Hall of Fame-bound Justin Verlander has two-year offers from several big-market teams — possibly including the Dodgers and Mets, who appear to be the favorites — but there are indications that a deal could happen if one of those teams does. he added a third year.
Verlander, 39, has put together another Cy Young season in 2022, and often talks about how he believes he can go a long way in age, at least until he’s 45, à la Tom Brady. He’s also been willing to take short deals in the past and bet on them, to end up with one of the two-year deals.
Verlander appears to be the first choice over the other remaining ace, Carlos Rodon, in a market where prices are rising rapidly. The Mets were willing to walk Jacob deGrom for three years, and even though Verlander is ten years old, it cannot be ruled out that they will add that third year.
The Mets understand he needs to get an ace instead of deGrom, and only Verlander and Rodon, whose stock has skyrocketed, fit that bill in the free agent market. There was a feeling that the Mets might work in the form of a trade, but it is not believed that the Brewers will end up trading their co-aces, Corbin Burnes or Brandon Woodruff.
Verlander, who turned down an offer from the Yankees last year to return to Houston, where he won a second World Series, appears to be the Mets’ top choice following deGrom’s decision to go to the Rangers for a $185 million, five-year deal with the Mets. it didn’t come close to touching. Mets owner Steve Cohen is thought to be intrigued by the potential pairing of Verlander and his ace pitcher Max Scherzer from their days in Detroit. At this point, there aren’t many other options, though.
Some still see the Dodgers as a favorite, perhaps since Verlander and his actress/model wife Kate Upton have a home in Los Angeles.
“The Dodgers are going to get somebody,” the prominent agent explained.
The Astros tight end, meanwhile, doesn’t seem willing to bring back Verlander and is focused on catching and outfielding.
Rodon still plays for the Mets and Dodgers, though at least for now, the Yankees are the big-market team most focused on the 30-year-old who is expected to dominate for a long time but at low dollars. He was reportedly seeking a six-year, $30 million-plus deal following his big season in San Francisco. The Rangers are still in pursuit of Rodon, and the Orioles are among others interested.
The Giants are the other team in Rodon, so the Yankees are fighting the Giants in two areas, the most prominent is the fight of Aaron Judge, who is expected to receive a record salary in the player’s position in the contract of others. over $300 million. Executives in the game say the Yankees are the most likely to keep Judge, since they can’t see him giving up the legacy of the pinstripes for a few more dollars and a location closer to his boyhood home in Northern California.
People will not be surprised if the call of the Judge comes in these winter meetings. The Yankees and Giants are both talking to a few other stars and preparing to rotate in case Judge goes the other way. The Yankees have an obligation to pay to sign the star and Judge but may be talking to four shortstops if the unthinkable happens and Judge leaves. The Giants are also getting into shorttops.