Imagine If Justin Verlander Signed With The Blue Jays?
Justin Verlander is so back. After missing the 2021 season because of Tommy John surgery, Verlander currently sports a 1.94 ERA through 78.2 innings so far during the 2022 MLB Season. Keep in mind, this is his age 39 season.
I haven’t even gotten to the craziest part. What if this would have happened in Toronto instead? Now we’re cooking with peanut oil. Turns out, Verlander was almost a Toronto Blue Jay this year.
VIA ESPN (subscription required):
“Some other teams really started to show a lot of interest. I would say that the leader was probably Toronto. They were great. And I talked to George [Springer, his former Astros teammate now with the Blue Jays] a bunch. They were very proactive to the point that when I signed with Houston, I made sure to let them know that I appreciated it all. Ultimately, when it came down to it, Houston had the same offer. It was all kind of ballpark between them and Toronto, and New York [Yankees] was kind of always just a step behind.”
It sounds like New York certainly had interest but their offer wasn’t quite there financially. Verlander likely chose Houston because he’s been there since 2017 and the organization has been good to him. They won a title and Verlander will also be remembered as a hero in Houston.
I just can’t imagine if Verlander would have signed with the Jays. Add him to that rotation with Gausman, Manoah, and Berríos? To go along with that offense? Stop it. Toronto could very well win the World Series this year but had Verlander picked them, oh, they’re heavy favorites right now.
The butterfly effect on this one will be something to monitor for the rest of the season. Who knows, Verlander may have swung the title here and we will never truly know what would have happened had his dominance been taking place in Toronto this season.