NEW YORK (AP) — Justin Verlander reached a $25 million deal to remain with the Houston Astros as he comes back from Tommy John surgery, and Brandon Belt accepted an $18.4 million qualifying offer from the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday.
Verlander, a 38-year-old right-hander, has a conditional $25 million option for 2023 as part of the agreement.
He made just one start in 2020, pitching six innings on July 24 in a win over Seattle on opening day before being placed on the injured list with strained right forearm. He attempted a comeback after he was injured, but announced on Sept. 19, 2020, that he needed Tommy John surgery and underwent the procedure on Oct. 1.
Verlander, a two-time Cy Young Award winner and the 2011 AL MVP, became a free agent after completing a $94 million, three-year contract with the Astros. He said earlier this year that his rehabilitation was going well and added that he hated that he only played one game in the time that deal covered.
“That gnaws at me,” he said. “But ... this was an unfortunate injury that nobody could have seen coming. But I still do like to earn my keep.”
Verlander is 226-129 with a 3.33 ERA in 16 seasons.