The 2022 MLB Winter Meetings began on Sunday in San Diego, California, and although nothing significant happened on the first day, there are still three more days left for potential deals.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have a lot of work to do this offseason, which includes adding to their starting rotation.
They already met with free agent Justin Verlander via Zoom and the talking session was said to have gone well. L.A. is considered among the favorites to sign the reigning American League Cy Young award winner, who also owns a home in the city.
With interest from both sides on getting a deal done, the Dodgers plan to meet with Verlander’s agent this week in San Diego, according to Juan Toribio of MLB.com:
The Dodgers and Verlander’s representatives will meet again during the Winter Meetings.
The 39-year-old missed all of 2021 while recovering from Tommy John surgery, but returned in 2022 to post one of the best seasons of his career by going 18-4 with an MLB-best 1.75 ERA, 2.49 FIP and 0.83 WHIP across 175 innings pitched.
Verlander was not extended the $19.65 million qualifying offer because he previously received it in his career, which prevented the Houston Astros from doing so this year.
So if the Dodgers were to sign Verlander, they would not be required 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 expected to receive a short-term deal with a high average annual value, which is the type of contract the Dodgers prefer to give out. Verlander presumably will sign at a two- or three-year deal with an annual value of around $45 million.
Although the fit between the two sides makes a ton of sense, the Dodgers are also receiving competition from the New York Yankees and New York Mets, and both those teams also have the financial ability to pull off a deal.
Dodgers free agent Andrew Heaney drawing interest from Mets
While the Mets remain connected to Verlander, they are also interested in signing Dodgers’ free agent pitcher Andrew Heaney. The southpaw interviewed with Mets general manager Billy Eppler, and they already have a connection from their time with the Los Angeles Angels.
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