Los Angeles Dodgers reportedly have met with free agent Justin Verlander.
Justin Verlander, one of the best pitchers in the game at the age of 39, finds himself on the free agent market and has some of the game’s richest teams pursuing him.
Per Jon Heyman of the New York Post, the Los Angeles Dodgers are meeting with Verlander today.
The fit is obvious on the surface as both player and team are eyeing a short-term, high AAV deal.
Verlander’s price tag is reportedly similar to what Max Scherzer got from the Mets last offseason. Scherzer, of course, signed for three years and $130MM, good for a $43.3MM AAV.
While Verlander is older than Scherzer was in his trip through free agency, a deal in that realm is by no means unrealistic.
Dodgers: What could a Justin Verlander deal look like?
The Dodgers have always been known as a club that prefers short-term deals. After all, the last contract the club handed out to a starting pitcher that was longer than three years was Brandon McCarthy’s four-year deal that saw the righty make just 33 appearances.
Verlander, of course, is a much different animal than McCarthy was. In 28 starts this past season, “JV” went 18-4 with a sparkling 1.75 ERA and an equally impressive 2.49 FIP. His 220 ERA+ led the majors and he easily won his third career Cy Young Award.
With Walker Buehler out for the majority (if not the entirety) of the 2023 season thanks to Tommy John surgery and both Andrew Heaney and Tyler Anderson on the free agent market, there’s suddenly a hole in the Dodgers rotation that Verlander could fill nicely.
MLB Trade Rumors predicted Verlander would land a three-year, $120MM contract with his next club. Two of the four voters for MLBTR had him re-signing in Houston, one had him going to Philadelphia and one had him going to the Dodgers.
MLBTR’s prediction is pretty close to what the industry-wide expectation is for his next contract. Since he is going to be 40-years-old on Opening Day, anything above a three-year deal is asking for trouble.