The Los Angeles Dodgers reportedly agreed to re-sign Clayton Kershaw for the 2023 season, but still face a need in their starting rotation, and thus far have been linked to Carlos Rodón and Justin Verlander in free agency.
Unlike Jacob deGrom and Rodón, Verlander was not extended the $19.65 million qualifying offer due to having previously received it in his career. Thus, the Dodgers signing Verlander would not require them to forfeit their second- and fifth-highest picks in the 2023 MLB Draft, along with $1 million from their international bonus pool for the upcoming signing period.
Verlander is further believed to be a fit for the Dodgers because his age suggests more of a willingness to sign a shorter-term contract with a higher average annual value.
Justin Verlander and the Dodgers met over Zoom earlier this week and the meeting went well, according to sources.
Astros owner Jim Crane recently suggested Verlander is looking to sign a contract similar to what Max Scherzer received from the New York Mets last offseason (three years, $130 million). However, Verlander is entering his age-40 season next year, whereas Scherzer turned 38 during the first season of his contract.
Nonetheless, Verlander returned from Tommy John surgery to have one of the best seasons of his career by going 18-4 with an MLB-leading 1.75 ERA, 2.49 FIP and 0.83 WHIP. He won the 2022 American League Cy Young Award and Comeback Player of the Year.
Dodgers viewed as favorite to sign Justin Verlander
Despite interest from multiple teams, there is some belief the Dodgers are among the frontrunners to sign the veteran starter.
L.A. previously had interest in Verlander last offseason prior to his decision to re-sign with the Astros.
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