“Beyond the Qualifying Offer”- Houston Astros Owner Ready to Fight New York Yankees for Justin Verlander

Published 11/10/2021, 7:15 PM EST
Justin Verlander


Following a breathtaking 2021 MLB season, there’s a substantial amount of time between now and the upcoming 2022 season. However, there’s no lack of entertainment in this year’s off-season, as Houston Astros star Justin Verlander features among several exceptional talents as a free agent.

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Although the 38-year-old missed a sizeable chunk of the recently concluded season, he remains one of the finest pitchers in the game. In fact, the New York Yankees lie in wait to secure Verlander’s signature for next season. However, Astros owner Jim Crane revealed he still held on to hope for ensuring the pitcher stays with them for next season.

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Jim Crane confident that Justin Verlander will stay with the Houston Astros

In 2017, Verlander left the Detroit Tigers after 13 incredible seasons to join the Astros. He produced incredible pitching performances to aid the Astros to their maiden World Series win that year. Two years later, he signed a two-year, $66million contract extension with them, making him one of the highest-paid pitchers in terms of annual salary.

However, the need for Tommy John surgery in 2020 kept him out of the shortened season and the succeeding 2021 season as well. Despite missing out, he remains one of the most dangerous pitchers, which Crane acknowledged greatly.

Oct 22, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros owner Jim Crane looks on during battle practice prior to game six of the 2021 ALCS against the Boston Red Sox at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Recently, Crane spoke about the Astros’ current stance towards Verlander. While mentioning he’s training well, the 67-year-old mentioned they could sign him beyond the qualifying offer if necessary.

He said“He looked good, he’s in shape. He was throwing well, and he is getting ready to, hopefully, sign a contract. We gave him the qualifying offer this week and that’s a possibility. If he turns that down, he’s going to touch the market and we’ll see what that is. We haven’t ruled out trying to sign him to a deal beyond the qualifying offer.”

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DIVE DEEPER

“Got Some Unfinished Business”: Dusty Baker Ready to Lead Houston Astros Again in MLB 2022 Season

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Where could Verlander end up next year?

Verlander features among seven Astros players who became free agents after the 2021 season. While the Astros are keen on retaining the 38-year-old, they will face stiff competition from the Yankees.

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Sep 16, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (left) looks on as =relief pitcher Albert Abreu (84) prepares to warm up on the pitcher’s mound during the seventh inning off the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Despite having former Astros star Gerrit Cole, it seems the Yankees want to add depth to their bullpen. Should they sign Verlander, they could possess one of, if not the strongest pitching talents in the league next year.

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Sanket Nair

876 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 & US Sports Author at EssentiallySports. He began following F1 since 2010, which made him an instant Sebastian Vettel fan. His favorite tracks on the calendar include Spa-Francorchamps, Monaco and Monza.

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