MLB was bound to see several high-impact trades on Tuesday.
Justin Verlander being traded to his former team, the Houston Astros, is definitely one of them.
MLB insider Bob Nightengale was quick to report the news.
Justin Verlander has been traded to the #Astros!
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) August 1, 2023
In exchange, the New York Mets will be receiving outfield prospect Drew Gilbert, plus at least one additional prospect, in the deal.
The Mets had signed Verlander to a two-year, $86.6 million deal in the offseason, with a vesting option for $35 million in 2025.
They had every intention to contend this year, but everything that could have gone south has.
Between injuries (Verlander himself missed the first month of the 2023 campaign), suspensions, slumps, and other unexpected obstacles, the Mets are 50-55 as of Tuesday afternoon.
There might still be a mathematical path to contention.
It’s extremely hard at this point given that they traded their two aces (Verlander and Max Scherzer) plus their closer David Robertson, and more deals could be on the way.
Verlander will be going to a team he knows extremely well: the Astros.
Between 2017 and 2022, he had a 61-19 record and an incredible 2.26 ERA there, winning the 2019 and 2022 AL Cy Young awards.
He might have spent more years with the Detroit Tigers, but his best seasons came in an Astros uniform.
Now, he is getting the chance to enter a tight playoff race in the AL West, in which the Astros are just half a game behind the Texas Rangers for the lead.
It’s a desirable situation for Verlander and his family.
It seems like every party involved in the transaction got what it wanted.NEXT: MLB Insider Highlights The Padres' Lack Of Clutch Play In 2023