And while we haven’t heard publicly from the three-time Cy Young winner, his brother, Ben, did speak about what the deal means for the ace and just how excited the righty is to be heading to Queens.
“I just talked to Justin, he is so pumped up,” Ben Verlander said on his Flippin’ Bats podcast. “The first thing to me after talking to Justin is just how happy he is – relieved, excited, pumped up. It was very, very obvious from the second he called, the smile on his face.”
Ben Verlander later added that Justin is “Blown away by their commitment to winning. … It’s something that he wanted to be a part of.”
“The first thing that he mentioned is ‘I want to win, that’s the goal. My goal is to win, that’s my number one goal,’" Ben Verlander explained.
According to Ben, Justin wanted to be a part of the Mets not just because of what the team is building on the field, but because of the culture they’ve built away from the diamond as well.
“He said that the direction that this franchise has been heading for the last few years has been something that he’s taken notice of very clearly,” Ben Verlander said, “and not just on the field, off the field as well – the hirings that they’ve been making off the field, the analytics department, the strength and conditioning, the people that need to be added in the right place have been, and he’s been very impressed by the direction that this franchise has been going. Winning on the field and winning off the field as well.”
A nine-time All-Star and the reigning AL Cy Young winner, Verlander joins a Mets team that already has plenty of superstar talent with players like Max Scherzer, Francisco Lindor, Pete Alonso and others already under contract.
Ben Verlander said his brother wants to come in and be “a leader” in the clubhouse for that group, but Justin also knows that the Mets aren’t done yet when it comes to adding key pieces this offseason.
“This isn’t the end for the Mets, and Justin was told as much,” Ben said, adding that while the core is very good, “this roster that we see will not be the same team that we see on Opening Day. I know that’s going to be the case, and Justin is just so pumped up.”