Yankees Free Agency Buzz: Justin Verlander meeting with Dodgers, interest remains

justin verlander, yankees, mets
Jul 23, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) walks off the field after pitching against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Credit: Lindsey Wasson-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have been connected to a myriad of different starting pitchers this off-season, notably Justin Verlander, Carlos Rodon, Kodai Senga, and even Jacob deGrom. However, the team’s interest in Verlander is real, considering general manager Brian Cashman offered him a one-year, $25 million deal last off-season.

Instead, the Cy Young award-winning pitcher signed a two-year, $50 million deal with the Houston Astros but elected to opt out in search of them more prominent contract.

Verlander is doing his due diligence, despite the Astros wanting to retain his services. The expectation is that he will demand a Max Scherzer-type of deal worth $40 million per season over three years. However, it may be difficult for him to earn that type of money at 39 years old, so it seems like the Yankees might be willing to give him a decent pay raise over a shorter term, whereas they may have to lock in a pitcher like Rodon for 5+ years.

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The Yankees have competition across the board for top free agents:

However, the veteran starter is meeting with the Los Angeles Dodgers this week as they look to bolster their rotation. In addition to Verlander, the Dodgers have also shown interest in Aaron Judge, and if they’re willing to spend a big to acquire multiple elite-level players, the Yankees have to be aggressive in their pursuit as well.

Word is Dodgers are meeting with Justin Verlander today. Would fit their preference for big talents on short-term deals (with of course very high AAV). Both NY teams interested and of course incumbent Astros.

Per Jon Heyman of the New York Post

Verlander posted a 1.75 ERA, 3.23 xFIP, and 9.51 strikeouts per 9 over 175 innings this past season. He won the Cy Young easily and justified a big money extension. However, owner Hal Steinbrenner may take a more conservative approach after extending Judge, looking to add underrated talents the coaching staff can extrapolate on rather than proven commodities.

Justin may remain a backup option in case the Yankees lose Judge, but signing both will undoubtedly put the team in a great position to compete for a World Series next year and beyond.