Rick Porcello returns
Three-time AL Cy Young winner Justin Verlander is joining the New York Mets on a two-year, $86 million deal with a vested third-year option, MLB insider Jon Heyman reports.
Verlander's signing comes on the heels of former Mets ace Jacob deGrom signing a five-year, $185 million contract with the Texas Rangers. The Mets are effectively replacing one dominant, generational right-handed pitcher with another one.
Verlander, who turns 40 in February, just pitched one of his best seasons, earning his third Cy Young award, and this time coming off Tommy John surgery.
He led the AL in wins (18), ERA (1.75), WHIP (0.83), opponent OPS (.497), opponent average (.186) , opponent slugging percentage (.297) and hits per nine innings (5.97). Verlander finished the season with a 1.75 ERA, which is the lowest posted by an AL pitcher in a full season since Red Sox starter Pedro Martinez had a 1.74 ERA in his Cy Young season of 2000. Verlander's ERA was also the third-lowest in the AL since divisional play began in 1969.
Now, Verlander joins a Mets rotation that includes Max Scherzer, who they signed last offseason.
The World Series champion Astros, meanwhile, have a rotation headlined by All-Star Framber Valdez, Lance McCullers Jr., Cristian Javier, Jose Urquidy, Luis Garcia and rookie Hunter Brown.