The New York Mets needed to make a splash in free agency.
After losing starting pitcher Jacob deGrom to the Texas Rangers, the Mets were bound to be aggressive in the starting pitcher market.
On the first day of winter meetings, the Mets made a bold move by signing Justin Verlander to a huge contract.
The deal is for two years and $86 million.
Verlander is the reigning AL Cy Young winner and now looks to show what he can do in the NL for the first time in his career.
Justin Verlander posted an MLB-best 1.75 ERA last season, the best by a pitcher in his age-39 season or older since ER became official in both leagues in 1913 (min. 25 starts). https://t.co/pZgkqL4J8N pic.twitter.com/qFz5gS5ggG
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 5, 2022
The Mets front office had to feel pressure to replace deGrom.
Signing another one of the top pitchers available was the only hope for New York.
But is Verlander worth the money?
The right-hander will be 40 years old at the start of next season.
But, he has shown no sign of slowing down despite his age.
Most teams knew that Verlander would have a high asking price.
The Mets felt comfortable paying up for Verlander so he has to be worth the money.
The Mets have not won a playoff series since 2015 when they lose the World Series.
After signing Verlander, the Mets hope he and Max Scherzer can lead them to postseason success.
Both Verlander and Scherzer have won world championships and are almost always available to pitch.
Which is something they did not have in deGrom.
At the end of the day, the Mets’ hands were tied.
They did not expect to lose deGrom and after they did, Verlander was the next best option.
Now all the Mets can do is hope that Verlander and company can stay healthy in 2023.