MLB Rumors: Top 5 Teams Most Likely to Sign Justin Verlander

Justin Verlander will be looking for a new team this winter. Who signs the veteran starting pitcher?
Matt O'Leary |
Wed, November 17, 4:05 PM EST | 4 min read
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MLB Rumors: Top 5 Teams Most Likely to Sign Justin Verlander

It's been almost two years since we've seen Justin Verlander at the MLB level. In 2020, Verlander pitched just one game and then had to shut it down due to the need for Tommy John Surgery. Despite being a few months away from turning 39-years-old, Verlander will certainly draw some considerable interest.

A reunion with the Astros seems unlikely, as the team didn't want him there to throw out the ceremonial first pitch just a few short weeks ago. A return to the Astros sounds rather unlikely at this point in time.

So which teams around the league will have interest in Verlander? Supposedly, Verlander is looking for an East Coast team and a potential contender. Here are five that make a ton of sense:

Atlanta Braves

Fresh off of a World Series championship, the Atlanta Braves could use some pitching. They just went this route by signing Charlie Morton to a one-year deal last year and it worked, why not try it again on Verlander who the last time we saw him was putting up a Cy Young season at age 36.

Both Morton and Drew Smyly are set to be free agents and they're going to need some depth behind Max Fried. Look for the Braves to be one of the teams in the mix for the veteran arm.

New York Mets

The Mets a contender? Well, not at this second but with Steve Cohen as their owner they should absolutely have that mindset every year. The team just lost Noah Syndergaard to free agency, and although he wasn't a factor for them the last couple of years they need more bodies in the rotation.

Also, Marcus Stroman who was fantastic for them last year pitching to a 3.02 ERA is set to hit the market too. That's potential two top of the rotation guys out the window and Jacob deGrom coming off of an injury. A move for Verlander to put behind deGrom could take this rotation to the next level.

New York Yankees

All things considered, the New York Yankees rotation was pretty solid last year. In years gone by that was an issue for this team but it really wasn't a concern for the Bronx Bombers in 2021. With that being said, they still fell short of their ultimate goal of winning a championship.

I know the days of George Steinbrenner are gone but would it shock anyone to see the Yankees bring in a big name like Verlander to try to get over the top? Don't forget, Verlander got the best of the Yanks in both the 2017 and 2019 ALCS. If you're sick of getting beaten by the guy, why not just sign him.

Boston Red Sox

Boston just lost Eduardo Rodriguez to the Tigers in Free Agency so a hole opened up in the rotation. Garrett Richards is also a free agent so they're going to need some bodies to replace these guys who were key parts to a playoff team last year. 

The rotation was mediocre last year finishing 15th in staff ERA on the season. If they're looking to improve on their 92 win season from last year a big-time addition to the rotation would seem to make sense.

Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays are another AL East team that could be in the mix for Verlander. Both Robbie Ray and Steven Matz are free agents and they were a 91 win team that missed out on the playoffs last year. In order to get themselves over the top, a big-time addition like Verlander could do the trick. 

Last year the big splash was bringing in a former Astro in George Springer. Maybe make it two years in a row?

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