HOUSTON — Former Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander has agreed to a two-year deal with the New York Mets, according to multiple reports.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan was the first to confirm the deal. Jon Heyman with the MLB Network reports that the deal is for two years and is worth $86 million.
Verlander is "pumped" to join the team, according to his brother Ben Verlander.
“My goal is to win. And I couldn’t be more excited to be a Met," the pitcher told his brother.
Last month, Verlander declined a $25 million option with the Astros five days after helping the team with its second World Series title.
“Really and truly it’s been a hell of a ride no matter what happens, whether I stay or don’t,” Verlander said at the time. “I’ve really enjoyed my time with this group of guys and the city and getting to know the city.”
The 39-year-old right-hander also picked up his third Cy Young Award after receiving all 30 first-place votes, making him the unanimous winner over other finalists. He is the 11th pitcher in Major League Baseball history to win the award three times. He also won with the Detroit Tigers in 2011, the same year he was also named the American League MVP, and in 2019 with the Astros. He's the first Astros pitcher to win multiple Cy Young Awards.
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During the Astros championship run, Verlander got his first World Series win in nine starts in Game 5 against Philadelphia.
Verlander played for Detroit from 2005 until he was traded to the Astros in August 2017. He agreed to a $66 million contract covering 2020 and 2021, then hurt his elbow and needed Tommy John surgery.
After pitching one game over the previous two seasons, Verlander became a free agent and re-signed with Houston for a $25 million, one-year deal that included the option. He went 18-4 with a major league-best 1.75 ERA in 28 starts, then was 2-0 with a 5.85 ERA in four postseason outings. He is 244-133 with a 3.24 ERA and 3,198 strikeouts in 17 seasons.
“I really did enjoy kind of just talking with some teams and just kind of like hearing their philosophies and getting to talk about my philosophies with pitching and just talk baseball,” he said. “I didn’t get the traditional come into the city and get all the pizzazz because it was a short timeframe.”
Verlander will rejoin former Tigers teammate Max Scherzer in the Mets' starting rotation.
By the way, The Mets are coming to town to play the Astros next June 19-21.