18-4 with a 1.75 ERA and 185 strikeouts in 28 starts last season and made his ninth All-Star Team. Verlander won Game 5 in Philadelphia for the first World Series win of his illustrious career, then became a free agent in November after forgoing the $25 million salary he would have earned in 2023.

After losing two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom to the Texas Rangers via free agency, the Mets will now pair Verlander with Max Scherzer at the top of their rotation.

Verlander only started once in 2020 due to his elbow injury and missed the entire 2021 season while recovering from surgery.

That season, he led the American League in wins and led the majors in both ERA and WHIP, leading a strong Astros pitching staff that helped secure a championship. His ERA was the best by a pitcher who made at least 25 starts in his season at age 39 or older since earned runs became official in 1913, and it was the lowest by an AL pitcher in an entire season—any age— since Pedro Martinez had an ERA of 1.74 in 2000.

Verlander ran at least six innings in 22 of his 28 starts and streaked 175 innings during the regular season, hitting 185 batters and walking just 29. He also became the second non-rookie all-time to make at least 15 starts and field a sub-2, 00 ERA despite not playing in the majors last season, according to ESPN Stats & Information Research.

The Associated Press and ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez contributed to this report.

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/35189145/sources-new-york-mets-justin-verlander-reach-agreement New York Mets, Justin Verlander reach agreement

Emma Bowman

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