CARLSBAD, Calif. – Free agent Justin Verlander looked healthy and ready in a scouting display earlier this week, according to Houston Astros general manager.
James Click told general manager meetings Tuesday that Verlander “looks like himself” 13 months after Tommy John’s surgery.
“We have watched him closely,” Click said. “He’s been great letting us know when he’s going to pitch so we can come in and take a look at him, see how he does. The videos I’ve seen have been incredible.”
The two-time Cy Young Award winner held an exhibition for scouts from about 20 teams. New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and Texas Rangers general manager Chris Young confirmed Tuesday that they were among the clubs with available representatives.
Verlander won the AL Cy Young Award with Houston in 2019, but made only one appearance during the 2020 pandemic-shortened season due to elbow problems. He underwent surgery to repair his ulnar collateral ligament on September 30, 2020 and missed the entire 2021 season, the last before ending his contract with the Astros.
Houston extended a one-year qualifying offer of $ 18.4 million to the 38-year-old right. Verlander has until November 17 to accept or reject it.
Click said the Astros are interested in bringing him back anyway.
“From everything I’ve seen, from everything I’ve heard, he’s completely healthy,” Click said. “If he is and if we can find a way to get him back to Houston, that would be tremendous.”