Astros Off-Season Guide Excerpt - Verlander

I pulled this from the comprehensive off-season guide because I felt like people would need to read this today as Verlander turns down the Qualifying Offer.


11/17/21 Note- After the announcement and minutes before the deadline it was announced Verlander signed a 1-yr $25M contract with a second year player option. To me this means the Astros know JV is in way better shape and ready to go than anyone else knows.


There are many out there that expect the Astros to sign Verlander and/or Verlander to accept the QO. As far as the later as I said, I think JV accepting the QO is an EXTREMELY low probability. Here is my logic. Let's go through the scenarios and what actions JV would take right now for each.

  • JV just hoping Astros offer him a QO to accept knowing he is done but can collect a paycheck for 2022

  • Two groups understand Verlander's health and current capability

  • JV and his medical team

  • The Astros Medical and training staff

  • The Astros moved lightning fast to get JV signed after he declined the QO. What does that tell you?

  • If JV WAS done the Astros would know it and JV would NOT be throwing right now

  • Likelihood less than 3%

  • JV going to accept QO in order to have a prove it year to get a bigger contract for 2023+

  • If JV and his agent KNOW his plan is to accept the QO, there would be no reason for JV to have the showcase on 11/8/21 that he did. There would be NO REASON to risk an injury throwing 94-97 mph.

  • If they were unsure whether he should they would do the showcase and assess the interest. THIS might be what happened.

  • Verlander is a freak physically but he will be in his age 39 year in 2022. Father time is undefeated.

  • Can Verlander pitch so well in 2022 that he dramatically increases the contract he gets now? I simply don't believe so.

  • Part of that is I think people will be stunned that JV gets a 3-year deal with greater than $25M AAV (probably vesting options.)

  • Likelihood JV accepts QO- about 30%

  • JV going to turn down QO

  • What would Verlander do if he knew he was going to turn down the QO and thought he was already in good shape and ready to pitch? He would hold a showcase to show EVERYONE how good he is- CHECK

  • What would the Astros be doing if they knew how ready Verlander is to pitch and how good he has been looking at private workouts?

  • They would be talking about signing JV even if he declines the QO

  • Per Mark Berman on Twitter ”He looked good.He’s in shape.He was throwing well..We gave him the qualifying offer..If he turns that down..We haven’t ruled out trying to sign him to a deal beyond the qualifying offer”- CHECK

  • Likelihood JV rejects QO- 67%

  • How likely is JV to accept a two to three year contract with the Astros?

  • This is anyone's guess really

  • Multiple reports indicate 15-20 teams were at his showcase workout including the Yankees, Mets, Blue Jays, Tigers, and Angels.

  • I just don't think it is likely Verlander returns- I love it when I am wrong and it is good for the Astros. I thought other teams would outbid the Astros. Whether it is due to the speed in which they moved to get the deal done or the willingness to go above what the consensus market was believed to be, the Astros got it done and done quickly. Credit Jim Crane.

Let me know if you need more of an explanation of any of this.

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