After missing the entire 2021 season recovering from elbow surgery, Justin Verlander is returning to the Houston Astros.
The two-time AL Cy Young award winner has made only one start since pitching in the 2019 World Series, but he will be counted on to provide some stability for an Astros rotation that faltered against the Atlanta Braves in this year’s Fall Classic.
Verlander’s new deal is for $25 million next season, with a player option for 2023, a person familiar with the deal told USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal wasn’t yet announced.
The option for 2023 would also pay Verlander $25 million.
Now 38, Verlander joined the Astros in a midseason trade with the Detroit Tigers in 2017 and went 5-0 with a 1.06 ERA down the stretch in leading the franchise to its first World Series title.
Verlander made a league-leading 34 starts in 2019, going 21-6 and winning his second Cy Young award. However, he made only one start in the shortened 2020 season, opting for Tommy John surgery in October 2020.
In addition to Verlander, the Astros will have Lance McCullers Jr. returning to the starting rotation. McCullers missed this year’s AL Championship Series and the World Series with a forearm injury, but he is expected to be fully healthy for spring training.
Youngsters Framber Valdez, Luis Garcia and Jose Urquidy are also expected to fill out the rotation.
The Astros already announced earlier in the offseason that manager Dusty Baker would be returning next season after agreeing to a one-year contract.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Justin Verlander, Astros agree on new contract: Houston ace missed 2021
Source: Yahoo Sports