Justin Verlander spoke out for the first time on Thursday since being traded back to the Astros from the Mets.
The pitcher won the World Series with Houston just last season, and then signed a deal with New York. However, Verlander admitted that the trades of pitchers David Robertson and Max Scherzer made him realize there may be changes coming in his immediate future as well.
“As a player, you’re thinking it’s gonna work until the last possible moment,” Scherzer told Fox Sports’s Ken Rosenthal. “You’re like ‘We can always turn this around, it’s going to click.’ And then really when they traded Robertson, it’s like ‘Oh, oh no.’ Then when Max got traded, it’s like ‘Alright, it’s time to have a serious discussion about how it’s going to go. I didn’t really have a ton of time and it wasn’t a moment until those trades happened, where it’s like ‘Man, we might need to rethink this thing.’ It wasn’t easy.”
Justin Verlander talks with @Ken_Rosenthal about rejoining the Astros locker room today, and what it was like leaving the Mets. pic.twitter.com/9oxhDYqsBu
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) August 3, 2023
The Mets currently sit in fourth place in the NL East with a 50–58 record. There was much higher hopes for the team this year after multiple major acquisitions in the offseason.
As for returning to Houston just around seven months after leaving, Verlander said it was a great feeling to come back to the Astros locker room.
“It was a lot of fun, man,” Verlander said. “I created a lot of great friends in this organization, and I’ve been hearing a lot from them recently. So, it was really fun to walk into the locker room and just see all the smiles and say hi to some great friends.”
The Astros are currently one game back for first place in the AL West.