The New York Yankees balked at adding a third year to its contract offer for Justin Verlander, according to Brendan Kuty of NJ.com.
The New York Post's Jon Heyman reported Monday that the New York Mets agreed to a two-year, $86.6 million contract with Verlander. Should the right-hander hit 140 innings pitched in 2024, there is a $35 million option in his contract that will vest for 2025.
In a vacuum, you can understand why a team would hesitate to commit up to three years to Verlander. He turns 40 in February and underwent Tommy John surgery in 2020. Sooner or later, the three-time Cy Young Award winner will start to fall off, and it could be sooner rather than later.
However, this will be viewed by many as a missed opportunity for the Yankees.
The Bronx Bombers have the financial resources to not only sign Verlander but also insulate themselves from the consequences if he doesn't work out. They have a clear need to bolster the starting rotation, too.
There's no reason—other than the team ownership being too thrifty—for the franchise to not make this happen. Then you have the optics of the Yankees getting outgunned by the Mets, something that would've been unthinkable a generation ago.
The price for the next best starting pitcher on the market might even be too high for New York.
Fans have been growing restless for some time at what they perceive to be a lack of ambition from the Steinbrenners. As long as the team remains one of the most valuable in sports, the owners don't seem to care much.