Dodgers Team News

Justin Verlander Rumors: Astros Do Not See Signing Free Agent as a Priority

The talk recently has been that the four teams most deeply involved in the Justin Verlander pursuit are the Dodgers, Astros, Yankees, and Mets. To hear MLB insider Jon Morosi talk, though, it sounds like Houston might be pulling out of that race.

That’s the Astros’ owner giving a nonchalant “Oh yeah, that guy, sure, he’s good” kind of answer, which would seem to convey a lack of priority on bringing back Verlander. Morosi’s comments on MLB Network on Tuesday drive home that point even further.

“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, whether it’s [Jose] Urquidy or [Hunter] Brown — if the Astros had a real urgency to sign Verlander and a desperation, if you will, based on where their pitching staff stands, they could probably do it.

“But they’ve chosen to spend now more than $20 million per year on Abreu, and that’s money that they no longer have to allocate to their rotation. And they would probably tell you, in a candid moment, Hunter Brown is ready to step forward, Urquidy is ready to step forward, [Luis] Garcia is ready to step forward and be part of a postseason rotation as he has been in the past. Quite simply, their need for Verlander is less than the Dodgers’ need for Verlander.”

Right now, it just doesn’t seem like re-signing Verlander is a top priority for Houston. And if it’s not a top priority at the height of free agency, it’s hard to picture when it would become one.

Chances are, Verlander’s time in Houston is done.

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. During his previous career as an executive at a technology company, he began writing about baseball in his spare time. After leaving corporate America in 2014, he started doing it professionally. Jeff wrote and edited for Baseball Essential for years before joining Dodgers Nation. He's also the co-host of the Locked On Dodgers podcast, a daily podcast that brings the smart fan's perspective on our Boys in Blue. Jeff has a degree in English from Brigham Young University. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw's homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.

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