Astros SP Justin Verlander Opts Out of Contract, Becomes Free Agent

Add star pitcher Justin Verlander to the list of intriguing MLB free agents. According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, Verlander has declined his one-year, $25 million player option for the 2023 campaign. The decision is no surprise as the 39-year-old looks to secure a more lucrative, long-term extension. 

After missing the entire 2021 season due to Tommy John surgery, Verlander enjoyed a resurgence in 2022. Across 28 starts (175.0 IP) for the eventual World Series champion Houston Astros, the nine-time All-Star posted an 18-4 record, an MLB-leading 1.75 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, and 185 strikeouts, finishing as a finalist for this year’s AL Cy Young Award.

Although he is set to enter his age-40 season, Verlander remains one of the game’s elite hurlers and will have no shortage of suitors. That said, expect the Astros to do everything they can to keep the two-time Cy Young winner in the fold.

FanDuel Sportsbook has the Astros holding the second-best World Series odds at +600.