Justin Verlander's two-year, $50 million deal with Houston Astros approved by MLB, sources say

Justin Verlander's two-year, $50 million agreement with the Houston Astros has been given formal approval by Major League Baseball, industry sources told ESPN, even at a time when the owners have locked out the players in the ongoing labor battle.

Verlander reached an agreement with Houston last month before the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement, and there were no holdups over his physical condition; Verlander had Tommy John surgery in 2020 and remains on track to pitch in 2022. The deal was submitted to MLB on the evening on Dec. 1, in the last hours before the CBA expired.

As far as Verlander's camp was concerned, the agreement was a done deal, and as far as the Astros were concerned, it was a done deal. The determining factor for MLB was that it was signed and executed before the deadline.

But Major League Baseball did not formally sign off on the deal before the lockout went into effect.

MLB and the Players' Association have worked through the final approval of Verlander's contract, however, and it was signed before the expiration of the CBA. His deal for 2022 (and 2023) is now in effect.