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#pounditTuesday, January 31, 2023

Justin Verlander signs with NL team

Justin Verlander smiling

Jul 19, 2022; Los Angeles, CA, USA; American League pitcher Justin Verlander (35) of the Houston Astros and wife Kate Upton during the Red Carpet Show at L.A. Live. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets lost Jacob deGrom when the right-hander signed with the Texas Rangers last week, and they have move quickly to replace him in their starting rotation.

Justin Verlander and the Mets have agreed to a two-year contract, according to multiple reports. The deal will pay Verlander $86 million over two seasons and includes a vesting option for a third.

The move reunites Verlander with former teammate Max Scherzer. Both pitchers are now signed with the Mets through 2023 and have matching salaries of roughly $43 million per year.

The Mets were said to be caught off guard by deGrom signing a five-year deal with the Rangers. They reportedly offered the oft-injured ace a three-year deal worth around $40 million per year, and they were not given a chance to match the contract the Rangers gave him.

Another team with deep pockets was viewed as the biggest threat to sign Verlander if he did not return to Houston. That changed when the Mets lost deGrom, which left them desperate for another top arm.

Verlander, who will turn 40 in February, is coming off another dominant season in which he won his third AL Cy Young Award. He went 18-4 with a 1.75 ERA in 28 starts with the Houston Astros.

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