CARLSBAD, Calif. — The Red Sox were among the many teams that gathered in Florida to watch Justin Verlander — who is recovering from Tommy John surgery — pitch in front of scouts.
The 38-year-old two-time Cy Young Award winner is a free agent. On Sunday, the Astros made him a one-year, $18.4 million qualifying offer that would require a team that signs the veteran to sacrifice a draft pick. Still, even with the potential loss of a draft pick and at an age where pitchers are rarely so widely pursued, Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom suggested that the appeal of a pitcher such as Verlander (in an offseason when the Sox are looking to add starting pitching depth) is obvious.
“Age might affect the term you consider, but if the present ability is there, why wouldn’t you be interested?” said Bloom. “We’ve seen it time and again. There are a lot of guys who are up there in years who can still perform at a really high level.”
Verlander owns a 226-119 record and 3.33 ERA. He pitched one game for the Astros in the compressed 2020 season before suffering an elbow injury that was subsequently diagnosed as a torn ulnar collateral ligament. He underwent surgery Oct. 1, 2020. While he missed all of 2021, Verlander is expected to be healthy and ready to pitch for Opening Day in 2022.