BREAKING THE BANK

Examining latest insider reports on Astros, Justin Verlander negotiations

The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Mets, Dodgers, and Yankees could all be in the mix for a high-dollar contract offer to Justin Verlander. Something similar to the 3-year 130 million dollar deal Max Scherzer signed with the Mets.

Astros owner Jim Crane said he believes if they match what JV is offered, his relationship with Verlander could win the “tie,” but it also means they will have to pay top of the market value to retain his services. And according to reports, Verlander is looking to cash in during free agency, so a hometown discount doesn't appear to be something he's willing to do.

Plus, going over the luxury tax could also be a sticking point for the Astros.

Be sure to check out the video above as ESPN Houston's Jake Asman, Cody Stoots, and Brad Kellner discuss on The Wheelhouse.

LISTEN to The Wheelhouse on ESPN Houston 97.5 or 92.5 FM every weekday from 3-7 PM CST!

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James Harden returned to Houston Monday night and lost to the Rockets in double overtime. After the game, Harden complimented the maturation of the Rockets young players, and had some nice things to say about Houston.

Harden has a player option and can opt out after the season, which has some Rockets fans wondering if he would consider returning to Houston and taking over as the team's primary ball handler.

Plus, Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta has said he wouldn't rule out Harden returning at some point.

Be sure to watch the video above as we break down all the angles involving a potential fit for James Harden with Houston's young core of players, and much more.

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Catch The Bench with John and Lance weekdays from 7-10 AM on ESPN 97.5 and 92.5.

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