Justin Verlander noncommittal on future following third CY Young award: ‘Market will dictate itself’

 

Justin Verlander is coming off a career year, winning his third CY Young award Wednesday night two weeks after helping bring another World Series to Houston.

Following a season that saw Verlander lead Major League Baseball in ERA (1.75) and have the second most wins in the majors (18), it’s hard to believe that he won’t be in an Astros uniform next season.

Justin Verlander of the Astros after defeating the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series at Minute Maid Park on Nov. 5, 2022, in Houston, Texas.
(Rob Carr/Getty Images)

But last week, Verlander opted out of his contract, declining his $25 million player option and making him a free agent after he threw over 130 innings during the 2022 MLB season.

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“I don’t know what the future holds,” Verlander said, according to USA Today. “I don’t want to sit here and say I won’t be back. I’m not going to sit here and pretend to know. The market will dictate itself. Jim [Crane] understands that.

“There’s a lot of people interested in my services, including the Astros, and we’ll see what happens.”

Justin Verlander of the Astros participates in the World Series parade on Nov, 7, 2022, in Houston, Texas.
(Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

The Astros have stated that they would like to bring Verlander back, but they will have to compete with 29 other teams for the soon-to-be 40-year-old.

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“Justin really had a great year,” owner Jim Crane said last week, according to MLB.com. “We have a good relationship with him, [manager] Dusty [Baker] and I and [general manager] James [Click]. I think we have [until] about four o’clock [Thursday] to talk to him. We’ve been talking to him and we’re working on it. We’re gonna do our best to try to keep him.”

Verlander, who missed the entire 2021 season following Tommy John surgery, remarked that his third CY Young will always have a special meaning.

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“It shows I am at a different point in my life,” Verlander said Wednesday night. “I will always remember this Cy Young looking back at the growth of me as a father, as a person, as well as all the rehab and that I was so committed that it was going to go well and I was going to come back and be me.

Justin Verlander and wife Kate Upton participate in the World Series parade on Nov. 7, 2022, in Houston.
(Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

“To have that actually happen – positive affirmations only take you so far. I don’t think I’ll be able to look at this award without recalling all of that.”

Houston is going through organizational changes following their World Series victory, with Crane firing general manager James Click days after taking home the championship.