Justin Verlander free agency buzz: Astros and Cy Young winner reportedly 'far apart' in negotiations

Oct 19, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) reacts after striking out Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (not pictured) to end the sixth inning in game one of the ALCS for the 2022 MLB Playoffs at Minute Maid Park.
Oct 19, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) reacts after striking out Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (not pictured) to end the sixth inning in game one of the ALCS for the 2022 MLB Playoffs at Minute Maid Park. / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Here is the latest buzz and rumors surrounding Justin Verlander's free agency...

Dec. 1, 10:15 p.m.

The Houston Astros and Justin Verlander are reportedly "far apart" in negotiations.

According to the New York Post's Jon Heyman, Houston is pessimistic on Verlander. 

“Quietly, they prefer not to sign him for three years. Verlander was great in-season but they carried him in the postseason,” one person familiar with the Astros’ thinking told Heyman.

Verlander reportedly seeks a three-year,  $130 million contract, which would be similar to what the Mets gave Max Scherzer last offseason.

A source told the Post that “No one [in Houston] wants to go three [years].”

Aside from Houston, the Dodgers, Mets and Yankees have talked to the reigning AL Cy Young Winner, and if the Astros don't budge on their stance it opens up the possibility that one of those teams lands the 39-year-old.

Nov. 29, 11:20 a.m.

While the Houston Astros are in the hunt to re-sign Verlander, team owner Jim Crane said on Monday, via MLB Network's Jon Morosi, that the team he has not "visited with (Verlander) lately."

The New York Post recently reported that the three-time Cy Young winner will meet with the Dodgers on Monday, noting that the Mets, Yankees, and Astros all remain interested.

The Astros have been busy, agreeing on a three-year deal with first baseman Jose Abreu on Monday.

Nov. 28, 10:48 a.m.

Verlander is meeting with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday, according to Jon Heyman of The New York Post.

Heyman, adding that the Mets, Yankees and Astros remain interested, notes that signing Verlander would fit into the Dodgers' recent strategy of doling out short-term deals with high average annual values.

Nov. 22, 6:25 p.m.

The Yankees are not 'confident' in signing Verlander, but will still try to go after the veteran pitcher this offseason, according to MLB Insider Jon Heyman.

“The Yankees tried for him last year, and they’ve gotten word through some high-ranking, political people, that he’d like to go to New York,” Heyman said on 670 The Score. “They made him an offer, and they felt, the way it was handled, that he didn’t want to go to New York.

“The Yankees are again trying with Verlander, but I don’t think they’re confident.”

The soon-to-be 40-year-old won his third AL Cy Young Award and helped lead the Houston Astros to the World Series title this past season. Despite his age, Verlander went 18-4 and pitched to a career-best 1.75 ERA over 175 innings on the mound.

Heyman added that Verlander is expected to sign a big contract that could look similar to the Mets' Max Scherzer.

“He’s gonna be a lot of money,” Heyman said. “He’s gonna want the Scherzer deal. So that limits him to maybe San Francisco, LA, Houston, and the New York teams.”

Nov. 21, 9:18 a.m.

The Mets spoke with Verlander last week via Zoom, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Verlander, who was recently unanimously named the American League Cy Young award winner, led the league in ERA (1.75), WHIP (0.829), ERA+ (220), and hits per nine (6.0) while striking out 185 batters in 175 innings over 28 starts in 2022 during what was his first season back after Tommy John surgery.

Verlander, who opted out of his contract with the Houston Astros after the World Series, will turn 40 years old on Feb. 20.

Astros owner Jim Crane told MLB.com last week that he believes Verlander is seeking a deal similar to the three-year, $130 million contract Max Scherzer signed with the Mets last offseason, with Crane adding that he believes Verlander will test the market.

Nov. 15, 10:56 a.m.

The Mets are considering whether to pursue Verlander, reports SNY's Andy Martino, who adds that the idea of signing Verlander to a high average annual value contract "has been floating around the Mets front office for months."

The possible pursuit of Verlander comes among the backdrop of Jacob deGrom's free agency, with the Mets viewing the Texas Rangers as serious suitors, per Martino.

Martino adds that the Mets remain engaged with deGrom's camp.