Justin Verlander was one of many MLB players who joined in on the free agent frenzy before the current lockout went into effect at the beginning of December.
The veteran ace reportedly signed a two-year, $50 million deal with the Houston Astros.
But the deal was never finalized and that put both sides in a tough spot.
The players are locked out and are supposed to have no communication with their teams.
But Verlander is a star and his agent seemingly pulled some strings to get his deal completed even during this labor stoppage.
Justin Verlander’s two-year, $50 million agreement for '22-'23 with Houston has been given formal approval by Major League Baseball, even at a time when the owners have locked out the players in the on-going labor battle.
MLB and the union have worked through the final details.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 13, 2021
MLB, proving this lockout has exceptions, approved Verlander’s deal.
So it is now complete and Verlander is officially going to add to his fortune and chase another ring in Houston for two more years.
Working Through The Lockout
Not getting the deal finalized before the lockout was a bit odd, but it is still customary for these contracts to take time in a normal offseason.
This one was just different as teams had to have everything completed before the lockout.
Justin Verlander’s contract with the Astros is now official, as @Buster_ESPN said. The holdup regarded language in his contract, and that issue has now been resolved, even with the lockout in progress.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 13, 2021
It would make no sense for MLB to make the Astros wait to figure out a few small points in this contract.
Allowing it to be finalized is a minor act of goodwill, but ultimately one that still helps a team in the Astros.
So it was best for business on the side of the league.
Verlander made one appearance in 2020 before being shut down and missed all of 2021 following Tommy John surgery.
Houston is putting a ton of faith, $50 million worth, in the veteran to return to his former ways and lead the team back to a World Series title.
If he cannot do that, the Astros may end up wishing this deal never got done in the first place.