Are Justin Verlander and the Dodgers right for each other? Former pro scout Bernie Pleskoff, who worked with the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners during his career, thinks so.
The right-handed Verlander just won the American League Cy Young Award with all 30 first-place votes and declined his $25 million option with the World Series-winning Astros. This comes after missing significant time in 2020 and 2021 after undergoing two surgeries—a right groin procedure and then Tommy John—so it’s he’ll likely get plenty of attention during the offseason despite turning 40 in a few months.
So, why the Dodgers? For starters, they can likely afford him. According to FanGraphs, the Dodgers were projected to spend about $170 million in payroll before re-signing Clayton Kershaw, down from $262 million in 2022. That leaves plenty of room to go above the $25 million option Verlander declined.
There’s also room in the rotation: Tyler Anderson recently signed with the Los Angeles Angels, and Walker Buehler will miss a good amount of the season while recovering from elbow surgery.
Verlander will likely not be able to command a long contract, but that shouldn’t be an issue, adds Joey Mistretta at Clutch Points. He predicts that Verlander will ask for a three-year deal at most, but that a one- or two-year contract wouldn’t be out of the question.
All that, plus a near-guarantee of making a serious run at the World Series? It could be a match made in Blue Heaven. Pleskoff has more at Forbes.
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