Do the New York Mets now have the best rotation in baseball?
The New York Mets have landed Justin Verlander on a fully-guaranteed deal that could be worth up to $110 million, and their rotation may be the best there is.
Justin Verlander had an incredible 2022. Coming back off of Tommy John surgery, it was hoped that he might be somewhere near his old self. Older arms tend to suffer for the wear and post-surgery, the Houston Astros would have settled for even a glimmer of the eight-time All-Star.
What they got was so much more.
Justin Verlander had a season that rivalled any in his fabulous career. Not only close to his old self, Verlander was perhaps improved on what he once was. After spearheading a Houston Astros rotation that ended in a second World Series title for both himself and the team, Verlander picked up the AL’s Cy Young award and became the only player in MLB history with multiple World Series championships, an MVP Award, a Rookie of the Year Award, and three Cy Young Awards.
One of the biggest fish to land in free agency, along with Aaron Judge, Verlander was reportedly holding out for a multi-year deal in the $120 million range.
With the Dodgers and Rangers both sniffing around, it looks like the New York Mets decided to put pen to paper and baseball columnist Joel Sherman reports that the Mets and Verlander are now in agreement on a 2-year, $86M deal. The deal is reported to be a fully-guaranteed deal with a third year option that, if taken, could see Verlander earn up to $110 million.
This move now reunites two former Detroit Tigers greats in Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer on the same rotation. The Mets rotation already includes Carlos Carrasco, David Peterson, and Tylor Megill. The loss of Jacob deGrom to the Texas Rangers might have weakened the possibilities of this dominant pitching staff, but only slightly.
With a few big arms yet to sign around the league, notably Carlos Rodon, the Mets already have one of the top five rotations in baseball. The addition of another deep starter could push them over the top. Even if they don’t get it before spring training, the Mets are a team who are not afraid to be aggressive in the mid-season free agency window.
It may be too early to get excited about the Mets chances, but they are certainly looking a lot better than they did yesterday.