image

The Houston Astros have a deal in place to acquire ace Justin Verlander from the New York Mets, sources familiar with the agreement told ESPN’s Jeff Passan on Tuesday.

Verlander returns to Houston, where he starred after arriving via trade from the Detroit Tigers in August 2017 until he entered free agency last fall.

Verlander, 40, has a 6-5 record and 3.15 ERA this season, including a 1.69 mark over his past six starts, in which he held batters to a .167 average and just one home run in 37⅓ innings. The three-time Cy Young Award winner earned his 250th career victory Sunday.

Verlander is under contract through next season with a potential option for 2025 after agreeing to an $86.7 million, two-year contract with the Mets in December.

The Mets, 50-55 and in fourth place in the National League East, have been one of baseball’s biggest disappointments this season under third-year owner Steve Cohen. They currently sit 17 1/2 games back of the Atlanta Braves in the division and six games out of a wild-card spot.

They already dealt right-hander Max Scherzer to the Texas Rangers, outfielder Mark Canha to the Milwaukee Brewers and closer David Robertson to the Miami Marlins.

New York could still move outfielder Tommy Pham, left-hander Jose Quintana, and relievers Adam Ottavino and Brooks Raley before Tuesday’s 6 p.m. ET trade deadline.

Verlander would have a chance to contend with the Astros, who are half a game behind the Rangers in the American League West and currently slotted into a wild-card spot.

ESPN’s David Schoenfield and The Associated Press contributed to this report.