Here’s why Justin Verlander turned down the Yankees for the Astros

Houston Astros, New York Yankees

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Justin Verlander opted not to sign with the New York Yankees on their one-year offer, instead returning to Houston. But why the Astros?

Verlander felt he was far better than the one-year contract offer he received from the Yankees, and New York, reportedly, wasn’t willing to throw in the second-year option that Houston eventually relented and gave the 38-year-old.

That’s not necessarily a bad move by Brian Cashman, but it won’t make Yankee fans happy.

It was leaked by sources close to Verlander that he was hoping to sign with an East coast team that had training facilities in Florida. That…isn’t Houston. But eventually, familiarity with the Astros and loyalty to Houston owner Jim Crane won out.

Did Yankees blow it by not signing Justin Verlander?

Verlander would’ve fit in well in the Yankees rotation, there’s no question about it. But giving a pitcher who is just barely on the other side of Tommy John surgery $50 million over two years is a gamble New York wasn’t willing to take. George Steinbrenner isn’t running this team.

The Astros appear likely to lose Carlos Correa, so they know they have money to blow, and were willing to throw some of it at a player like Verlander. With JV in tow, the Astros rotation looks like it could be elite next season, should he stay healthy.

With Verlander now headed back home to a division rival, the Yankees have to look elsewhere for rotation help. A trade might be their best option, as they’re already in talks with the Oakland Athletics for Matt Olson. Could Sean Manaea or Chris Bassitt head to the Bronx along with Olson?

It’s time for Cashman to up the ante, but not irresponsibly.

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