Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander celebrates a dominant performance vs the New York Yankees in the ALCS. Oct 19, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) reacts after striking out Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (not pictured) to end the sixth inning in game one of the ALCS for the 2022 MLB Playoffs at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets are talking to one of the biggest pitching prizes on the free agent market.

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported Sunday that the Mets talked with free agent Justin Verlander this week. The ace won his third Cy Young Award this season, winning with a unanimous vote after going 18-4 with a 1.75 ERA for the World Series champion Houston Astros.

The Mets‘ front-line starters, Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer and Chris Bassitt, supposedly the team’s biggest strength, didn’t perform well in the season’s final days and in the postseason. deGrom and Bassitt are free agents, as is fellow starter Taijuan Walker (12-5 in 2022).

So whether the Mets are looking at the 39-year-old Verlander to replace deGrom, or they’re planning to spend big — really big — to sign both free-agent superstars, remains to be seen.

The Astros are the favorites to retain Verlander. His other top options are believed to include every big market team you see in the hunt for almost every other superstar free agent: the New York Yankees, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs.

Baseball fans checking in on Twitter were all over the board on whether the Mets should pursue Verlander.

“It would be peak Mets to sign a 39 year-old power pitcher,” tweeted one fan.

“Yankees cannot let Justin Verlander go to the Mets,” tweeted another fan.

[Ken Rosenthal, The Athletic]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.