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Is Justin Verlander officially a Houston Astro or not? It's been more than two weeks now that free agent RHP Justin Verlander's brother Ben spilled the beans on Twitter and announced that Justin was officially signing with the Astros. Multiple outlets reported the supposed deal was a two-year, $50MM contract that was for an even $25MM over the next two seasons. The contract also allowed Verlander to opt out after 2022 season. Verlander had rejected the team's one-year, $18.4MM qualifying offer just hours prior to the details of the new contract came out.

Fast forward to December 1 when the Collective Bargaining Agreement between MLB and the MLBPA expired and the league officially entered a lockout. There can be no transactions until a new CBA is ratified. A flurry of free agent deals had been announced in recent weeks, as many teams and players tried to cram in some of their offseason business before the lockout arrived. Verlander's deal with the Astros was thought to be one of them.

Jon Heyman of MLB Network notes however that the deal has not yet been announced and doesn’t seem to be official. Verlander's transaction is not listed on the Astros team website nor is his name on the teams current 40-man roster.

Currently there has been no update given by the Astros, Verlander or his agency ISE Baseball as to why the deal was not officially inked before the CBA expired. There is also no reason to believe that the deal still won't get done or is in jeopardy of falling apart. For now, it remains a mystery to why the Astros did not officially announce the signing and Verlander appears to still be a free agent as long as the lockout continues.

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Verlander last pitched in 2019 with the Astros when he won the AL Cy Young Award. That year he struck out 300 batters 223 innings while sporting a 2.58 ERA. In 2020, he pitched just 6 innings before having to undergo season ending Tommy John surgery. The injury also caused him to miss the entire 2021 season.