Detroit Tigers: Bringing Justin Verlander home is a real possibility

(Detroit Free Press)
(Detroit Free Press) /

Take a step backward from the 2021 Detroit Tigers season and start looking ahead. The Tigers may begin spending some money towards their team’s future. That could very well begin with a right-handed pitcher that Tigers fans know and love.

Former Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander will be a free agent after this season. It just seems fitting for the 38-year-old to finish out his career back here in the Motor City. Not to mention, his former Houston Astros manager, A.J. Hinch, is now manning the dugout here.

Verlander is unlikely to deliver a pitch on the big league mound in 2021, but in 2022 do not count out the Tigers as suitors for the former ace. Oddly enough, Verlander has consistently gotten better with age.

The joke of Verlander being like a fine wine that gets better with age has been cracked left and right, but can he keep it up after undergoing Tommy John surgery? He underwent surgery last year, which is keeping him off the mound in 2021.

Surgery or not, the Detroit Tigers will very likely be suitors to land Justin Verlander this offseason.

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Verlander’s two-year, $66 million extension with the Astros runs out after this year.

The last two seasons have been a battle for the right-hander, who underwent Tommy John surgery in September of 2020.

He has started throwing and has been in contact with the Astros in his recovery process.

He can spend 2021 getting ready to throw just in time to travel back to the Motor City to pitch for the Tigers.

The eight-time all-star, two-time Cy Young winner, MVP, and Pitching Triple Crown winner would look good in the old-English “D” uniform once again.

In 2020 Verlander would only make one six-inning start for the Astros. Further examination and looks into his arm led to the Tommy John decision.

In 2019 though, Verlander was able to make 34 starts and earn his second Cy Young Award after losing out to Gerrit Cole the year before. Verlander was 21-6 over his 34 outings, totaling 223.0 innings pitched with a 2.58 ERA, a 0.80 WHIP, and punching out 300 opposing hitters.

The 3,1,3 in his career strikeout has to be a sign he’s coming back to the “313” for the 2022 season, right? Fans can hope so at least, only time will tell. It just seems like all the signs point to a possible return.

With Hinch coming to Detroit, his former manager, who he won a World Series with back in 2017, might be enticing for the right-hander (Trashcans or not). Verlander spent 13 years dominating on the mound for the Tigers after being drafted by the team in 2004.

Detroit was home to the majority of Verlander’s career; bringing him home for the 2022 season to let him end his career as a Tigers pitcher is a genuine possibility. It always seemed like when he was traded to the Astros that it was a rite of passage so that Verlander could go win a ring.

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Now with his World Series ring, tainted or not, the Tigers faithful could very well see no. 35 back on the mound in Detroit once again.