New York Mets Trade Justin Verlander To Astros for Outfield Prospects
The New York Mets have traded pitcher Justin Verlander to the Houston Astros for outfield prospects Drew Gilbert and Ryan Clifford, ending days worth of speculation.
Verlander, who had a full no-trade clause, approved of the deal to return to Houston, where he won two World Series titles in 2017 and 2022.
The Mets had signed Verlander in the off-season to a two-year $86 million deal with a vesting option for a third year in 2025, but the club’s underperformance this season combined with the harsh reality that the Mets needed to replenish its farm system made it abundantly clear that the Mets and Verlander needed to go in different directions.
The Houston Astros have a deal in place to acquire ace Justin Verlander from the New York Mets, sources familiar with the agreement tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 1, 2023
What will it Cost?
According to Bob Nightengale, the Mets will pay $54 million if Verlander’s $35 million vested option kicks in. Overall, Houston pays only $29 million to have their former ace return.
The New York #Mets are sending the #Astros about $54 million in the Justin Verlander trade, one executive said, if Verlander's $35 million option in 2025 becomes vested.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) August 1, 2023
Verlander is owed about $93 million, meaning the #Astros would pay Verlander about $29 million for 2 1/3 years
The Mets reportedly shopped Verlander aggressively over the past couple of days, with the Dodgers and Orioles in the mix.
The Atlanta Braves, also reportedly checked in on the Verlander sweepstakes.
In the end, Verlander returns to the team with whom he won 61 games in 102 starts with, and enjoyed some of his best years late in his career.
Verlander won a Cy Young Award last season with the Astros, who were en route to the 2022 World Series title.
Imagine the deciding game of the ALDS or ALCS between the Rangers and Astros and the deciding match-up between Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer with Jacob deGrom watching in the Texas dugout. Meet the Mets indeed. #LGM— Michael R. Cohen (@OpenMikeNJ) August 1, 2023
The Mets receive two of the Astros’ top outfield prospects in the deal. Gilbert was Houston’s top-rated prospect this season and was their first-round pick last year out of Tennessee.
The Mets are reportedly acquiring the Astros' top-ranked prospect, Drew Gilbert in the Justin Verlander trade.— SNY Mets (@SNY_Mets) August 1, 2023
Gilbert was the Astros' first-round pick last year and represented Houston at this year's Futures Game. pic.twitter.com/WB3eF8HDAy
According to Jeff Passon of ESPN, the second player in the deal, Ryan Clifford was ranked fourth in the Astros farm system, and word is “evaluators see him as a superior prospect to Drew Gilbert.”
The Astros were very reticent to part with Ryan Clifford, and it's easy to see why: He's already raking at High-A after going to them in the 11th round last year. Just turned 20 within the last two weeks. A number of evaluators see him as a superior prospect to Drew Gilbert.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 1, 2023
The Mets have now shipped off Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, David Robertson, and Mark Canha, and have replaced them with six Top 20 minor-league prospects.
The Mets are in Kansas City this week.