Yankees News: Former Mets manager becomes new third-base coach, Verlander in play for Bombers

Alexander Wilson
justin verlander, yankees

After interviewing former Mets skipper Luis Rojas over the weekend, the Yankees are preparing to make him their new third-base coach this upcoming season.

The Mets released Rojas from managerial duties after a disappointing 2021 campaign, but he is well-liked in the clubhouse and was a fantastic piece in their player development. Rojas won 77 games last year, and with the team heavily invested in their players, it simply wasn’t enough to keep him around for longer.

As a well-respected coach, Rojas should do a great job at third base with the Yankees, replacing Phil Nevins, who made a few poor decisions during the postseason, putting the Bombers in a tough situation.

New York Yankees could be in on the Justin Verlander sweepstakes:

The Yankees attended Verlander’s workout on Monday, with 15-20 teams joining to scout his recovery. However, the team is still waiting on the former Cy Young award-winning pitcher to decide his fate with Houston.

The Houston Astros have extended the qualifying offer to SP Justin Verlander, which would pay him $18.4 million over one year. Verlander has until No. 17 to accept the offer; otherwise, he will hit free agency and can sign with a different club.

New York Post’s Joel Sherman stated that “Verlander threw about 25 pitches during the workout, clocking in between 94-97 miles per hour. The workout was held at Yankees director of player health and performance Eric Cressey’s facility.”

Whether or not Cressey’s involvement with the process might give the Yankees a leg-up in a potential Verlander acquisition is yet to be seen.

Adding Verlander to the team would be a significant grab for the Yankees, considering their inconsistencies in the rotation last season.

At 38-years-old, Justin missed the entire 2021 campaign and pitched in just one game in 2020. His last full season came in 2019, when he pitched 223 innings and recorded 21 wins. Verlander posted a 2.58 ERA, 35.9% ground ball rate, and 88.4% left on-base percentage. He also accumulated a 12.11 strikeout per nine rate and 1.70 walks per nine. Verlander has historically hovered around 95 mph with his fastball, but reports indicated he was sniffing 97 MPH during his workout, which is a major positive.

If Verlander can return to his normal self, the Yankees would be getting a potential Cy Young candidate to pair with Gerrit Cole, who could surely use the backup.