The Mets have reportedly agreed to a deal with reigning American League Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander, a two-year contract with a vesting option for a third year. The deal is for $86.66 million over the two years, and he will earn $43.33 million annually. The third year will kick in at $35 million if he pitches 140 innings in 2024. The right-hander also has a full no-trade clause. The Mets now have their second ace to pair with Max Scherzer atop the rotation.
After making one start in 2020 and missing all of 2021 following Tommy John surgery, the right-hander returned in impressive fashion last year, posting a league-leading 1.75 ERA and 0.83 WHIP to go along with a 2.49 FIP and 185 strikeouts in 175 innings. He led the AL with 18 wins and won the Cy Young award unanimously while finishing tenth in AL MVP voting. The nine-time All Star also picked up his second World Series title with the Astros.
In 17 career seasons split between Houston and the Tigers, Verlander owns a 3.24 ERA, a 3.36 FIP, and a 1.12 WHIP while sporting 244 career victories. His 3,198 career strikeouts rank 12th on the all-time list, just ahead of former and current teammate Scherzer, who comes in at 13th with 3,193 strikeouts.
The Mets have responded quickly after losing Jacob deGrom to the Rangers earlier this month. Verlander does turn 40 in February, so the age concern is ever-present, but he represented the best pitcher on the market with deGrom off the board, so it’s a big get for New York. As previously mentioned, Verlander and Scherzer were teammates in Detroit.