3 Astros who won’t be back in 2025 if they sign Blake Snell

The Houston Astros' pursuit of 2023 NL Cy Young winner Blake Snell ramping up could mean these three players won't be back with the team in 2025.

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1. Justin Verlander

At 41 years old, Justin Verlander is still one of the MLB's best starting pitchers. In 2023, he went 13-8 with a 3.22 ERA and 144 strikeouts in 162.1 innings, but Father Time may be catching up to him. 

The 2011 AL MVP has been tending to a shoulder issue this offseason that has prolonged his normal offseason schedule and will cause him to open the 2024 campaign on the injured list as he continues rehabbing in hopes of returning to the mound as soon as possible.

While Verlander is locked into Houston’s plans for this season as the ace atop their rotation, he has a vesting option for 2025 that is activated if he reaches a 140-innings pitched milestone this season, which he can use to opt out and test free agency should he feel threatened by the possible acquisition of Snell.

Considering his age and the fact that he’s dealing with an injury to his throwing shoulder, what will the Astros do if Verlander doesn’t receive and pick up his option for next season? Do they re-sign him? Or do they let him walk knowing they have another Cy Young winner on their staff? 

Conversely, if Verlander earns the 2025 option, it likely means things went well for him in 2024 – so does he opt out to seek a multi-year contract?