Mets Trade Ace Justin Verlander to the Astros

Astros pitcher Justin Verlander in 2019
Justin Verlander with the Astros in 2019. Photo by Canadian Press/Shutterstock (10376893j)

The New York Mets continued the teardown of their underachieving roster on Tuesday by moving on from ace Justin Verlander. According to multiple reports, the Mets are trading Verlander to the Houston Astros.

The Mets will receive outfield prospects Drew Gilbert and Ryan Clifford as part of the trade. Gilbert was considered the top prospect in Astros’ farm system, while Clifford ranked fourth.

Verlander played for the Astros between 2017 and 2022, helping the franchise win two World Series and receiving a couple of Cy Young Awards during that period. He opted to leave Houston in the offseason, inking a two-year, $86.7 million contract with the Mets.

Verlander had a rocky start to his time with the Mets but recently returned to his old self. He has a 6-5 record with a 3.15 ERA and 81 strikeouts so far in the season but has posted a 1.49 ERA in his last seven starts.

By reuniting with Verlander, the Astros address one of their biggest concerns this season. The team lost several starters to injuries lately, and their pitching staff struggled with inconsistency. With Verlander back in the rotation, they might be poised for another deep playoff run.

The Mets, on the other hand, have now officially given up on trying to be competitive this season and possibly in 2024. Besides Verlander, the team also traded a number of other veterans, including Max Scherzer and David Robertson, with even more departures expected before the trade deadline.