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Locked in: Justin Verlander, Astros announce 2-year extension

Verlander signed through 2021

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With opening day just four days away, the Houston Astros officially announced a 2-year contract extension for pitcher Justin Verlander.

The terms of the final two years of the contract extension pays him $66 million, the highest average annual value contract ever given to a pitcher. 

Verlander was under contract with the Astros for 2019 under terms of his deal with Detroit Tigers before Houston traded for him late in the 2017 season. He was scheduled to be a free agent after this season.

"The highest average annual value of all-time for pitchers and for a player that in my opinion is going to be a shoe-in to get in the hall of fame that is well deserved," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said.

"I mention that because the Astros don't typically make people the higest paid of all-time, but this is a special circumstance for a special player," Luhnow added.

"I'm delighted to have Justin around for at least three more seasons."

Verlander is 21-9 in 39 career starts for the Astros after being acquired in 2017 via trade and he finished runner up for the 2018 AL Cy Young award in his first full season with the team.

"There were a lot of stories out there about my decision to come to Houston, but it was no doubt the right decision. In my opinion it's the best organization in baseball. I'm just a small part of that,' Verlander said.

"Honestly it came together pretty quickly," Verlander added.

"It was a good negotiation I think, Both sides were very fair. Hopefully it works out great for both sides."

Astros owner Jim Crane added, "His record speaks for itself, he's a great talent. I think the dimensions he's added in the locker room, and the leadership, he's been very helpful with our young guy, you just don't run across that very often."