MLB

Verlander signs one-year $25 million deal with Houston Astros

Two-time AL Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander will pitch again for the Houston Astros after missing the 2021 season following Tommy John surgery.

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Verlander signs one-year $25 million deal with Houston Astros

Two-time American League Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander will pitch once again for the Houston Astros after missing the whole 2021 season following surgery on his elbow.

He underwent Tommy John surgery, which is more formally called ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) reconstruction. The procedure repairs a torn ulnar collateral ligament inside the elbow.

The 38-year-old’s contract is good for one year and is worth $25 million, with a player option for 2023. He initially declined the Astro’s qualifying offer worth $18.4 million. Due to his rejection of the earlier offer, he will no longer be allowed to receive it in the future.

Early success with the Astros

Verlander signed with the Astors in a mid-season trade with the Detroit Tigers in 2017, and helped the team win the World Series of that year.

The veteran starting pitcher went 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA and 300 strikeouts in 2019 and won his second Cy Young Award before he had his season-ending operation. His record with the Astros stands at 43-15 with a 2.45 ERA and 640 strikeouts. His contract with the team ended this year.

The right-hander was earlier rumored to be considering a return to the Tigers, which was only one of possible free agency destinations.

Ready for action

Verlander missed almost all of the 2020 season and has not played since Opening Day of last year, but he has apparently recovered and been rehabilitated enough to start pitching when training begins in the spring.

The eight-time All Star won his first Cy Young Award in 2011 when he was on the mound for the Tigers. The All-MLB first team is on track to becoming a Hall of Famer in the future.