In the 24-hour period before MLB locked out its players, a number of recently-signed stars did a song and dance for the camera, proving that they’d changed sides and exchanged dollar figures right before the league dissolved.
There was Max Scherzer, rocking a Mets hat next to Scott Boras, as strange a vision as ever. There was Corey Seager, scowling in Texas, realizing exactly what he had signed up for. And there was Byron Buxton, cheesin’ like hell in Minneapolis, finally receiving the security he’s always needed.
One star whose mugshot was conspicuously absent? Justin Verlander, who reportedly spurned the Yankees‘ overtures to re-up with the Houston Astros. You remember, right? His brother Ben broke the news, just as we were all rationalizing the Yanks becoming “Astros East”? We all went through the stages of grief in rapid succession, finishing up disgusted we’d ever considered rooting for Verlander in the first place?
Two weeks after that reported agreement, Verlander’s deal still hasn’t been announced by the team — and now, it won’t be, until the lockout has ended.
So … what gives?
At the very least (and likeliest), we won’t get a resolution here for months, while the rest of the players strive to come to some sort of palatable CBA agreement with their ownership overlords.
In the craziest possible scenario, though, this seemingly-finalized deal actually hit a negotiation snag long before the lockout began.
Yankees Rumors: Has Justin Verlander’s Astros deal collapsed?
If this was the Yankees and it was their incomplete deal at stake, you know we’d be panicking.
Every element of the Verlander deal has guided the Yankees’ bizarre offseason, so wouldn’t it be fitting if the Bombers actually had a chance to jump back in the pool whenever this financial fight gets resolved?
After all, signing JV — as was rumored in New York — was supposed to be the first of many falling dominoes. If the Yankees planned to dump $40 million plus on a Tommy John-recovering ace, then maybe they really would have an ’09-style offseason!
It was not to be, though, as Verlander spurned their overtures … but even in that wake, we found positivity. The Yankees reportedly offered him $25 million for one year with an option. If they were willing to drop that amount of cash here, it seemed to put them in play for Max Scherzer or, say, Starling Marte …mboth of whom have since gone to the Mets, as the Yanks have instead opted to stay put until after the lockout has ended.
Will they be able to reengage with Verlander on the other side? It seems farfetched, but all the money they offered him is still in place, and only Carlos Correa (not happening) and Trevor Story (probably not happening) remain on the shortstop side. At the very least, what once felt like a Bombers loss is now in stasis, and will keep us invested in the coming months.