Justin Verlander is unveiled by the Mets after agreeing HUGE $86.7m, two-year deal in New York in the wake of World Series win… as model wife Kate Upton watches on with their four-year-old daughter from the front row
Justin Verlander was cheered on by his model wife Kate Upton and their four-year-old daughter Genevieve as he was unveiled by the New York Mets on Tuesday.
Verlander, 39, agreed to an $86.7million, two-year contract on December 5, and put on his No. 35 jersey for the first time at a press conference at Citi Field today.
Upton, 30, sat in a front-row seat for the event wearing a purple pantsuit, with their daughter Genevieve on her lap.
Justin Verlander put on his New York Mets jersey for the first time on Tuesday morning
His model wife Kate Upton, 30, watched on from the front row of the press conference
Upton was joined by their four-year-old daughter Genevieve for the introductory interviews
The pair watched Verlander speak to the media for the first time as a New York Met
When asked what convinced him to sign with the New York Mets in the wake of winning a World Series with the Astros this year, Verlander had one word: ‘Steve.’
By that, he meant Mets owner Steve Cohen, and his willingness to spend his hedge-fund fortune to bring the team its first World Series title since 1986.
‘I took a leap of faith, and here we are a few weeks later, and I think that leap of faith has paid off,’ Verlander said. ‘Ultimately, some of those pieces aren’t cheap.’
Verlander’s mega-money contract is part of an offseason spending spree that has committed $476.7 million to seven free agents.
Verlander appeared delighted to have landed in New York, after winning the World Series
Verlander (left) revealed to the media that Steve Cohen (not pictured) convinced him to join. Pictured are the Mets general manager Billy Eppler (center) and Verlander’s agent Mark Pieper
Upton smiles at her husband during the press conference, following his $86.7m agreement
Upton, 30, watches on with daughter Genevieve on her lap as Verlander answers questions
The Mets also added starting pitchers Kodei Senga and José Quintana, retained center fielder Brandon Nimmo and closer Edwin Díaz, signed reliever David Robertson and reached an agreement with catcher Omar Narváez that is pending a physical.
‘In the background, Steve is going to do what is necessary,’ Verlander said.
Returning from Tommy John surgery in 2020, Verlander went 18-4 with a major league-low 1.75 ERA this year in 28 starts for the Astros. He also got his first win in nine career World Series starts in Game 5 as Houston beat Philadelphia in six games.
Verlander, who turns 40 in February, became the 11th player to win the Cy Young Award at least three times.
Pitcher Verlander takes questions from the media at Citi Field after touching down in New York
Upton wore a purple pantsuit (left) for the memorable occasion in Queens on Tuesday
Verlander will be hoping to win back-to-back World Series titles after arriving at the Mets
He takes a spot in the Mets rotation vacated by Jacob deGrom, who left for a $185 million, five-year contract with Texas, and reunites with Max Scherzer, his teammate in Detroit from 2010-14.
Verlander is guaranteed $43,333,333 in each of the next two seasons, matching Scherzer’s annual salary in a $130 million, three-year deal with the Mets through 2024.
New York has boosted its luxury tax payroll under owner Cohen to about $360 million next year, on track for a record tax of about $85 million.