IT’S OFFICIAL: Correa, Verlander decline Astros qualifying offers, enter free agency

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 10: Carlos Correa #1 and Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros embrace after their teams 6-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in game five of the American League Division Series at Minute Maid Park on October 10, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) (Robert H. Levey 09788862, 2019 Getty Images)

HOUSTON – It’s now official - Carlos Correa and Justin Verlander have both declined the qualifying offers from the Houston Astros and will be entering free agency.

This does not mean their time with the Astros is over. Houston could still re-sign them.

Correa’s free agency has been widely expected, as he is likely to be able to attract financial offers that are among the richest for his position. At 27 years old, Correa just finished his sixth postseason trip in his seven big-league seasons with his contributions to an Astros team that made the World Series. Offensively, he hit .279 with 26 home runs and 92 RBI in 148 games. Defensively, Correa won the Gold Glove as the best in the league at his position and then the Platinum Glove as the best defensive player among the league’s Gold Glove winners.

Verlander is coming off Tommy John surgery and did not pitch this season. His last game was July 24, 2020. In his last healthy season of 2019, Verlander won the AL Cy Young when he went 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA and 300 strikeouts in 223 innings pitched. That was his second career Cy Young award.

With the qualifying offers declined, if Correa or Verlander were to leave for another club via free agency before the 2022 MLB Draft, the Astros would receive a compensatory draft pick in return.

About the Author:

Born in Canada but raised in Houston, Howard joined KPRC 2 in 2021 after five years at ESPN. Before that, Howard was a reporter on Houston Rockets and Houston Astros game broadcasts. Among the events that Howard has covered on site: the NBA bubble and the Basketball Hall of Fame inductions for both Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady. He's H-town proud!