Justin Verlander returns to Houston Astros via trade from Mets

Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander throws during the first inning of the team's...
Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander throws during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday, Aug. 3, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) ORG XMIT: LAD101(Mark J. Terrill|MLB (Major League Baseball)|MLB (Major League Baseball) (custom credit) | AP)
Published: Aug. 1, 2023 at 2:43 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HOUSTON, Texas. (KPLC) - After leaving the Astros to sign with the New York Mets in December, starting pitcher Justin Verlander is back in Houston after the Astros and Mets agreed to a trade on Tuesday afternoon.

Verlander, who is a three-time Cy Young Award winner, two of which he won as a member of the Astros, signed a two-year $86.7 million deal, that includes a $35 million vesting option for the 2025 season. The Mets, who entered the 2023 season as one of the favorites to win the World Series, with the largest payroll in Major League Baseball, have had a very disappointing season as they find themselves with a record of 50-55, which puts them 17.5 games back of the National League East lead, and six games back for the third NL Wild Card spot.

Because of their disappointing season, the Mets have turned into sellers at the trade deadline with Verlander being their second former Cy Young winning pitcher traded over the course of a couple days after New York traded Max Scherzer to the Texas Rangers on Saturday, July 29th.

As part of the trade the Astros sent outfielders Drew Gilbert and Ryan Clifford to the Mets in return for Verlander.

The Astros selected Gilbert with the 28th overall pick out of Tennessee in the 2022 Draft, and is the 68th ranked prospect according to MLB.com, and was Houston’s top-ranked prospect as well. The Astros also selected Clifford in the 2022 MLB Draft as they selected him in the 11th round. Clifford was Houston’s fourth-ranked prospect.

Verlander is the second player the Astros have acquired within the past week after Houston traded for another former pitcher of theirs in Kendall Graveman, as they sent catching prospect Korey Lee to the White Sox in return for Graveman.

The move for Verlander leaves the Astros with zero players in MLB.com’s list of the top 100 prospects.