Red Sox

Report: Verlander returning to Astros despite interest from Red Sox, others

Red Sox

One of the most notable pitchers on the MLB free agent market is Justin Verlander, and he's drawing interest from several teams in the American League.

UPDATE (Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 6:04 p.m. ET): Verlander is returning to the Houston Astros, according to his brother.

--End of Update--

That includes the Boston Red Sox, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, who reported an update on Verlander's situation Tuesday.

"Word is that the teams that were in on Syndergaard also have interest in Verlander. That includes three AL East clubs — the Yankees, Blue Jays and Red Sox. Toronto and Boston made aggressive offers for Syndergaard. It is not publicly known if the Yanks did."

Tomase: Red Sox' offseason comes into focus after weekend moves

Sherman also writes that "A few interested clubs said they perceive Verlander would prefer the East Coast to the West Coast."

The Red Sox reportedly were one of many teams to attend Verlander's recent workout.

Verlander has barely pitched over the last two seasons. He made one start in 2020 and had Tommy John surgery in September of that year. The veteran right-hander didn't pitch at all in 2021. Before the surgery he was one of the league's best pitchers. Verlander won the AL Cy Young Award in 2019 and finished top five in the voting in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Tomase: Justin Verlander question has an easy answer for Red Sox

Not only is Verlander coming off Tommy John surgery, he's also 39 years old. He's pitched more than 3,100 innings between his regular season and postseason appearances combined. There's a lot of mileage on his arm.

 

The Red Sox do need to add another quality starter or two in the offseason after finishing eighth among the AL teams in starters' ERA last season. The need for starting pitching increased earlier this week after veteran left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez signed a five-year, $77 million contract with the Detroit Tigers in free agency.

Verlander is an intriguing option for teams in need of pitching and playoff experience. He's not the best fit for the Red Sox, though. They should try to make a more substantial upgrade.