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MLB free agent Justin Verlander wins third Cy Young award

Vincent Frank
Justin verlander cy young
Lindsey Wasson-USA TODAY Sports

It’s really nice to be Justin Verlander right now. Not only is he among the best pitchers in modern MLB history and married to a supermodel, Verlander is entering free agency at just the right time.

How so? MLB just announced that the future Hall of Fame pitcher has earned his third American League Cy Young award.

Verlander, 39, previously won the award when he was a member of the Detroit Tigers back in 2011. He then earned the Cy Young with the Houston Astros in 2019.

To say that Verlander has earned this award would be an understatement. He was absolutely dominant this past regular season for the eventual World Series champs.

All of this comes with Verlander finding himself as one of the top MLB free agents this winter. He’s said to be looking for a contract that rivals the three-year, $130 million deal Max Scherzer is playing under with the New York Mets.

Related: Justin Verlander and bold MLB free agent predictions

Justin Verlander and past American League Cy Young winners

Justin Verlander Cy Young
Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

As noted above, this is the third time Verlander has won the award. He joins a rare group to have won three Cy Young’s. Here’s a look at the past winners of this top individual pitching award.

  • 2021: Robbie Ray, Toronto Blue Jays
  • 2020: Shane Bieber, Cleveland Guardians
  • 2019: Justin Verlander, Houston Astros
  • 2018: Blake Snell, Tampa Bay Rays
  • 2017: Corey Kluber, Cleveland Guardians
  • 2016: Rick Porcello, Boston Red Sox
  • 2015: Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros
  • 2014: Corey Kluber, Cleveland Guardians
  • 2013: Max Scherzer, Detroit Tigers
  • 2012: David Price, Tampa Bay Rays

Verlander boasts a career 244-133 record with a 3.24 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. He’s also struck out 3,198 batters across 3,163 innings of work. This will be enough for the former first-round pick of the Tigers to become a first ballot Hall of Famer when he calls it quits.

Verlander’s return to form is also pretty darn special given that he pitched in just one game between the 2020 and 2021 season due to an elbow injury that required Tommy John Surgery. To be able to come back and pitch like this at nearly 40 years old is a testament to just how good the nine-time All-Star is.

As for his next stop, Verlander is being linked to the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets and New York Yankees in free agency. He could also end up returning to the Astros despite turning down his contract option with the team.