Justin Verlander 130 innings pitched, vests 2023 player option reached

Justin Verlander 130 innings pitched, vests 2023 player option reached


Justin Verlander Wind through the lineup tonight, six innings of scoreless ball. It was another big performance in what has been a busy season for the AL Cy Young Award contender, and today’s start also marked a significant contract improvement. Verlander has reached 130 innings on the season, meaning he is officially a $25MM player option Campaign for 2023.

As a free agent, Verlander could earn more than the $25MM average annual value on his hands, so he’s moving that option forward. The nine-time All-Star commanded the same salary this year from 2020 when he had Tommy John surgery and didn’t pitch. In the midst of one of the best seasons in his Hall of Fame career, Verlander is on the rise. This is especially true since he accepted and declined a qualifying offer last summer, meaning the Astros cannot offer another QO next season. Therefore, a signing club does not lose any draft picks or international signing spots at this time. Barring an injury in the final two months, or falling completely out of the blue, it would wipe out $25MM in guarantees on the free agent market.

After tonight’s start, Verlander now holds a major league best 1.73 ERA. His 25.5% strikeout rate isn’t quite the 35.1% he posted in 2018-20, but it’s still four points above the MLB average for rookies. With a league-best run defense, Verlander’s run in strikeouts isn’t likely to have a significant impact on his value on the open market. That’s especially true since his 95 MPH average fastball velocity remained intact after elbow surgery and he continues to drive both his fastball and his breaking pitches at high levels. Verlander possesses some of the best command in the sport, and the 2011 AL MVP has proven he can thrive on the big stage. He carried a 3.40 ERA in 187 2/3 innings on the season, and will have a chance to build on that resume this October with Houston.

Verlander’s exceptional track record sets up one of the more intriguing free agent cases of the upcoming season. He’s re-established himself as one of the sport’s best players, the kind any ace club would be happy to have in the opening game of a playoff series. A new deal would begin with a 40-year campaign, but would be a shorter-term contract with a higher annual salary.

It is an obvious point of comparison Registration contract Scored by his former teammate. Max Scherzer Last summer. The three-time Cy Young winner signed a three-year, $130MM deal with the Mets. That obliterated Scherzer’s previous all-time top annual salary of $43.333 million. Annual fee Topping the previous contract’s annual salary by more than $7MM. Scherzer was coming off a 179 1/3 inning, 2.46 ERA campaign in which he struck out 34.1% of opponents between the Nationals and the Dodgers. That better swing-and-miss factor may be tipped in Scherzer’s favor, but Verlander and his reps at ISE Baseball look set to grab that AAV record — especially if he maintains a sub-2.00 ERA all year. Even if he doesn’t hit Scherzer’s heights, hitting the $36MM annual salary figure is within reach of Verlander’s second-highest all-time salary.

It will also be interesting to see what contract time Verlander can receive. Scherzer’s deal started at age 37 and took him to Verlander’s current age of 39. With Verlander still at the top of his game, a multi-year deal is likely. Whether a team will go to three years and sign him to the age of 42 remains to be seen.

The upcoming starting pitching market features a few top arms, though most have injury or age concerns. with Joe Musgrove For a Five year extension Sticking in his hometown of San Diego, like players Jacob said., Carlos Rodon And Verlander is seen as the top hitter on the market (considering the three trigger opt-out clauses in his contract).

Nathan Eovaldi And Chris Bassitt The starters are above average but each is already in their mid-30s. Noah Syndergaard He looks like a solid center-rotation arm, but he doesn’t throw or miss as many at-bats as he did in his prime with the Mets. Sean Manaea He has a low 4.24 ERA on the year, though he’s typically a solid middle-of-the-rotation type. Mike Clevinger He’s about to turn 32 and missed last year recovering from Tommy John surgery. Zach Eflin One of the younger arms around and generally solid when healthy, but he’s been plagued by recurring knee injuries this season. Clayton Kershaw Last summer, the market seemed to be limited by geographic restrictions. It’s a class that doesn’t lack for star power, but there’s also a fair bit of uncertainty with most of the Patriots’ offensive linemen residing there.

Image courtesy of USA TODAY Sports.



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