The New York Post’s Jon Heyman appeared Tuesday on 670 The Score and pumped the brakes on the idea of the New York Yankees signing free-agent right-hander Justin Verlander. Per WFAN:
“The Yankees tried for him last year, and they’ve gotten word through some high-ranking, political people, that he’d like to go to New York,” Heyman said. “They made him an offer, and they felt, the the way it was handled, that he didn’t want to go to New York. The Yankees are again trying with Verlander, but I don’t think they’re confident.”
Part of the problem could be Verlander’s price tag, according to Heyman.
“He’s gonna be a lot of money,” Heyman said. “He’s gonna want the Scherzer deal. So that limits him to maybe San Francisco, LA, Houston, and the New York teams.”
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MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reported last week that Houston Astros owner Jim Crane said “Verlander is seeking a deal similar to Max Scherzer, who signed a three-year, $130 million contract with the Mets a year ago. Crane said he hopes the absence of a state income tax in Texas will give the Astros an edge.”
Verlander opted out of his contract with the Astros following the 2022 World Series. Last week, he won the American League Cy Young Award for the third time in his career. In 2022, Verlander won a league-best 18 games while posting a career-low 1.75. ERA.
On Sunday, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported “The Mets, dealing with several holes in their rotation, including the possible loss of ace right-hander Jacob deGrom, spoke with Verlander by Zoom last week, according to major-league sources.”
However the line of Verlander bidders is growing, according to Rosenthal: “Verlander, obviously, is not only on the Mets’ radar. The World Series champion Astros want him back. The Dodgers and possibly the Yankees are among the other clubs that view him as an attractive short-term, high-dollar investment.”
On Saturday, The New York Post’s Mike Puma reported “Verlander is a prominent possibility for the Mets if deGrom departs, and a source said the team is considering the veteran right-hander.”
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Last week, the Athletic’s Jim Bowden said Verlander could be part of the Yankees’ backup plan if they lose outfielder Aaron Judge in free agency.
SNY’s Andy Martino reported Verlander is on the Mets’ radar as a possible replacement for deGrom if the ace leaves Queens. On Wednesday, Martino said, “The idea of essentially replacing deGrom with Verlander is one that’s had some traction within the Mets front office.”
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Mike Rosenstein may be reached at [email protected].