The Angels attended his workout the other day, and he was hitting 97 mph. His arm seems just fine, and nobody needs more of an emphasis on signing a big starting arm this offseason more than the Halos.
He was offered the Qualifying Offer this year, so if he accepts, it will be $18.4 million. It’s not such a guarantee that he’ll accept, however, as Verlander could absolutely make more than that. He could maybe even go for a multi-year deal too.
Ken Davidoff over at the New York Post has Verlander signing with the Yankees for $20 million on a one-year deal. The one-year deal does make sense, as not a lot of teams are going to be rushing to sign someone coming off of TJ surgery to three or more years for around $18.4 million per year. $20 million seems to be the benchmark, and it begs the question of whether the Angels should get involved with the bidding war that could be soon to come.
The LA Angels need to engage in the bidding war that could come for Justin Verlander.
Sure, Justin Verlander could end up being very expensive if a bidding war is sparked between the LA Angels and the New York Yankees. He is worth the money, though.
How often is an eight-time All-Star starting pitcher who’s won an MVP, an ERA title, and a pitching Triple Crown on the free market? Almost never, so if he’s healthy, it’s a ‘risk’ worth taking.
If there’s anybody who can come back from a serious injury like Verlander’s, it’s Verlander. He’s faced plenty of adversity in his career.
Look at recent events in his career.
In 2017, Verlander was struggling (for his standards). He was sporting a 3.82 ERA, and was walking a career-high 3.5 batters per nine innings. He was given the benefit of the doubt, getting a change of scenery to go to Houston.
In Houston, he was stellar. He finished the season 5-0 with a 1.06 ERA in five starts. The guy was electric all over again. He posted a career-best WHIP of 0.647 and cut the walks down to 1.3 per nine innings.
He carried that momentum right with him into the future, going 37-15 in the next two years with a 2.55 ERA to go along with a 172 OPS+, a BB/9 rate of 1.6 and a 0.851 WHIP. He only could start one game since then, in 2020, before he went down (and looked good in that one start, by the way).
In Scherzer’s two most recent years (obviously excluding 2020), he’s pitched some of the best he ever has. He was even a 21-game winner and Cy Young winner in 2019.
If he’s healthy, the chance at getting the pitcher he just was is too high to not go for it. The most recent version of Verlander is hardly ever available. We have the money to out-bid teams for Verlander this offseason, and need to be aggressive.
I’d rather go down swinging than go down after being passive and just hoping we can pull something together in our rotation.