Justin Verlander opts out of Astros deal, hits free agency
Author: Carolina Teague Photo: Getty Images
HOUSTON- Astros ace Justin Verlander declined his $25 million player option for 2023 on Thursday and became a free agent.
Verlander, who missed the entire 2021 season after recovering from Tommy John surgery, re-signed with the Astros in November 2021 for a one-year, $25 million dollar deal that had a conditional $25 million player option for 2023 if he threw for at least 130 innings in 2022.
The pitcher ended up throwing 175 innings and had additional accolades to end the 2022 season in addition to the 2022 World Series Championship. Verlander is one of the top favorites to win the AL Cy Young award after having a league-best 18 wins, 1.75 ERA and 0.82 WHIP in 28 starts.
This decision makes Verlander one of the most highly rated pitchers in the free agency and with his exceptional comeback 2022 season, will more than likely be seeking a huge pay increase in the open market.