American League Cy Young finalist Justin Verlander opted out of his contract and is eligible for free agency, barring a new agreement with the Houston Astros.
Verlander declined an option worth $25 million for next season, which was triggered in August when he reached 130 innings pitched. Verlander turns 40 in February but plans to play in 2023.
Verlander missed time last season with a calf injury but led the league with 18 wins, a 1.75 ERA and a 0.82 WHIP, striking out 185 batters in 175 innings.
The Astros acquired Verlander from the Detroit Tigers in 2017 and have won two World Series during his time with the team.
“It’s been a hell of a ride no matter what happens,” Verlander said.
Verlander is 61-19 with the Astros.
He was the AL Cy Young winner in 2019, had Tommy John surgery in 2020 and missed all of the following season. He signed a two-year, $50 million contract in Houston with a vesting option for 2023.
–Field Level Media
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