Crane: Astros 'working on' keeping Verlander

Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Houston Astros owner Jim Crane is hopeful ace right-hander Justin Verlander will remain with the franchise next season.

Verlander must decide by Thursday whether he intends to opt out of his $25-million salary for 2023.

"Justin really had a great year," Crane said Wednesday, according to Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle. "We have a good relationship with him."

He added, "I think we have (until) about 4 o'clock tomorrow to talk to him. We've been talking to him and we're working on it. We're going to do our best to try to keep him."

Verlander turned back the clock with an incredible 2022 campaign. The 39-year-old posted an 18-4 record with a career-best 1.75 ERA and 185 strikeouts across 175 innings after missing nearly two full seasons due to Tommy John surgery.

Verlander picked up his first career World Series win in Game 5 against the Philadelphia Phillies, helping Houston to its second championship in six seasons.

The Astros acquired Verlander from the Detroit Tigers in 2017. He owns an impressive 61-19 record with a 2.26 ERA, a 2.89 FIP, and 825 strikeouts in 652 innings (102 starts).

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Crane: Astros 'working on' keeping Verlander
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