Sunday, March 24, 2019

Sunday Morning Hot Links

*Justin Verlander pitched last night, after agreeing to an extension, and dominated it. Opening Day is now four days away. Jim Crane spent $183.5 million last week. What did you do?

*Verlander has agreed to a 2yr/$66m extension through the 2021 season. Everything is coming up Luhnow. There is no deferred money involved, which makes Verlander's deal the largest average annual contract in MLB history (beating Greinke's $32.5m AAV).

Brian T. Smith: The Astros have their ace in place.

*Verlander last night: 4IP, 2H/0ER, 9K:0BB in a 5-0 win over Miami. The rest of the AL is on notice. Also notable:

-Springer: 1x4, 2RBI
-Altuve: 2x4, 2B/HR.
-Toro: 2x4, 2B

Verlander, who watched video from 2011, found that his hips don't lie:
Everything clicked tonight. It was a really, really good feeling. I can't even put it into words. Like searching for myself from a while back. It was something I've been kind of grinding on all spring and I kept finding the symptom and not the cause, and I think I found it. 

Jake Kaplan: With Cole set for free agency after this season, Verlander ensures some rotation stability for the next two years.

*Josh Reddick talked to Chandler Rome about the extensions to Pressly/Bregs/JV, and in a couple of tweets said this:
(It shows) that players are getting taken care of when they deserve it and it shows that this team is still willing to win for a very long time and put out the players that can bring them another championship. The more you keep this core together on this team, the better off you are. We do seem to get along so great. Signing guys like Bregman and Verlander and hopefully a couple other guys to extensions make perfect sense.

*A couple of days ago Ken Rosenthal reported that the Astros had interest in the Most Logical Choice Simply By Name Alone: pitcher Marcus Stroman. He also said that extending Verlander was "a long shot," so take it for what it's worth.

*The Astros are counting on Wade Miley to maintain his 2018 form. Can you compare the woeful 2016-17 Wade Miley to the 2018 Wade Miley? Hinch:
I just don't think you can compare. They're two different pitchers.

*With Reymin Guduan getting optioned to Round Rock, Framber Valdez has made the Opening Day roster.

*Jenny Dial Creech: Michael Brantley lets his bat do the talking.

*This morning, Hinch honored Tony Kemp, Josh James, and Framber Valdez for making their first Opening Day roster.

*SI's six-word preview for the 2019 Astros? "World Series favorite? I say yes."

*A Musical Selection: