Astros, Verlander mutually interested in extension

Houston Astros owner Jim Crane said Friday that there is mutual interest in a contract extension for ace Justin Verlander.

However, Crane said if a new deal for the 36-year-old right-hander does come, it will most likely have to happen while the team is still in Florida for 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. "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."

Verlander, who will be a free agent after the 2019 season, went 16-9 with a 2.52 ERA last season and led the American League in strikeouts with 290. He finished second in the AL Cy Young race to the Rays' Blake Snell.
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