Verlander is set to become a free agent at the conclusion of the 2021 season, which begs the question; is a return to the Detroit Tigers on the table?
I’ve always held out hope that Verlander would return to the Tigers after his time in Houston. But unfortunately, I can’t imagine he’d like to return to this dumpster fire team owner Chris Ilitch and general manager Al Avila have built.
Since leaving the Detroit Tigers, the 38-year old right-hander has won his first World Series title plus a second Cy Young award.
The staff’s ace appeared in just one contest last season, leading the Astros to a victory on opening day before being forced to miss the remainder of the season and eventually undergo Tommy John surgery.
Overall, the future Hall Of Famer remained quite durable throughout his career, only suffering a core injury that required surgery and affected his overall performance for about a calendar year. For a starting pitcher and one with the miles Verlander has endured in his career, it’s remarkable he’s eluded a serious injury to his pitching arm until 2020.
Unfortunately, for the Astros, Verlander was only able to total a mere six innings during his two-year extension that averages $33-million per season which signed with the club in 2019.
Verlander also mentioned if he can return before the season’s end in 2021, it won’t be in a starting role. He’s also been limited to just throwing fastballs thus far in his recovery.
Verlander has totaled a whopping 2,988 career innings striking out 3,013 hitters. He owns a 226-129 record with an ERA of 3.33 and a WHIP of 1.134.
It would be a wonderful sight to see Verlander finish his career dawning the old English D, but I wouldn’t set my watch to that happening after examining the current state of the Detroit Tigers.
Regardless of a player’s history with the organization, I can’t imagine a reunion being anything more than wishful thinking at this point. I also don’t have any faith in Chris Ilitch, and I’ll believe his promised free agent ‘spending spree’ when I see it.