Three teams in pursuit of Justin Verlander might have a legitimate shot at landing the American League Cy Young Award winner, according to reports.
The Houston Astros are still negotiating with Verlander, but MLB Network and the New York Post reported the New York Mets and New York Yankees have joined the bidding along with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Per the report, the Astros aren’t keen on meeting Verlander’s demands for a three-year, $130 million deal that would equal the contract the Mets handed Max Scherzer last offseason. The Mets are also working to bring back free agent Jacob deGrom.
Scherzer’s annual average value of $43.3 million is the benchmark for top free agent arms this offseason, MLB Network reported.
Verlander, 40, went 18-4 last season with the Astros, posting a 1.75 ERA before declining a $25 million player option for 2022.
If he joins the Yankees, Verlander would follow the same Houston exit strategy that netted right-hander Gerrit Cole a $324 million contract in free agency.
deGrom is a free agent after the Mets allowed his five-year, $137.5 million deal to expire without an extension and the right-hander declined an option that would have been worth $68.5 million over the next two seasons.
deGrom, 32, was 5-4 last season with a 3.08 ERA. But durability concerns might impact his earning power, MLB Network reported, and entice him to take a short-term deal.
deGrom has missed starts due to oblique, elbow, shoulder and forearm issues since May 2021.