HOUSTON – The Astros have extended qualifying offers to free agent shortstop Carlos Correa and free agent RHP Justin Verlander, General Manager James Click announced. The players have 10 days to accept or reject the offer. Correa is expected to fully reject the offer which is only for one year worth 18.4 million. Verlander, who is slated to throw for teams Monday in Florida, could accept as he attempts to rebound from Tommy John surgery that forced him out of most of 2020 and all of the 2021 season. Verlander is 38 years old but feels he wants to continue to pitch in the major leagues.
If any player rejects a qualifying offer, they would be allowed to sign with any team. An acceptance would be they are locked in for only the 2022 season.
In 148 games in 2021, Correa hit .279 with 34 doubles, 26 home runs and 92 RBI while posting an .850 OPS. He ranked second among AL shortstops in homers, RBI and third in OPS. His 2.9 Defensive WAR was tops in the Majors while his 7.2 overall WAR was third.
Verlander, who is 38, has posted a 43-15 record in his 74 starts since being acquired by the Astros on August 31, 2017 with a 2.45 ERA and an 0.83 WHIP. In that span, among starting pitchers, he ranks first in the AL in ERA, WHIP and opponents batting average (.183), and second in win percentage at .741 (min. 70 starts). For his career, Verlander leads all active pitchers in wins with a 226-129 record.
The deadline for clubs to extend qualifying offers to their players entering free agency is today at 4 p.m. CT. The deadline for players to accept or decline qualifying is Nov. 17. The Astros did not extend qualifying offers to any other eligible players. Players not receiving qualifying offers are now free to sign with all 30 clubs.
CONTRACT OPTION UPDATES ON GURRIEL, PRESSLY
The Astros have exercised the club option for 2022 on first baseman Yuli Gurriel. He announced that move this past week on social media ahead of the team announcement. Gurriel won the American League batting title in 2021, hitting a career-high .319 in 143 games with 31 doubles, 15 home runs and 81 RBI. He also reached career highs in walks (59) and on-base-pct. (.383), the latter ranking second in the AL.
Additionally, the Astros announced that the 2022 contract option for RHP Ryan Pressly has officially been vested. Pressly had the best season of his career in 2021, serving as the Astros closer. In 64 appearances, he was 5-3 with a career-low 2.25 ERA and 26 saves in 28 chances. His 92.9% save percentage ranked second in the AL.