Astros owner discussing extension with Verlander, sets Sunday deadline
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The Houston Astros are discussing a contract extension with veteran starter Justin Verlander, owner Jim Crane confirmed to Brian McTaggart of on Friday.

Verlander is set to hit free agency following the 2019 season.

The 2011 AL Cy Young winner is coming off a season in which he was voted runner-up for the award behind Blake Snell. The right-hander authored a 2.52 ERA while leading the majors with a 0.90 WHIP over 34 starts in 2018.

The 36-year-old veteran starter expressed his desire to sign an extension earlier this spring, and he's even open to a short-term deal. But Verlander would likely be unwilling to take a pay cut from his current $28-million salary, according to Rosenthal.

Crane acknowledged that he's been talking to Verlander's camp, but cautioned that the deadline for an extension is likely to be Sunday, the last day of spring training.

"I don't think anything is final, but if it's going to get done, it's going to get done before we get out of here," Crane said, according to McTaggart. "He doesn't really like to do it during the season, but that could change, too. There's interest on both sides, so we'll see what happens."

Houston also has interest in extending All-Star right-hander Gerrit Cole, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported earlier Friday. However, Cole refuted that report later in the day, telling Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle "there have been no contract negotiations" with the Astros.

Reports of the Astros' interest in extending Verlander also follows the team signing both third baseman Alex Bregman and pitcher Ryan Pressly to extensions.

Pressly, the 30-year-old right-handed reliever, signed a two-year, $17.5-million contract. The deal includes a third-year vesting option, which would push it to $27.5 million over three years.

Bregman's five-year extension, which was officially announced on Friday, is reportedly worth $100 million.

Astros owner discussing extension with Verlander, sets Sunday deadline
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