Insider Says 5 Teams In The Running For Justin Verlander

There are plenty of starting pitchers on the free agent market this year. But only three who are true difference makers. And of those three (Jacob deGrom, Justin Verlander and Carlos Rodon), only Verlander is not tied to draft pick compensation. His market seems to be the most robust at the moment, with five teams said to be in the running.

MLB Insider Jon Heyman said on 670 The Score that there are five teams that can afford to swim in the Verlander pool, and they're all in, to some degree. 

New York Yankees

Noting that the Yankees made a big run at Verlander last winter but fell short, they're giving it another shot, "but I don’t think they’re confident,” Heyman said.

New York Mets

The Mets are first and foremost trying to re-sign their own iconic pitcher, deGrom. But if they can't get it done, Verlander is their fallback. They'll both be looking for similar contracts, much like the one the Mets handed to Max Scherzer last offseason: 3 years, $130M. 

San Francisco Giants

The Giants could lose their ace, Carlos Rodon, so they're ready to pounce on Verlander to replace him. They've got the money to spend, although that could change if they land Aaron Judge at $300M+.

Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers starting rotation will have a big hole to fill in 2023, as ace Walker Buehler will likely miss most of, if not all of, the season recovering from Tommy John surgery. The Dodgers have the money, if Verlander is willing to come to LA.

Houston Astros

Naturally, the Astros are still a strong suitor to bring Verlander back. By opting out of his $25M player option for 2023, it was by no means a statement that he didn't love his time in Houston, or on whether he wants to return. He's simply looking for his market value. 

The Astros have a pretty deep, strong, young rotation; would they feel the need to give $40-some-odd-million per year to a 40-year-old at this point? “I would think [he'd] be back in Houston, but they have seven good starters", noted Heyman.

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