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Justin Verlander’s Contract Series

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Justin Verlander's Contract Series

Justin Verlander’s Contract Series

Justin Verlander has the option of walking backwards into the Baseball Hall of Fame tomorrow, but it looks the almost 40-year-old will continue his career after winning his third Cy Young Award with the Astros in 2022.

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Verlander joined the Astros at the 2017 waiver deadline, completed his contract in 2018, signed a two-year, $66 million extension, and then inked his most current two-year, $50 million agreement – which was reduced in half when he opted out a few weeks ago.

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In total, the Detroit Tigers #2 overall selection pick has earned well around $300 million in 18 seasons – and he’s not done yet.

THE UPCOMING CONTRACT

Let us begin only with what the stats suggest. Tossing Justin Verlander’s previous three seasons (with 2021 a wash) statistically into our system yields a record $45.3M – precisely $2M higher than the current MLB high of $43.3M. (Max Scherzer).

If we consider age (and it seems difficult not to, given the 2022 output), the only true precedent we have is Adam Wainwright, who has already signed back-to-back one-year, $17.5 million contracts for his age 40 and 41 seasons. But, despite good seasons in both 2021 and 2022, Adam Wainwright isn’t Justin Verlander. If we only consider WAR, Wainwright’s last two years total 5.39, which is an outstanding production. Verlander’s 2020 and 2022 seasons combined? 12.88

If we merely look at the percentage change in WAR, Verlander should be paid 60% more than Wainwright – or $30 million more. When all factors are considered (earning $33M 3 years ago, decreased to $25M due to injury, shared the difference for age 40), it’s definitely a relatively reasonable figure.

However, early indications from Verlander’s side do not appear to indicate “compromise.” In reality, the teams involved (Mets, Dodgers, Astros, etc…) cause most to assume that an inflation-adjusted version of Max Scherzer’s deal is far more plausible than an inflation-adjusted version of his own recent financials.

We’ll stick with the previous storyline because our math supports it. Verlander agrees to a two-year, $90 million contract with the Mets, with a $25 million club option for 2025.

THE IMPLICATIONS

As he pursues his own contract this winter, Jacob deGrom appears to be the guy most likely to gain from a top-tier Verlander contract. Right now, deGrom’s injury history is a significant red flag, but that isn’t preventing the Yankees, Braves, and, of course, the Mets (to name a few) from conducting their due research.

A Verlander signing in Queens almost probably means deGrom’s time there is up, but it also raises the stakes for his next stop. Despite the 6-year age difference, the 34-year-old has a market valuation just under that of Verlander, so a contract from one should directly lead to a higher contract for the other.

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She is the editor of River C Sports. Previously, she was editor-in-chief at other news sites. July has also in her career been an editor for several websites and has more than 5 years of experience in the industry.

MLB

Interest from other teams could make Chris Sale wear another shirt in 2023

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Interest from other teams could make Chris Sale wear another shirt in 2023

Interest from other teams could make Chris Sale wear another shirt in 2023

Although no more serious negotiations have begun, the Boston Red Sox have noted the interest of other franchises in pitcher Chris Sale and have not ruled out involving him in a possible trade.

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Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported that while the Red Stockings are not thinking of trading any of their starters, they may at least listen and consider offers for the members of the rotation, due to many options in the sector.

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However, if the team decides that Ace’s time in Boston is over, Sale can veto his fate and choose where he will go, since the no-trade clause in his contract gives him this possibility.

Should any team decide to take over the pitcher’s contract this offseason, they will secure his services for at least two more years, as Chris Sale becomes a free agent only in 2025.

Known for his excellent left-handedness, the athlete has a considerable history of physical problems. In addition to missing the entire already shortened 2020 season as a result of recovery from Tommy John surgery, Sale also took the field nine times the following year in uneven performances.

This season did not start in good shape for Sale either, who missed the start due to a rib injury during Spring Training. When he was healthy, he played only twice and fractured his little finger during an away game against the New York Yankees in July in his last performance. In addition, he broke his wrist riding a bicycle.

“You can’t make that up, right?” said Chaim Bloom, head of baseball operations for the Sox Kings. “We need to send some people after whoever is with Chris Sale’s voodoo doll and get it back.”

Sale was among the top six nominees for the Cy Young award between 2012 and 2018, receiving seven All-Star Game nominations, one World Series win, recording the record for unblemished innings with three (tied with Sandy Koufax and Max Scherzer) and owns a 5.33 strikeouts-to-walk average, the best mark in league history.

Taking into account his wins, but also the medical issue, Chris Sale will have to prove himself again as an elite pitcher who has made it through the injuries. If so, he is a powerful weapon on the mound, regardless of the uniform he wears.

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Pirates sign veteran pitcher Rich Hill to a one-year deal

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Pirates sign veteran pitcher Rich Hill to a one-year deal

Pirates sign veteran pitcher Rich Hill to a one-year deal

The Pittsburgh Pirates and left-handed pitcher Rich Hill finalized terms on a one-year, $8 million contract on Tuesday (27), reported Jeff Passan of ESPN USA.

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Hill, 42, will be entering his 19th season in the MLB. He accumulated a 4.27 ERA with 109 strikeouts in 124.1 innings for the Boston Red Sox in 2022. Including, his last stint in Boston was his fourth with the team.

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Since 2015, when the lefty had a “resurgence” period in his career, he has maintained an average of 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings, along with a good 2.91 ERA (140 ERA+) and a 1.06 WHIP in 87 total games.

The veteran pitcher has also played for the Chicago Cubs, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Guardians, Los Angeles Angels, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins, Tampa Bay Rays, and New York Mets during his long career.

In addition to Hill, the Pirates have already signed Austin Hedges, Vince Velasquez, Jarlin Garcia, Carlos Santana, Connor Joe, and Ji-Man Choi this offseason.

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The Mariners acquire Wong from the Brewers in exchange for Winker and Toro.

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The Mariners acquire Wong from the Brewers in exchange for Winker and Toro.

The Mariners acquire Wong from the Brewers in exchange for Winker and Toro.

The Mariners acquired Kolten Wong from the Brewers on Friday in exchange for outfielder Jesse Winker and infielder Abraham Toro, filling a much-needed left-handed spot in their lineup.

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DETAILS OF THE TRADE

  • 2B for the Mariners Kolten Wong
  • Brewers are awarded: LF/DH INF Jesse Winker Toro, Abraham.

The Mariners will also receive $1.75 million to help offset Wong’s $10 million salary in 2023, when he will be a free agent. Winker is due $8.25 million in his final year before free agency, effectively a money and player swap for Seattle, while Toro is in his first year of arbitration as a Super Two player and won’t be a free agent until until 2026.

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Wong has been a Mariners goal since the team came short of signing him as a free agency ahead of the 2021 season, when Seattle offered a two-year deal but Milwaukee offered a third-year club option, which was the difference at the time, according to sources. The Mariners had inquired about Wong’s availability at the Trade Deadline the previous two seasons, but the competing Brewers were uninterested in moving him.

However, with numerous arbitration-eligible players set to receive raises this offseason, many in the business anticipated that the team might be willing to move some of its higher-priced players for payroll relief, prospect capital, and/or depth. Toro, a switch-hitting infielder with glimpses of good performance, provides longevity for the Brewers’ squad, while Winker, coming off a terribly disappointing season, returns to a division where he flourished with the Reds while facing the motivation of a contract year with the Brewers.

The Brewers activated Wong’s option last month instead of paying him a $2 million buyout, opening the door for him to be traded, which sparked interest from clubs other than Seattle, according to sources.

Wong, 32, is coming off what was maybe his greatest season at the plate, hitting.251/.339/.430 (.769 OPS) with a career-high 15 homers, 24 doubles, four triples, 47 RBIs, and 116 wRC+ (league average is 100) while collecting 2.5 wins above replacement, according to FanGraphs.

Some of this was by purpose, with a more deliberate attempt to raise the ball higher. His line-drive and fly-ball rates were the best in his career the last two years (49.3% combined), but his ground-ball percentage was the lowest (43.7% for ’21-22). It’s possible that his OPS+ in each of the last two seasons – 110 in ’21 and 118 in ’22 – was the greatest of his career.

Wong is a two-time Gold Glove Award winner who is coming off a defensively bad year in which he was worth minus-9 outs above average (placing in the third percentile, per Statcast) and minus-1 defensive runs saved.

Some of that could be attributed to lower-body injuries he battled throughout the year, such as a right calf strain from a hit-by-pitch in June, which led to a stint on the injured list and persisted despite treatment and footwear experimentation. A full offseason of rest and a Spring Training with infield coaching guru Perry Hill, who has helped J.P. Crawford and Ty France among others, should be beneficial.

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