Verlander: Astros deal part of 'new wave' in MLB

4:12 PM ET

Associated Press

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Justin Verlander thinks the free-agency process is broken. Still, he said that’s not why he decided to sign a new deal with the Houston Astros rather than test the market.

“I can’t see a better situation,” Verlander, 36, said Sunday after the Astros announced a three-year contract that added $66 million in guaranteed money for 2020 and ’21.

The right-hander had been due $28 million in 2019, the final guaranteed season of a $180 million, seven-year deal he signed with Detroit before the 2013 season.

His new deal followed two straight slow free-agent markets and came after agreements during spring training on long-term deals for Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado, Boston left-hander Chris Sale and St. Louis first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, who all would have been part of the free-agent class after this season. In addition, the Los Angeles Angels gave a record $426.5 million, 12-year contract to outfielder Mike Trout, who could have become a free agent after the 2020 season.

Of the top 30 players in baseball, five have signed extensions this week alone. But a few factors help make Chris Sale’s deal unique.

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