Three-time Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander has agreed to a two-year, $86 million deal with the New York Mets, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan on Monday.
The deal includes a third year final option, a source told ESPN.
Verlander, who turns 40 in February, returned from Tommy John surgery to lead the Houston Astros to their second World Series championship in 2022. He had the lowest ERA in the majors and was a unanimous winner of his third Cy Young Award – becoming the first player to earn the award after not pitching in the previous season.
He went 18-4 with a 1.75 ERA and 185 strikeouts in 28 starts this past season to make his ninth All-Star team. Verlander won Game 5 in Philadelphia for the first World Series victory of his illustrious career, then became a free agent in November after opting out of the $25 million salary he would have earned in 2023.
After losing two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom to the Texas Rangers via free agency, the Mets will now pair Verlander with Max Scherzer, who is also a three-time Cy Young Award winner.
It will be Verlander’s first time pitching a full season in the National League after a career with the Astros and Detroit Tigers, where he pitched his first 13 seasons.
The veteran made four starts against the NL East last season and didn’t allow a single earned run in 25 innings pitched. For his career, he has a 2.14 ERA against NL East, which is his best against any division according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Verlander only made one start in 2020 due to his elbow injury and missed the entire 2021 season while recovering from surgery.
This season, he led the American League in wins and led the majors in both ERA and WHIP, leading a deep Astros pitching staff that helped secure a championship. His ERA was the best by a pitcher who made at least 25 starts in his season aged 39 or older since runs earned became official in 1913, and it was the lowest by an AL pitcher in a full season — at any time . age — since Pedro Martinez had a 1.74 ERA in 2000.
Verlander completed at least six innings in 22 of his 28 starts and accumulated 175 innings during the regular season, striking out 185 batters and walking only 29. He also became the second non-rookie ever to make a minimum of 15 starts and make a substitution. -2.00 ERA despite not pitching in the majors last season, according to research from ESPN Stats & Information.
The Associated Press and ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez contributed to this report.