Mets’ Justin Verlander gushes over opportunity to play for Buck Showalter

billy eppler, mets
Dec 20, 2022; NY, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Justin Verlander (left) speaks to the media with general manager Billy Eppler during a press conference at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets big-ticket free agent signing this offseason is excited to get to work. Despite being 39 years old, coming off a World Series title, with nothing left to prove, Justin Verlander is pumped to be a Met and thrilled to play for Buck Showalter.

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Mets’ Justin Verlander speaks glowingly on Buck Showalter:

Over the weekend, Verlander gave an acceptance speech for his 2022 AL Cy Young Award and expressed tons of joy on this upcoming season.

“Thank you, Buck, for the kind words. I’ve had the pleasure of playing for some great, Hall of Fame managers in my career, and I really look forward to having the opportunity to play for, in my opinion, another one, so thank you.”

On his elation to be a Met, Verlander shared this, “I’m very excited to start this next chapter of my career with the Mets as well. Thank you to Steve and Alex Cohen for bringing me here to New York.”

The Mets’ new ace is coming off a season in which he posted a major league-best 1.75 ERA despite being a year removed from Tommy John surgery. In 28 starts, Verlander finished with an 18-4 record and tied for the best batting average allowed of .186 with Zac Gallen. In 175 innings pitched, Verlander recorded 185 strikeouts and a league-leading 0.83 WHIP.

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Verlander joins the Mets to lead their starting rotation alongside his former teammate, Max Scherzer. The two will be expected to keep this Mets starting pitching staff as one of the best in baseball and should be fun to watch together.

Even with all of his accomplishments at this later point in his MLB career, Verlander still gives off the impression that he is motivated to be dominant and has expressed nothing but excitement to now be with the Mets. For the Mets to fulfill their World Series hopes in 2023, the success of Verlander is as key as anything.