Here's how the LA Angels can STILL sign Justin Verlander

Oct 29, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) warms up
Oct 29, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) warms up / Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

The LA Angels missed out on the Justin Verlander sweepstakes and he signed with the Houston Astros, right?

Wrong. Or, at least he hasn't signed with the Astros just yet.

While his brother Ben Verlander did announce that Verlander will be back to Houston on a two-year/$50 million contract (with a player option for that second year), Verlander has not officially signed.

Nobody knows why this is the case, but this, along with the fact that there is now a MLB lockdown and the Astros can't sign Verlander until it ends, keeps the Angels as players for Verlander.

Perhaps this Justin Verlander news is why the Angels haven't signed another big rotation arm.

The LA Angels have been quiet this offseason when it comes to the big starting pitching names in free agency, and it's possible that it's because they're working behind the scenes on Justin Verlander. Of course, it's plenty possible that this has nothing to do with the Angels staying a little quiet on starters, but Verlander is still a free agent and the Halos have the chance to make up for letting other free agents sign elsewhere by signing Verlander.

The Halos did sign Noah Syndergaard, but they still have holes in their rotation. They were always rumored to possibly be in on more than one free agent starting pitcher this offseason, and have let almost all the major names sign elsewhere. They even let Alex Cobb walk.

If they can figure out how to bring Verlander, a future first ballot Hall of Famer to sign after the lockout, they'll be looking at a potentially very strong rotation next year.

The Halos attended Verlander's workout early this offseason, and he looked just fine.

The issue with signing Verlander is that he is coming off of Tommy John surgery, and the Angels are already relying on Syndergaard to bounce-back strong after TJ surgery as well. The argument against that would be how the Angels have found out how to manage pitchers coming off of the surgery with Shohei Ohtani bouncing back THIS year with arguably the greatest season in MLB history.

For what it's worth, the last two healthy years for Verlander went perfectly, with him having back-to-back All-Star years and a Cy Young in the second one. He led the AL in wins (21) that year, and led the AL in SO/BB ratio in each of those years (7.84 and 7.14, respectively).

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He was tremendous, and posted a 2.55 ERA and 172 ERA+ in 68 starts those two seasons. The former AL MVP appears to still have it, and if the Angels can, they should push hard to bring him over here. Their other free agency plans have clearly fallen through.