The Boston Red Sox have enough interest in Justin Verlander to watch him pitch in person.
The Red Sox were among nearly 20 teams in attendance for Verlander's pitching showcase Monday at Eric Cressey Performance in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., according to multiple reports.
Verlander missed the entire 2021 season after having Tommy John surgery in September 2020 and has pitched just six innings since the end of the 2019 season. But the 38-year-old apparently impressed at his workout Monday, throwing his fastball in the mid-90s over about 25 pitches.
The Houston Astros extended Verlander a one-year, $18.4 million qualifying offer, but the eight-time All-Star can decline that offer by the Nov. 17 deadline to test free agency.
So, does Verlander make sense for Boston? The Red Sox could use starting pitching, especially if Eduardo Rodriguez declines his qualifying offer and signs elsewhere. Nathan Eovaldi was a workhorse in 2021 but threw 182.1 innings (his highest total since 2014), while Chris Sale has yet to return to true ace form since returning from Tommy John surgery.
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Nick Pivetta and Tanner Houck round out the current rotation, but Boston would benefit from a veteran arm who can be a top-three starter.
Verlander certainly has the pedigree as a two-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series champion. He's also just two seasons removed from a stellar 2019 campaign (2.58 ERA with 300 strikeouts in 223 innings pitched).
Verlander turns 39 in February, though, and essentially has missed two straight seasons. He should command north of the one-year, $11 million contract Corey Kluber signed with the New York Yankees under similar circumstances last offseason, and signing him would limit what Boston can do elsewhere to upgrade the roster.
While starting pitching is a need, the Red Sox have more pressing issues at second base and in the bullpen. Considering they passed on Kluber last winter, it seems unlikely they pay up for Verlander in 2022.