MLB Free Agency Rumors: Justin Verlander Signing With New York Mets

The Los Angeles Dodgers identified the starting rotation as an area of need this offseason, with Clayton Kershaw, Tyler Anderson and Andrew Heaney all reaching free agency.

The club wasted no time by re-signing Kershaw to a one-year contract, which was made official Monday morning after a delay in completing the required physical. Meanwhile, Anderson has gone on to sign a three-year pact with the Los Angeles Angels, and Heaney remains on the open market.

With at least one more spot to fill, the Dodgers have been linked to some of the biggest names available, including Justin Verlander and Carlos Rodón. L.A. already met with Verlander and was considered among the favorites to sign the reigning American League Cy Young award winner.

However, Verlander is now off the board after agreeing to sign a two-year contract with the New York Mets that includes an option for 2025, per Jon Heyman of the New York Post:

Verlander can obtain a player option if he throws 140 innings in 2024:

Verlander received the same average annual salary as Max Scherzer, who set the MLB record when he received a $43.3 million AAV from the Mets last offseason.

While the Dodgers appeared to be a good for fit Verlander, the Mets were seen as a significant threat to sign the future Hall of Famer after watching longtime ace Jacob deGrom ink a five-year deal with the Texas Rangers.

With Verlander no longer an option, the Dodgers could shift their focus to signing Rodón, or some of the mid-tier starters such as Chris Bassit, Jameson Taillon, Taijuan Walker and José Quintana.

Dodgers planned to speak with Justin Verlander’s agent during Winter Meetings

The 2022 MLB Winter Meetings began on Sunday in San Diego, California, and will run through Thursday, December 8. Prior to reaching an agreement with the Mets, Verlander reportedly was scheduled to speak with the Dodgers a second time.

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