The Detroit Tigers reunion with Justin Verlander fails to come true

(Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)
(Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports) /

While the Detroit Tigers got active in the free-agent market early this offseason with the signing of Eduardo Rodriguez to a five-year contract, they still were looking to add another arm. To fill that need, it appeared the Tigers were going to go back to the good ol’ days.

It was quite the evening on Wednesday for the Justin Verlander sweepstakes. The Detroit Tigers were rumored to be suitors for Verlander and be pursuing a return to the Motor City. Around dinner time, it was announced that Verlander was going to decline his qualifying offer from the Houston Astros.

After declining an $18.4 million qualifying offer, Verlander would hit the free-agent market. The number of suitors in on Verlander started growing as other teams joined in the mix. Verlander held a workout for a number of scouts from various teams last week that really started picking things up.

In the workout, his fastball was 94-97 mph which is going to play. The storied veteran of the big leagues will be 17 months removed from Tommy John Surgery when Spring Training rolls around, and the question is how well he will have recovered.

The Detroit Tigers missed out on the Justin Verlander sweepstakes.

Things in the Verlander sweepstakes would get ruined by the Houston Astros. Ben Verlander, Justin’s brother, announced the news just over an hour after the right-hander declined the qualifying offer.

The former Tigers prospect and baseball personality even went on to break down the deal further, beating out some of the best analysts out there. Here are the terms he tweeted out a little while after breaking the news.

The Tigers would fall short of bringing home their former ace. After 13 years in the Tigers system, it seemed like a very real possibility. There were some obstacles that may have had Verlander choosing to play elsewhere, but it seemed like the Tigers were very realistically in on him and had a real shot at landing him.

While the Astros acted quick, it seemed that Verlander wanted to stay loyal to the Astros after not pitching in two full seasons realistically after making only one start in 2020 before getting shutdown to undergo Tommy John Surgery.

The 38-year old right-handed pitcher is running out of time in the big leagues, but then again, he seems to age like fine wine and get better no matter what. The Tigers may have missed out this time, but he may not be out of the question.

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For those who were really hung up on bringing home Verlander, they may be able to bring him back again next offseason; until then, the fans should start looking forward to how the team progresses as the offseason continues and the Tigers stay active.