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Welcome back, Justin Verlander! Astros' righty signs one-year deal

Terms of the agreement weren't disclosed. Verlander has an option for a second year.

HOUSTON — Eight-time All-Star pitcher Justin Verlander is back with the Astros, the team announced on Saturday.

Verlander missed the entire 2021 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery and had one start for the team in the 2020 season, which was shortened due to COVID.

Verlander signed a one-year deal with the team for 2022 with a player option for 2023. The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Verlander, a two-time Cy Young Award winner, has a 43-15 record since being acquired by Houston in 2017.  In that time, he had a 2.45 earned run average.  In his career, Verlander has a 226-129 record, which is tops among active pitchers.

Verlander is on the Astros 40-man Spring Training roster. There are also 19 non-roster invitees.

With the Verlander signing, the one big question mark still out there is shortstop Carlos Correa, who is a free agent. 

Spring Training gets underway on March 17, much later than normal because of the lockout that was resolved on Thursday.  The Astros' first Spring Training game is Friday in Jupiter, Florida, against the Cardinals.  Houston’s regular season gets underway on April 7 against the Angels in Los Angeles.

Baseball is back

By The Associated Press

Major League Baseball’s acrimonious lockout ended Thursday when a divided players’ association voted to accept management’s offer to salvage a 162-game season that will start April 7.

Owners approved the five-year labor contract with a 30-0 vote. 

“I am genuinely thrilled to say Major League Baseball is back and we're going to play 162 games,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “I want to start by apologizing to our fans. I know the last few months have been difficult.”

MLB’s roster freeze, imposed when the work stoppage began on Dec. 2, was to dissolve immediately, allowing Freddie Freeman, Carlos Correa and more than 100 other free agents to sign contracts.

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