Three-time Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander Sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan on Monday that he has agreed to a two-year, $86 million contract with the New York Mets.
A source told ESPN that the deal includes a third-year option.
Verlander, who turns 40 in February, led the Houston Astros to their second World Series championship in 2022 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He had the lowest ERA in the majors and was the unanimous winner — his third Cy Young Award. He became the first player to win the award without playing the previous season.
Last season he went 18-4 with a 1.75 ERA and 185 strikeouts in 28 starts and made his ninth All-Star team. Verlander won Game 5 in Philadelphia for the first World Series victory of his illustrious career, then opted out of the $25 million salary he was due in 2023 and became a free agent in November.
It was Verlander’s first time playing a full season in the National League after pitching for his first 13 seasons with the Astros and Detroit Tigers.
Made four starts against the NL East last season. For his career, he has a 2.14 ERA against the NL East, according to ESPN Stats and Info.
Verlander made just one start in 2020 due to his elbow injury and will miss the entire 2021 season while recovering from surgery.
This season, he led the American League in hits and led the majors in both ERA and WHIP, spearheading a deep Astros pitching staff that helped clinch the championship. The ERA of a pitcher who made at least 25 starts in a season when he was age 39 or older was the best since 1913. Age — Pedro Martinez had a 1.74 ERA in 2000.
Verlander completed at least six innings in 22 of his 28 starts and pitched 175 innings during the regular season, striking out 185 batters and walking just 29. He became just the second non-rookie to record at least 15 starts and an assist. A -2.00 ERA despite not pitching in the majors the previous season, according to ESPN Stats and Information Research.
The Associated Press and ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez contributed to this report.
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