“I was going to agree to a trade, but…”

Three-time Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander (41, Houston Astros) was the subject of numerous trades to the Los Angeles Dodgers last summer. He had a no-trade clause against his former club, but the deal fell through when he returned to Houston.

The New York Post broke the news of Verlander, who is preparing for the new season, on Nov. 23 (KST) and told the story of how he was almost traded to the Dodgers at the trade deadline last summer.

After signing a two-year, $86.66 million free agent contract with the New York Mets in December 2022, Verlander became the highest-paid player in the league alongside his former Detroit Tigers teammate Max Scherzer (39, Texas Rangers).

However, he didn’t start the season until May due to shoulder soreness, and while he didn’t perform too badly, going 6-5 with a 3.15 ERA in 16 games (94⅓ innings), he found himself on the trade market when the Mets were completely out of fall ball. At the time, the Dodgers were considered a potential trade partner, as they were missing key starting pitchers, including Clayton Kershaw, due to injury.

Verlander was willing to agree to a trade to the Dodgers. 안전놀이터 When he heard that the Dodgers and Baltimore Orioles were interested in him at the trade deadline, he was willing to accept without invoking his no-trade clause. Scherzer was traded to Texas first, and then the possibility of a Dodgers deal was raised.

If Verlander had been traded to the Dodgers, it would have been problematic for a number of reasons.

The Dodgers were the opponent in Houston’s first World Series title when he was caught stealing opposing autographs from cameras in the outfield during home games and then tapping a trash can behind the dugout to deliver them to batters at the plate. In 2019, after the incident came to light, Verlander infuriated Dodger fans by saying that “our team is technologically and analytically advanced.”

Despite the bad publicity, things would have been quite different if Verlander had been traded to the Dodgers. The Dodgers lost in three games to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Division Series due to a series of pitching meltdowns, and they wouldn’t have been so helpless without him. But without him, the payroll wouldn’t have had enough room to go all-in on last winter’s top free agent signings of Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Tyler Glasnow.

While the Dodgers’ early exit from Fall League baseball last year was devastating for them, in the long run, it made sense for the Dodgers not to acquire Verlander. From Verlander’s perspective, he was comfortable returning to the two-time champions. Returning via trade less than a year after leaving as a free agent, there was no sense of dislocation. After returning to Houston, he went 7-3 with a 3.31 ERA in 11 games (68 innings), helping the Astros win the district title.

In the postseason, he was a big-game pitcher, going 1-1 with a 2.95 ERA in three games (18 1/3 innings).

“I thought I was going to do well with the Mets, but I didn’t, and I think both Scherzer (who was traded to Texas) and I knew we were on a mission to win a championship,” said Verlander, reflecting, “I was really happy that things worked out with Houston.” Although Houston fell short of a World Series berth, losing to Texas in the Championship Series in four games to three, the Astros are still in contention this year.

However, Verlander’s preparation for the season took a hit. A sore shoulder delayed his pitching schedule by two weeks. “It’s going to be tough, if not impossible, to pitch on Opening Day,” 바카라사이트 he admitted, but he is determined to stay on the field until age 45. “As long as I can get hitters out, I’m going to keep working hard,” he said. Born on Feb. 20, 1983, Verlander, who just celebrated his birthday, is now 41 years old.

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