Justin Verlander doesn’t plan on shutting it down any time soon, it seems. Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle quotes Verlander in a tweet: “I’m going to play until the wheels fall off.” In 2018, Verlander surpassed 200 innings and 200 strikeouts for the third straight season while accumulating 6.8 fWAR and achieving a career-best 3.03 xFIP. In other words, the wheels are secure. Verlander’s current deal runs one more season in Houston at $28MM, after which he will become a free agent in advance of his age-37 season.
More from around the American League…
- In another quote posted by Rome (via Twitter), starter Lance McCullers Jr. suggests that he and the Astros will be examining the state of his current health in the next couple of weeks. With rumblings about his arm health, McCullers addressed a potential injury by admitting that he’s “been pitching through some stuff.” The 25-year-old McCullers has never started more than 22 games in a season, but nevertheless he’s been a valuable swingman for Houston’s recent playoff runs, starting three postseason games while pitching in relief seven times over the past two Octobers. McCullers is arbitration eligible for the second time this offseason, though as a Super Two player, he is not due to be a free agent until after the 2021 season.
- It’s not the sexiest of front office work, but the Orioles face a significant challenge in shaping their 40-man roster in advance of the Nov. 30 non-tender deadline. Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com notes (via Twitter) that the 40-man roster, currently full, will require some finagling to open a minimum of four spots for pitchers Dillon Tate, Luis Gonzalez, Branden Kline, and catcher Martin Cervenka. Additionally, there are five other players currently on the O’s 60-day DL who will need to be added back to the 40-man if Baltimore wants to keep them. Those players – Richard Bleier, Pedro Araujo, Gabriel Ynoa, Mark Trumbo, and Austin Hays – figure to make the roster, with Ynoa being the most likely of the group to be let go. One spot should open when Adam Jones files for free agency, but that still leaves eight players Baltimore will need to non-tender, trade, or waive prior to December’s Rule 5 draft.