How Did Houston Astros Land $50 Million Justin Verlander Deal Amidst MLB Lockout?

Published 12/14/2021, 7:30 AM EST
Justin Verlander


Since the start of December, MLB has been under a lockout, restricting all teams from approaching any free agent. Yet, in an astonishing turn of events, Houston Astros’ front office managed to crack a remarkable deal.

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While unofficially, Justin Verlander’s arrival to the Astros made headlines before the lockout, it has now received formal approval. Wondering how the Astros finalized the deal amidst the lockout? Here’s how-

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Houston Astros and Justin Verlander had already signed the deal

Back in November, Justin Verlander’s brother, Ben Verlander, announced Justin’s new contract with the Houston Astros. According to Ben, they had signed a deal worth  $25 million for one year, with a player option for the second year. However, no further news was revealed about the deal until now.

ESPN’s Buster Olney revealed, ”Justin Verlander’s two-year, $50 million agreement for ’22-’23 with Houston has been given formal approval by Major League Baseball, even at a time when the owners have locked out the players in the on-going labor battle. MLB and the union have worked through the final details.”

While it might sound unfair for the Astros to sign deals despite the lockout, it’s not how it appears to be. Houston Astros had submitted the signed deal to MLB officials on the 1st of December, at the eleventh hour, before the MLB lockout. Hence, the deal was completed by Verlander and Astros’ side, and only a formal approval by the officials was pending.

Now, MLB and the Players’ Association have officially given their approval, and the deal is now in effect.

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Justin Verlander hoping to make a strong comeback

Interestingly, the 38-year-old baseball pitcher has not made it to the mound since the 2020 season, courtesy of his injury issues. While in 2020, he underwent surgery on his right groin; in 2021, he was recovering from his 2020 Tommy John surgery.

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However, the million-dollar interest of the Houston Astros in re-signing Justin Verlander is a positive sign of his recovery. Hopefully, Justin will make a comeback for the spring training session. Do you think Justin will pave the way for Houston Astros’ World Series victory in 2022?

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Shreya Verma

572 articles

Shreya Verma is a US Sports writer at EssentiallySports. A post-graduation student in political science, Shreya is also a professional 10m air pistol shooter. Taking after her athlete father, she was naturally inclined towards the athletic life.

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