2. Justin Verlander
A one-year contract for Justin Verlander would not be the worst thing in the world, although it would be very interesting to see how Dodger Stadium would receive their new starting pitcher. At least the Astros cheating scandal could be spun for Verlander, since he wasn’t actively participating in it as a pitcher, so he shouldn’t get the same treatment as Carlos Correa.
Verlander is going to be 40 before the 2023 season begins, and while that would typically rule out someone as an option, he has been pitching so well this season that he is still going to be a viable starting candidate next year.
Verlander is somehow the favorite to win the American League Cy Young this season with a 1.95 ERA, .881 WHiP and the best ERA+ of his career (and in the league) at 197. No team is going to sign Verlander to a long-term deal because of his age, but would the Dodgers be willing to throw $30 million at him for one year? They just might.
Verlander is making $25 million this year and he is due for a pay raise after this season. The chances of him leaving Houston at this point in his career seem low, but you can never say never in this sport. The Dodgers could come over the top with an offer, and Verlander very well could take his talents to sunny Los Angeles.
He might not have the long-term appeal of someone like Carlos Rodón, and there is always the possibility of him regressing with age, but as a one-year stopgap option, Verlander would be great — especially if the team also brings back Clayton Kershaw to dominate opposing offenses with their age and experience.