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Welcome back, JV! Astros strike deal to acquire ace Justin Verlander from New York Mets

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Tuesday, August 1, 2023 7:32PM

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HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Justin Verlander is coming back to Space City, barring any unforeseen hiccups.

Verlander, who left the Houston Astros in free agency this past offseason after winning his second World Series championship with the club, is heading back to the team in a trade, ESPN’s Jeff Passan is reporting.

With just a little over three hours left until the MLB Trade Deadline at 5 p.m. CT, the Astros made the move to bring back their former ace in a swap with Verlander’s incumbent team, the New York Mets.

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“The Houston Astros have a deal in place to acquire ace Justin Verlander from the New York Mets, sources familiar with the agreement tell ESPN,” Passan tweeted.

Passan reports that the Astros will send two prospects: outfielders Drew Gilbert and Ryan Clifford.

The Astros have yet to confirm the swap.

Verlander, 40, signed a two-year, $86.6 million deal with the Mets in the offseason, reuniting with his former Detroit Tigers teammate, Max Scherzer, who last week was traded to the AL West-leading Texas Rangers.

JV is expected to return to a starting rotation that has been challenged with two key season-ending injuries to Luis Garcia and Lance McCullers Jr.

The Astros host the Cleveland Guardians on Tuesday night for the second of three games.

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