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New York Mets trade starting pitcher Justin Verlander to the Houston Astros


New York Mets trade starting pitcher Justin Verlander to the Houston Astros

On Tuesday, August 1st, 2023 the Houston Astros once again acquired the ace starting pitcher, Justin Verlander, for the Major League Baseball postseason run. This time they secured Verlander via a trade with the New York Mets. The Houston Astros are reuniting Justin with their team roster in hopes of securing a third championship together as well as winning back - to - back MLB World Series championships.

The Trade between the Houston Astros & the New York Mets

The Houston Astros eventually reached an agreement with the New York Mets on Tuesday, August 1st, 2023 in order to re - acquire the superstar veteran starting MLB pitcher in the hope of bringing the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner back to the Houston Astros to win another World Series this year.

Outfielder, Drew Gilbert, who is rated as the Houston Astros' best prospect by MLB.com, is now heading to the New York Mets in the other part of this trade agreement. The New York Mets also acquired the minor league outfielder Ryan Clifford from the Houston Astros in this deal just prior to the 2023 MLB trade deadline.

Ryan Clifford

Clifford was an 11th - round Major League Baseball draft pick last year, and Ryan is ranked 4th in the Houston Astros Minor League Baseball farm system following a very impressive stint in High - A ball.

Justin Verlander

The now 40 - year - old Verlander, returned from Tommy John surgery last year in order to secure his 3rd - American League Cy Young Award in Houston with the Astros during their 2022 MLB World Series championship winning season. Justin helped lead his ball club to their 2nd - MLB World Series title over the course of the past 6 - years.

The Houston Astros decided not to aggressively pursue a reunion with Justin throughout the last MLB offseason, and instead chose to put their faith in what seemed like a young and deep starting pitching rotation, and Verlander managed to sign a new 2 - year contract with the New York Mets worth up to approximately $86.7 million.

Verlander’s contract with the New York Mets also included a $35 million option for the 2025 MLB season that could hold if Justin accumulates at least 140 - total innings during the 2024 MLB season, which managed to scare away many other Major League Baseball franchises. The New York Mets will have to pay $35 million out of the $58 million remaining on his deal in 2023 and 2024 as well as $17.5 million of his 2025 option if it happens to vest.

"[General manager Dana Brown] and his team worked on it hard," the Houston Astros owner, Jim Crane, mentioned publicly to The Associated Press on Tuesday, August 1st, 2023. "After we looked at the numbers -- it's always tough to give up prospects, but I think they determined that it was the right move. We needed starting pitching. He's been throwing well. And I think the other factor is they ate a lot of the contract. So, it wasn't a really hard decision. It was just would we give up enough prospects?"

The New York Mets have sorrowfully and majorly underperformed throughout this 2023 MLB season which caused an unexpected and surprising sell - off right before the 2023 MLB trade deadline, and the Houston Astros were definitively in the open market for starting pitching by midseason this year which prompted this star - studded reunion between Verlander and the Houston Astros.

Several other big - league ball clubs were apparently in the market for Verlander, most notably the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise who had more intriguing prospects to offer the New York Mets in a potential trade, but Justin held a full no - trade clause which was worked into his contract, and the Houston Astros held the upper hand throughout the negotiations thanks to his strong relationship with the Houston Astros owner in Jim Crane.

"Justin and I always got along," Crane goes on to say. "We've had direct contact with each other on a number of things. Certainly not this one, but I know him well, and every time he was here, we did what we said we were going to do. So, I think he had some trust in coming back here, certainly. And he's had great successes. So, I think that certainly helped."

According to sources around the league the Baltimore Orioles, the Atlanta Braves, and the San Diego Padres were also reported to have been pursuing the hard throwing right - handed veteran MLB starting pitcher in Justin Verlander.

Justin now becomes the 4th - high - profile New York Mets player to depart their team roster over the course of the past week or so, as Verlander joins the list including co - ace starting pitcher Max Scherzer who moved over to the Texas Rangers, closer David Robertson who went to the Miami Marlins, and outfielder Mark Canha who was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers. The Houston Astros are presently only a half - game behind the Texas Rangers in the tight American League West division of the MLB.

"It improves my heart's function; you know what I mean?" the Houston Astros manager, Dusty Baker, explained the value of having Justin Verlander back in the Houston Astros starting pitching rotation. "And for a guy who's had a stroke, heart function is very, very important. And that does my heart well."

Verlander just so happened to get off to a slow start earlier this season, but he has regained his signature form of as late, posting an amazing ERA of 1.49 throughout his last 7 - big - league starts with the New York Mets.

The Houston Astros initially acquired Verlander from the Detroit Tigers during a late - August of 2017 trade just 2 - months prior to the franchise winning a World Series championship that was later unfortunately tainted by the Houston Astros notorious sign - stealing scandal. Verlander went on to spend the better part of the next half - decade with the Houston Astros, providing a major piece of the cornerstone players for that franchise that has absolutely established themselves among the most dominant ball clubs in baseball over the last decade or so.

Verlander’s Baseball Career Achievements, Honors, & Awards

  • 9 - Time MLB All - Star (2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2018, 2019, 2022)
  • 2 - Time MLB World Series Champion (2017, 2022)
  • American League MVP Award Winner (2011)
  • ALCS MVP Award Winner (2017)
  • 2 - Time All - MLB First Team Selection (2019, 2022)
  • 3 - Time American League Cy Young Award Winner (2011, 2019, 2022)
  • Pitching Triple Crown Honor (2011)
  • American League Rookie of the Year Award Winner (2006)
  • Babe Ruth Award Winner (2017)
  • American League Comeback Player of the Year Award Winner (2022)
  • 4 - Time American League Wins Leader (2009, 2011, 2019, 2022)
  • 2 - Time American League ERA Leader (2011, 2022)
  • 5 - Time American League Strikeout Leader (2009, 2011, 2012, 2016, 2018)
  • Pitched 3 - MLB No - Hitters (2007, 2011, 2019)


“Houston Astros acquire Justin Verlander from New York Mets”, Alden Gonzalez, espn.com, August 1, 2023.

“Justin Verlander”, baseball-reference.com, August 2, 2023.