Justin Verlander contract details: How much are Astros paying ace to return to Houston?

Justin Verlander is coming back to Houston.

Verlander made just one start in 2020, pitching six innings and allowing just two runs, before he was shut down with a forearm strain. In September, he said that he required Tommy John surgery, ending his hopes of pitching again in either the 2020 season or the 2021 campaign.

While Verlander is 38 years old, he had shown no signs of aging prior to the surgery, and in returning to Houston, he is giving the team a potential ace ready to help the team return to the World Series. 

Here’s how much he’s slated to make in his return to Houston.

MORE: AL and NL Cy Young voting results

Justin Verlander contract details

Fox Sports MLB analyst, and Verlander’s brother, Ben Verlander, reported that the Astros signed the two-time Cy Young winner to a one-year, $25 million deal with a player option for a second year.

This came just after Verlander declined the qualifying offer by the team, which was a one-year, $18.4 million offer. By holding out for a new deal, he was able to secure not only about $7 million more, but he was able to ensure he can earn another big payday in 2023 if he wants to come back.

MORE: MLB free-agency tracker

According to the Associated Press, Verlander’s player option would be for another $25 million.

The Astros are committing a lot to Verlander, who hasn’t pitched since 2019, but prior to his surgery, he had returned to ace form. He was named the AL Cy Young in 2019, the first time he won the award since 2011, when he swept the Cy Young and MVP. In 2019, he had a 2.58 ERA in 223 innings of work with a career-best 35.4 percent strikeout rate.

The previous season, he was second in the AL Cy Young voting behind Rays’ Blake Snell. Verlander had a 2.52 ERA in 214 innings with a 34.8 percent strikeout rate, which was, at the time, the best in his career.

Verlander has pitched in at least 200 innings in all but one season since 2006 (2015). 

Justin Verlander career earnings

Verlander’s illustrious career has earned him plenty of money.

According to Spotrac, Verlander has earned $274,588,222 in his 17 seasons in the big leagues. 

MORE: Ranking the 20 best free-agent starting pitchers, with potential landing spots

Prior to this season, Verlander had been signed to a two-year, $66 million deal with the Astros. The largest contract he had ever signed came before the start of the 2013 season, when he signed a seven-year, $180 million contract with the Tigers. That was the second prominent extension of his career, as he had previously signed a five-year, $80 million before the start of the 2010 season.

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