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Friday, August 05, 2022

Verlander’s latest gem cashes $25 million option for ‘23

Justin Verlander’s season stats shine like a work of art.

His 15-3 record is dazzling. His 1.73 ERA is league-leading. His 0.85 WHIP is minuscule. And his 130 innings pitched are impressive—and might end up being the most important in the grand scheme of things.

With his six-inning scoreless start in Houston’s 6-0 win over Cleveland on Thursday, Verlander reached that 130 innings mark, triggering his $25 million player option for 2023. And while Verlander and the Astros still have a long way to go before they can focus on next season, the player option being picked up is a huge step forward for the 39-year-old hurler who is putting together a comeback season for the ages.

“I wasn’t pitching to get to 130 innings,” Verlander said after the game. “When we we were doing the contract, [Astros owner] Jim [Crane] told me they wanted 130 innings for my player option. I was asking for a straight player option and they said they’d like 130 innings, and that was that. I thought that was a very fair number the way I like to pitch.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 05, 2022 at 05:32 PM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: justin verlander

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   1. Rally Posted: August 05, 2022 at 07:16 PM (#6090199)
Unless he gets hurt again, seems kind of irrelevant. If he keeps pitching like this he’ll get a lot more than 25m next year.
   2. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: August 05, 2022 at 08:36 PM (#6090216)
A Scherzer-esque contract, while still unlikely, no longer seems inconceivable. Also pretty wild is that Verlander's enjoying his best ERA+ (221) by a wide margin even as he's posting his lowest K rate (25.5%) since 2015.
   3. The Honorable Ardo Posted: August 05, 2022 at 09:19 PM (#6090222)
Justin Verlander is my favorite baseball player. I'm glad he's bounced back so well this season.
   4. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: August 05, 2022 at 09:33 PM (#6090224)
JV with Houston is a ridiculous 58-18 with a 183 ERA+. (And it's sad to realize that if he had put up those numbers for Detroit, they'd...still be pretty bad.)
   5. Walt Davis Posted: August 05, 2022 at 09:52 PM (#6090230)
the player option being picked up

That is some odd phrasing.

Next season's salary is largely a function of how much Verlander wants to pitch next year ... not as in "at all" (I take it as a given for now he'll be pitching next year) but whether he wants one of those contracts Clemens got at the end of his career where he showed up just for the last 20 or so starts of the season and the postseason. I suspect the Dodgers would love him on a contract like that. The most unexpected bit of the Scherzer contract was their willingness to make it a multi-year guaranteed one. I could see the Astros approaching Verlander with something like 1/$30 M plus $15 M once he reaches 130 innings (if they like that magic number). Or maybe 1/$35 with a team option with a $10 M buyout. He will be 40, I'm not sure any team will want to guarantee 1/$45 or sign him for multiple guaranteed years.
   6. TJ Posted: August 06, 2022 at 12:47 PM (#6090288)
Justin Verlander marries a super model and plays at a supreme level longer than most anyone.
Tom Brady marries a super model and plays at a supreme level longer than most anyone.

Yeah, like marrying a super model needed even more perks…
   7. Adam M Posted: August 06, 2022 at 02:44 PM (#6090299)
David Bowie and Rick Ocasek also come to mind, although they both did their best work pre-supermodel.
   8. The Duke Posted: August 07, 2022 at 10:18 AM (#6090388)
Heidi Klum didn't have any magical impact on Seal. The aberration that proves the theory
   9. Zach Posted: August 07, 2022 at 01:02 PM (#6090399)
However, Heidi herself is aging like a particularly well-sited Redwood.
   10. Banta Posted: August 07, 2022 at 02:18 PM (#6090403)
Verlander has exponentially increased his chances at 300 wins, though I’m sure they’re still very small. If he can remain at around this level through next season, he’d be at ~260 wins through age 40. If he then put up Randy Johnson’s age 41 to 44 (671.1 IP, 49 wins at 110ish ERA+), he’d be set (simple, right?).

Been said a lot but winning 300 games is ridiculous. Verlander from age 23 to 36 had 12 out of 14 seasons of 200 IP+ (186 and 133 in the other two), averaging 212 IP/season, won 15 games or more 11 times, 17 or more 7 times, years of 24 and 21, for an average of 16 during that span and still was only at 225 (yes, that’s how maths work). Obviously an all-time career and hard to express any disappointment, but he would have had a real shot at 300 without missing 2020 and 2021, even with the COVID shortened season.

I’m pretty sure I remarked in a game chatter in ‘08 that he’s a good pitcher, but he’d probably drive me crazy on my team because his stuff looked so good yet his results were inconsistent and thought he was a touch overrated. In an online career of dumb remarks, this probably aged the worse. A reverse Verlander if you will.

I am a little surprised he only has 4.1 bWAR/3.8 fWAR, good for 4th among pitchers on BBREF (not even in the top ten overall). Alcantara leads with 5.9 in 28 more innings which makes sense, Max Fried is second with 4.6 in 8 more innings but a relatively pedestrian 162 ERA+ compared to Verlander’s 221.
   11. John Northey Posted: August 08, 2022 at 12:11 AM (#6090576)
Verlander to get to 300 from 241 now he would need a push ala Nolan Ryan. From age 40 to 46 he won 71 games so he could get to 324 lifetime - he almost lost 300 as well (292 in the end) via his 66 losses from 40-46. I'd have loved to see him get to 300 losses to join Cy Young & Pud Glavin in that odd club and was in eyeshot of Cy Young's all time record of 315 losses. Doubt we'll see anyone else challenge that record - the active leader is Greinke at 139.
   12. Ithaca2323 Posted: August 08, 2022 at 10:55 AM (#6090606)
Basically, the question is not "Who can win 300 games", it's "Who can make 600 starts?"

The most recent pitcher to have a chance at 300 was Mike Mussina, who retired with 270 following a very good 20-win season in 2008. He had 536 career starts. Prior to that, Randy Johnson, 301 wins in 603 starts. Greg Maddux had 305 wins in 604 starts following 2004. Clemens? 310 in 607 starts after the 2003. (Glavine needed a lot more starts to get his 300th)

Plenty of active wins leaders are right around 50%. Scherzer is at 48%, Kershaw at 49%. Wainwright is exactly at 50%.

Grienke and DeGrom are a lot lower, but neither is getting to 600 anyway. So was CC, but he was cooked after 560 either way.

Verlander is at 51%. Does he have another 125 starts left in him? Maybe. He might only need 100 — he's won more than 60% of his starts in Houston. But that's still 3 years of perfect health from 40-42. That's a lot to ask.

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