Justin Verlander has agreed to a one-year, $ 25 million deal to stay with the Houston Astros, including a conditional player option to renew the deal for the same amount and duration.
Meanwhile, Brandon Belt accepted a qualifying offer of $ 18.4 million that the San Francisco Giants put on the table on Wednesday.
Verlander, 38, is set to return after undergoing surgery on Tommy John.
The right-hander had just one start in 2020. He worked six innings in the July 24 game, a victory over Seattle in the season opener.
Then, he entered the disabled list for a strained right forearm. He tried to return after injuring himself, but announced on September 19, 2020 that he required surgery to reconstruct the ligament in his elbow, which he underwent on October 1.
A two-time Cy Young recipient, Verlander was also the AL MVP in 2011. He declared himself a free agent after completing a three-year, $ 94 million contract with the Astros.
Earlier this year, he commented that his rehab was going well, adding that he had hated playing only one game in the entire term of that agreement.
“It’s something that bothers me,” he said. “But… this was an unfortunate injury that no one saw coming. Even so, I like to earn my salary playing ”.
Verlander is 226-129 with a 3.33 ERA in 16 seasons.
Belt was the only one to accept among the 14 free agents who received offers from their last clubs on November 7. The 33-year-old first baseman was perhaps wary of entering a free-agent market that includes star Freddie Freeman, who plays in the same position and was the National League MVP in 2020.
Last season, Belt hit 274 with 29 homers – his career-high – and 59 RBIs.
Players who declined qualifying offers included Freeman (Atlanta), Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa and Verlander (Houston), Cuban right-hander Raisel Iglesias (Los Angeles Angels), American League Cy Young recipient Robbie Ray and second baseman and shortstop Marcus Semien (Toronto), outfielder Nick Castellanos (Cincinnati), shortstop Trevor Story (Colorado), shortstop Corey Seater and cross-functional player Chris Taylor (Los Angeles Dodgers), as well as outfielder Michael Conforto ( New York Mets).
Two of the players who received offers made agreements with new teams. Venezuelan left-hander Eduardo Rodríguez left Boston to sign a five-year, $ 77 million deal with Detroit, while right-hander Noah Syndergaard left the Mets and signed a one-year, $ 21 million deal with the Angels. (AFP)