Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander knows what he wants for his next contract.
According to Brian McTaggert of MLB.com, Verlander is looking for a deal that would be similar to what Max Scherzer received from the Mets. Astros owner Jim Crane stated that Verlander is looking for a three year deal worth $130 million and that the team will be “staying in the middle of that” in terms of negotiations.
Houston Astros know cost to keep Justin Verlander
There is always going to be risk associated with signing any player to that type of contract. Verlander is looking for more than $43 million per year, a salary that may top the payroll on some of the rebuilding teams around the league. Add in the fact that he will be 40 years old to begin next year and the risk increased.
But Verlander is not showing any signs of slowing down. Despite missing most of the past two seasons due to the pandemic and Tommy John surgery, he posted a major league best 1.75 ERA and a 0.829 WHiP over his 175 innings, striking out 185 batters with 29 walks. He is the favorite to take home the AL Cy Young award this season, another milestone in what has been a Hall of Fame career.
One could even argue that Verlander is a relatively safer option for that type of deal. Since he underwent Tommy John surgery, his elbow should be healthier than a similar pitcher at his age. A $43+ million contract is still a major risk, but it may not be a terrible contract for a pitcher such as Verlander.
Based off of Crane’s comments, it is also clear that type of asking price will not scare off the Astros. Verlander has been a key part of their rotation since his acquisition from the Tigers, the staff ace that allows the rest of the pitching staff to come together. He is one of the biggest keys for the Astros this offseason, someone that they simply would not be able to replace. $43 million may be entirely reasonable in that case.
Justin Verlander is looking for a contract akin to what Max Scherzer received. The Houston Astros know what it will cost to keep him on board.