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#pounditWednesday, April 24, 2024

AL contender wins Justin Verlander sweepstakes

Justin Verlander in a Mets uniform

Mar 15, 2023; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) throws pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals during the first inning at Clover Park. Mandatory Credit: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets have agreed to trade Justin Verlander, and the former Cy Young award winner is heading to a very familiar spot.

Verlander has been traded to the Houston Astros, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Verlander was widely expected to be traded after the Mets sent Max Scherzer to the Texas Rangers, which signaled that they are waving the white flag on the 2023 season. There were several contending teams that had interest in Verlander.

One surprising new team entered the mix for Verlander this week, but ultimately the Astros made the best offer.

Verlander signed a 2-year, $86.7 million contract with the Mets last offseason. The 40-year-old has a full no-trade clause but has agreed to be sent to Houston.

The Astros are 60-47 and a half-game behind the Rangers in the AL West division. They likely felt more urgency to land Verlander after Texas acquired Scherzer.

Verlander is 6-5 with a 3.15 ERA in 16 starts this season. He pitched for the Astros for five seasons from 2017-2022 and won two of his three Cy Young awards in Houston.

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