Re-signed with the Houston Astros on a two-year, $50 million contract which includes an opt-out
Similar to Syndergaard, right-hander Justin Verlander found himself in a peculiar spot heading into the offseason. He missed most of the 2020 and all of the 2021 campaign recovering from Tommy John surgery and was heading into the upcoming season at 39 years old and a lot of question marks regarding his health and potential to return to form.
The Blue Jays cast a wide net this past offseason but many players decided to sign elsewhere. Let’s take a look at how they are doing so far this season.
The future Hall of Famer has a pretty impressive career that includes two Cy Young awards, One MVP award, the Pitching Triple Crown, a World Series ring, and eight All-Star nominations through 16 seasons in the MLB. A member of the Houston Astros since being traded at the 2017 deadline, Verlander reportedly wanted to sign with a team that had a training complex in Florida, which boded well for the Blue Jays who recently upgraded their facilities down in Dunedin, Florida. Verlander had other plans though, and he decided to re-sign with the Houston Astros on a two-year, $50 million contract.
If there were any questions about his health or any potential backstep after the Tommy John surgery, the Virginia product is definitely shushing any doubters with his impressive start to the campaign.
Through eight starts, Verlander is currently tied with Dodgers starter Walker Buehler with six wins on the season and boasts the lowest starting pitcher ERA across all MLB at 1.22. His 0.72 WHIP is also league-leading at this time and sits high in many of the pitching percentiles featured on Baseball Savant, as the long-time Detroit Tigers pitcher has not allowed an earned run over his last three starts through 19.0 innings and is an early Cy Young favourite a quarter way through the season.