Justin Verlander became the latest New York Mets star to be traded on Tuesday ahead of the deadline. The club sent the ace starter back to his former team, the Houston Astros, in exchange for two outfield prospects. Later on Tuesday, Verlander sent a classy message to Mets fans after the trade.
“Thank you to the Mets and the incredible fans for my time here in NY. You welcomed me and my family with open arms and I can't thank you enough for the opportunity to play for this amazing city,” Verlander wrote.
Verlander, 40, signed a two-year, $86 million contract with the Mets this past offseason. The three-time Cy Young award winner pitched to a 3.15 ERA and was worth 2.1 Wins Above Replacement in the first half, which represented his only time with New York.
The Mets, in fourth place in the National League East, underachieved massively after an offseason of spending and high expectations following a 101-win 2022 season.
So much so, that the Mets traded their best reliever, David Robertson, their two best pitchers in Max Scherzer and Verlander, and one of their best bats in outfielder Tommy Pham.
Scherzer even shed some light on the Mets' thinking at the deadline, saying that the club told him they had their eyes more on contention in 2025 and 2026 rather than next season.
Justin Verlander, who was eyed by multiple clubs that included the Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers, waived his no-trade clause to complete the deal between Houston and New York.
Now, Verlander will turn his attention to helping the Astros, locked in a tight race with the Texas Rangers for first place in the National League West, push for the postseason and another World Series title.