Justin Verlander Bounce through tonight’s Guardians lineup, throwing six runs of a goal-free ball. It was another dominant performance in a season filled with them for the AL Cy Young Award contender, and the start of the day was also a notable contractual development. Verlander has reached 130 runs this season, which means he has officially earned a 25 million dollar player option for the 2023 campaign.
Verlander is moving toward ditching that option, as he’s in a position to easily exceed an average annual value of $25 million as a free agent. The nine-time All-Star earned a similar salary this year following a season he didn’t participate in while rehabilitating from Tommy John’s surgery for 2020. Amid one of the best seasons in the Hall of Fame career, Verlander is heading for a massive increase. This is especially true because he received and rejected a qualifying offer last winter, which means the Astros cannot submit QO again outside of next season. Thus, the signing club will not have to concede any additional space for a draft signature or international signing bonus this time around. Barring an injury or a complete breakdown in the last two months, it would break a $25 million guarantee in the free agent market.
After tonight’s start, Verlander now holds a 1.73 ERA best in the Major League. The 25.5% strike rate isn’t at the 35.1% elite level he posted between 2018-20, but it’s still four points higher than the entry-level MLB average. With the best runs in the league banned, Verlander’s drop in hits isn’t likely to have much of an impact on his value in the open market. This is especially true since his average speedball 95 mph remained the same after elbow surgery, and he continued to spin both fastball and broken pitches at a high level. Verlander also has some of the best driving in the sport, and the 2011 AL MVP has proven his ability to thrive on the bigger stage. He holds a career 3.40 ERA in 187 Round 2/3 post-season, and will have a chance to build on that resume with Houston in October.
Verlander’s exceptional record is one of the most impressive free agent cases of the upcoming season. He has clearly re-established himself as one of the best shooters in the sport, and ace clubs would be glad to roam the opener of a playoff series. However, she will start a new deal with his 40-year campaign, which will see him land a short-term contract with a hefty annual salary.
The obvious point of comparison is registration contract Recorded by his former teammate Max Scherzer last winter. The three-time Cy Young winner signed a three-year, $130 million deal with the Mets. This wiped out the all-time high annual salary, with Scherzer $43.333 million Pay annual compensation Annual salary increase for any previous contract by more than $7 million. Scherzer was out on a campaign 179 1/3, 2.46 ERA in which he beat 34.1% of opponents among the Patriots and Dodgers. Those things with better swing and miss may tilt Scherzer’s favour, but it looks like Verlander and his ISE Baseball representatives will try to beat that AAV record – especially if he holds a sub-2.00 ERA all year long. Even if he doesn’t quite reach Scherzer’s heights, a win over the $36 million annual salary that is the second-most-ever seems possible for Verlander.
It will be equally interesting to see what contract length Verlander may get. Scherzer’s deal started with his campaign at 37 years old and took him up to 39, which is Verlander’s current age. With Verlander staying ahead of his game, a multi-year deal looks likely. It remains to be seen if the team will go three years and sign him until the age of 42.
The upcoming splash market features the promotion of a few high-end guns, although most of them have injury or age concerns. with Joe Musgrove Approval of for five years To stay in his hometown of San Diego, players love Jacob DegromAnd the Carlos Rodon And Verlander are looking to be some of the best pitchers on the market (assuming the three opt-out terms in their contracts).
Nathan Evaldi And the Chris Bassett They are above average beginners but all of them are already in their mid-30s. Noah Sendergaard He looks like a solid arm in the middle of a spin but doesn’t throw as hard or lose bats like he did in his prime with the Mets. Shawn Mind It has a disappointing 4.24 ERA over the course of the year, although it’s usually a solid mid-turn. Mike Clevenger The 32-year-old will be entering his season and missed last year’s rehab from Tommy John’s surgery. Zach Evelyn He is one of the young arms available and is generally solid when he’s healthy, but he has dealt with frequent knee injuries in his career that have come up again this season. Clayton Kershaw He appears to have limited his market last winter with geographic restrictions. It’s a class that won’t lack star power, but there’s also a fair amount of uncertainty with most seasoned throwers that will be out there.
Image courtesy of USA Today Sports.