NY Mets starter brings experience to culture change


NEW YORK — An early free agency call from Steve Cohen to Justin Verlander helped the future Hall of Fame pitcher get shipped to the Mets.

While the conversation had nothing to do with baseball, it helped reveal Cohen’s authenticity and sincerity in making the Mets a consistent World Series contender.

“It gave me such a positive vibe about his vision for this franchise and his vision of making this franchise great,” Verlander said. “To speak to Billy (Eppler) and the rest of the staff, they all share the same vision and passion and will do whatever it takes to make this a championship-capable organization again.

“That’s what I want to be part of in this department moving forward, and obviously this organization made a big step forward last year. They had a great season and I think it’s just going in the right direction. increase.” “

New York Mets pitcher Justin Verlander speaks to reporters during a press conference at Citi Field in New York, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022. The team introduced Verlander after agreeing to his two-year contract for $86.7 million. It's part of the offseason spending that the Mets put his $476.7 million into his seven free agents.

At this stage in his career, Verlander wants to keep his grip on the ring.

Coming into his 40th season, Verlander, fresh off a World Series crown and Cy Young Award with the Astros, wants to help the Mets take another step in building a consistent championship contender. increase.

A replacement for Jacob deGrom?

Three days after Jacob deGrom left the Mets for the Rangers, the Mets and general manager Billy Eppler signed a two-year, $86.66 million deal to move Verlander away from the World Series champions.

These early conversations with the Mets front office and deGrom’s departure opened the door for Verlander to come to New York. And that wiped out the Mets’ desire to do dynamic one-two punches in addition to rotating with Verlander and Max Scherzer.

Pitcher Justin Verlander dons the new jersey with the help of New York Mets general manager Billy Eppler (right) during a press conference at Citi Field in New York on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022. . The team introduced Verlander after agreeing to his two-year contract for $86.7 million. It's part of the offseason spending that the Mets put his $476.7 million into his seven free agents.  (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

“[Last season]was written to be able to have two aces against any club,” Eppler said. “We wanted to do the same thing. After Jacob declared himself, we could see Justin and another pitcher and feel some kind of interest on the[Verlander’s]side as well.” I think he wanted to be here and he wanted the chance to fight for another championship.”



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