HOUSTON — "Thank you from the bottom of my heart," Justin Verlander wrote on Instagram in his goodbye to the city where he won two World Series Championships.
The former Astros ace declined a $25 million option with the team in November and on Monday, Verlander reportedly signed a two-year, $86.7 million deal with the New York Mets.
The 39-year-old right-handed pitcher reminisced on his time with the Astros with a video of some of his most iconic moments with the team. His full goodbye message can be read below:
"To Houston: Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being so positive, generous, and accepting. You made me and my family feel at home and I’ll always be grateful for that. We have all shared lots of amazing moments together since the trade in 2017. My family and I will forever cherish our time in the 🤘🏻 and the memories created that will last a lifetime!
"Much ❤️ - The Verlander’s"
While fans are sad to see the Astros legend leave, many wish him nothing but the best.
- "#35 will be in the [Minute Maid Park] rafters one day 👏 Thanks for everything legend!" one commenter said.
- "Thanks for everything JV, us Astros fans will always root for you except when you're pitching against us," another said.
Verlander played for Detroit from 2005 until he was traded to the Astros in August 2017. He agreed to a $66 million contract covering 2020 and 2021, then hurt his elbow and needed Tommy John surgery.
After pitching one game over the previous two seasons, Verlander became a free agent and re-signed with Houston for a $25 million, one-year deal that included the option. He went 18-4 with a major league-best 1.75 ERA in 28 starts, then was 2-0 with a 5.85 ERA in four postseason outings. He is 244-133 with a 3.24 ERA and 3,198 strikeouts in 17 seasons.
Verlander will rejoin former Tigers teammate Max Scherzer in the Mets' starting rotation.
By the way, The Mets are coming to town to play the Astros next June 19-21.