Significant Gap Left in Discussions Between Astros and Justin Verlander

Astros and Justin Verlander Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported that they were “out” in discussions about a new contract. The nine-time All-Star is part of a trio of best free agency nominees. Jacob de Grom and Carlos Rodon.

The biggest hurdle appears to be the AL Cy Young winner’s desire for a guaranteed third season. Heyman writes that Verlander wanted a deal for about $130 million over three years – the same figure received by his former teammate. Max Scherzer From the Mets last winter. Houston owner Jim Crane has similarly suggested that Verlander pointed to the Scherzer contract as a precedent last month.

The Scherzer deal does indeed seem to be the closest comparison to Verlander, although their situations are not entirely similar. While both are the greatest shooters of all time, shooting near the top of their game in the depths of their careers, it was probably easier for Verlander to digest a three-year bet on Scherzer than for Verlander in the same term. Scherzer will sign ahead of the season at the age of 37, while Scherzer will be three years older at the start of his next contract. Verlander took two years from a Tommy John surgery that cost him nearly the entire 2020-21 season, but has returned to the field at pre-surgery levels this year. Scherzer had avoided any injury of this magnitude in the past decade, and prior to this year had surpassed 170 circuits in every full season since 2008.

While this seems to turn things around in Scherzer’s favour, pure performance past records are mostly uncomplaining. Verlander had a 1.75 ERA in 175 strokes last season; Scherzer scored 2.46 in 2021. Scherzer missed more bats and outstripped 34.1% of his opponents against Verlander’s 27.8%. Still, fanning slightly less than 28% of the opponents is still excellent for a beginning shooter, and Verlander maintained top control as he sat in the mid-90s with his fastball.

Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reported in November that Crane was reluctant to offer a more than two-year deal in the $60-70 million range. That’s both a year and a decent annual salary ($43,333 million versus $30-35 million) without the Scherzer deal. It’s unclear whether Houston is willing to increase the suggested salary figure in the weeks since then, but Heyman reported that they are still against a three-year guarantee.

If Verlander were to leave Houston, it would draw the attention of the league’s major market giants. He had previously met with the Dodgers and Mets, and Heyman had previously suggested that the Yankees were also in the market.

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