The Houston Astros have agreed to a one-year $25 million contract with right-hander Justin Verlander with the option for a second season.

Verlander won the American League Cy Young Award for Houston in 2019. He made just one appearance during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season due to injuries. He had surgery to repair an ulnar collateral ligament on September 30, 2020, and missed all of the 2021 season, his last before the end of his contract with the Astros.

Verlander rejected the Astros’ $18.4 million qualifying offer before agreeing to the contract with the Astros.

Houston acquired Verlander before the 2017 trade deadline, and he carried the Astros to win the World Series that year. He was named the AL Championship Series MVP by going 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA in the Astros’ seven-game series win over the New York Yankees. Verlander is a two-time Cy Young Award winner, also winning the award in 2011 with the Detroit Tigers when he set career bests with 24 victories and a 2.40 ERA.


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The eight-time All-Star is 226-129 in his career with a 3.33 ERA over 17 seasons. He is one of two active pitchers with 3,000 strikeouts (3,013) in his career, along with Max Scherzer, who accomplished the feat this season.

With Verlander back in the fold, the Astros are expected to go into next season with Verlander, Luis GarciaLance McCullers Jr., José Urquidy and Framber Valdez in their rotation in some order. Youngster Cristian Javier could slot in as the Number 6 starter or potentially move into a high-leverage bullpen role full-time.

Verlander is attempting to become only the 10th known pitcher to successfully return after needing Tommy John surgery following his 37th birthday. Considering one-time All-Star Noah Syndergaard agreed to a one-year, $21 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday, the Verlander contract could prove to be a steal for the Astros if the future Hall of Famer is healthy.

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