Are Yankees serious contenders for Justin Verlander?

The Yankees are among Justin Verlander suitors.

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After he won his second ring with the Houston Astros, Justin Verlander has become a free agent this off-season. According to Ken Rosenthal, the New York Yankees together with the Los Angeles Dodgers and cross-town rivals the Mets are the frontrunners to sign the 39-year-old pitcher.

Justin Verlander is likely to win the AL Cy Young Award and he perfectly fits the roster of any team with a deep pocket and needs a rotation pitcher. The New York Yankees fit the criteria in both, as they need to strengthen their erratic bullpen and also are among the richest in the league. Though Verlander is getting close to 40, he seems to have all of his skills. He would be a great fit for a team that wants to win right away and reach the World Series.

The Yankees will try again to get Justin Verlander, a star pitcher for the Houston Astros. The 39-year-old veteran just finished a season that could have won him the Cy Young Award. He had a 1.75 ERA, a 3.23 xFIP, 9.51 strikeouts per nine innings, and 80.5% of runners left on base. Even though he is getting older, Verlander might still have a few years of elite-level pitching left. The Bombers would find him good to support Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortés, Luis Severino, and Frankie Montas. The star would make the New York bullpen one of the finest in the game, and if they can keep Aaron Judge in the process, the Yankees will be very hard to beat in the playoffs.

The Yankees liked the idea of bringing in the right-handed pitcher last winter, so they gave him a $25 million offer. The Yankees tried to sign the veteran star during the offseason before the MLB lockout, which was mostly a quiet time for them. Hal Steinbrenner agreed to a big one-year offer for Verlander, who had only made one start and had Tommy John surgery between 2020 and 2021. Instead, Verlander chose to sign a one-year deal with the Astros that paid him $25 million and gave them the option to pay him another $25 million in 2023.

But the Yankees could get another top-tier starter only if they can outbid others. The New York Mets have a lot of money to spend and they desperately need a pitcher like Justin Verlander, as the team could lose a lot of rotation players to free agency. The Dodgers have a long history of adding superstars to a team that has been a monster for a while.

Verlander clinched a deal with Huston owner Jim Crane in his last free agency while on vacation in Italy the last offseason, so it seemed likely that he would re-sign with Houston quickly. But that hasn’t happened yet, which could be because Verlander sees money-making opportunities with teams like the Mets, Yankees, and Dodgers.

Do the Yankees need Justin Verlander?

The likely winner of the AL Cy Young Award, who will turn 40 on February 20, could be a short-term, high-paying fit for any of these teams. The Mets have the fears of losing deGrom, Chris Bassitt, and Taijuan Walker. The Dodgers might go after Verlander if Tyler Anderson doesn’t accept their qualifying offer of $19.65 million, or even if he does. The Yankees didn’t go after Justin Verlander at the trade deadline in 2017 and missed out on him when he was a free agent.

The Yankees already have a lot of good pitchers, so they don’t have to get Justin Verlander right away. Even though his skills would help any team he joined, they won’t be in a lot of trouble if they can’t sign him. Verlander, on the other hand, was a very different kind of talent. It would have been hard to guess that he had only played one game in the last two years, with a 1.75 ERA, a batting average of .186, and a WHIP of 0.83.

Jameson Taillon is the only starting pitcher the New York Yankees are likely to lose, and general manager Brian Cashman didn’t talk about him at his last press conference.

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