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Houston Astros to keep star pitcher Justin Verlander with 1-year, $25M deal

Houston Astros to keep star pitcher Justin Verlander with 1-year, $25M deal
Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander, shown Oct. 23, 2019, missed the entire 2021 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery last year. File Photo by Trask Smith/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 17 (UPI) -- Houston Astros star right-hander Justin Verlander has agreed to return to the franchise on a short-term contract.

League sources told ESPN, MLB Media and FOX 26 in Houston that Verlander is signing a one-year, $25 million deal with the Astros. According to the outlets, the pact contains a player option for a second season.

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The 38-year-old Verlander rejected the Astros' $18.4 million qualifying offer before reaching an agreement with the team on the new contract.

Verlander captured the American League Cy Young Award in 2019, but he made just one appearance for the Astros over the past two seasons due to elbow troubles. He underwent Tommy John surgery in September 2020 and missed the entire 2021 season, his last before the expiration of his contract with Houston.

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Astros general manager James Click said Verlander held a pitching showcase for about 20 teams earlier this month and looked sharp in the session.

The Astros acquired Verlander from the Detroit Tigers before the 2017 trade deadline, and he helped guide Houston to a World Series championship that year. He was named AL Championship Series MVP after going 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA in the Astros' series win over the New York Yankees.

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Verlander also won the AL Cy Young Award with the Tigers in 2011, when he set career bests in wins (24) and ERA (2.40).

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The eight-time All-Star selection has a 226-129 career record and 3.33 ERA over 17 Major League seasons. He is one of only two active pitchers with 3,000 career strikeouts, along with the Los Angeles Dodgers' Max Scherzer.

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