Mets sign Justin Verlander to replace Jacob deGrom

By Adam Burke  (VSiN.com) 

December 5, 2022 12:41 PM
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Verlander gets two-year, $86.6 million deal with vesting third-year option

Justin Verlander, the unanimous AL Cy Young Award winner, will switch leagues and pitch in the Senior Circuit for the first time for the New York Mets. Perhaps “Senior Circuit” is an apt term to describe the Mets rotation, which now has Verlander and Max Scherzer, who could cost more money than as many as eight MLB Opening Day payrolls.

After Jacob deGrom signed with the Texas Rangers, the Mets moved on to Plan B, which was Verlander, who will turn 40 on February 20. The Mets also have Carlos Carrasco in the rotation, who will turn 36 before the 2023 season begins.

Justin Verlander stats

Verlander is certainly an excellent addition to a pitching staff that had to find a way to replace deGrom. In Verlander, the Mets get a future Hall of Famer with a career 3.24 ERA and a 3.36 FIP, numbers that he has not exceeded since the 2017 season. Verlander only made one start in 2020 and missed all of 2021 while recovering from his second Tommy John surgery, but returned in 2022 with a vengeance, posting a career-bests in ERA (1.75), FIP (2.49) and tying a career-best in BB% at 4.4%. 

Verlander’s strikeout rate did drop significant from 2019 when he struck out 300 batters over 223 innings, but he still struck out over a batter per inning (185 K in 175 IP) and had his best home run per fly ball percentage (HR/FB%) since 2010. His 6.2% mark was nearly 10% lower than what he had in 2019 when he allowed 36 home runs. He only allowed 12 in 28 starts this past season.

New York Mets odds

DraftKings Sportsbook and others immediately pulled their World Series and NL pennant odds after the Verlander signing was announced. Money is no object to owner Steven Cohen, so more transactions are coming. This will be a big week for transactions with the MLB Winter Meetings in San Diego.

At time of writing, BetMGM Sportsbook re-posted with the Mets at +900 to win the World Series, lined only behind the Dodgers, Astros and Braves. They were +450 to win the National League, again behind the Dodgers and Braves.

New York Mets news

Along with deGrom’s departure and Verlander’s arrival, the Mets are in the news because Brandon Nimmo is one of the top free agent hitters available. The offense still remains better than league average, but Nimmo’s high on-base percentage is extremely valuable, even if he has some major durability concerns.

The Mets signed closer Edwin Diaz to a five-year, $102 million extension right after the postseason ended, so they’ve got their relief ace locked in, but they’re going to need a lot of help in middle relief and should be big spenders on the bullpen.

It should be a very active offseason around the Major Leagues with big free agents like Aaron Judge, Trea Turner, Dansby Swanson, Carlos Correa, Carlos Rodon and others, so there should be lots of MLB news on a regular basis.

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