The Dodgers met with free-agent pitcher Justin Verlander on Monday, and while we haven’t yet heard any specifics from that meeting, MLB insider Jon Morosi seems to like L.A.’s chances of signing the future Hall of Famer.
Morosi was on MLB Network on Tuesday and was asked by host Matt Vasgersian if the Dodgers are “on the verge of another huge free-agent add.”
“Matt, ‘on the verge’ might be a little too strong in terms of where things stand at the moment, but I do believe the Dodgers are among the strongest candidates to sign Verlander. And indeed, when you think about this report, and credit to Jon Heyman for being first on this story, with Verlander now meeting with the Dodgers, the Astros investing a lot of money in [Jose] Abreu and really trusting some of their internal options …. Quite simply, their need for Verlander is less than the Dodgers’ need for Verlander.
“And I know we’ve talked before about Verlander’s comfort in Los Angeles — he obviously does have a lot of family connections out there, I think it would be a very comfortable place for him to live and begin the third act of his major-league career. It just seemed to me that the way this season ended — World Series championship, Cy Young, he gets his first World Series victory personally — that this was a natural closing of the second chapter of Verlander’s career.
“And for someone who has talked about wanting to pitch as long as Nolan Ryan pitched, the Dodgers, to me, are a natural spot for him to go to, because, remember, the Dodgers like to structure contracts, they’ll go high-AAV over a shorter period of time. … I really think, out of all the possibilities, the Dodgers, to me, have about as much of a chance of it happening for Verlander as any other team. … Whether they’re at 40%, 50%, I’m not sure what the field looks like right now, but if you had to tell me right now, where do I think Verlander will sign? I believe the Dodgers have the best chance at this moment to sign Justin Verlander.”
"I believe the Dodgers have the best chance at this moment to sign Justin Verlander." ?
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) November 29, 2022
Morosi loves to talk about Verlander having connections to L.A., and he might actually be one of the few free agents who really does consider that in his decision. He’s made nearly $320 million in his career, so he will literally never even notice how much he makes the next two or three years. But he’s not going to accept a lowball offer from Los Angeles — if the Dodgers want him, they’ll have to pay him.
With the Astros seemingly backing off, though, it seems like it’s mostly down to L.A. and the two New York teams. Maybe it’s my SoCal bias showing here, but if I were a 40-year-old pitcher looking for a good place to finish off my Hall of Fame career, I probably wouldn’t choose somewhere as hostile as New York.
But, again, it will probably come down to who offers the most money. And it could be the Dodgers!
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