The Detroit Tigers may be able to start spending money and signing players once again. But when the work stoppage ended, and the deal was ratified, they were not one of the first teams to act. However, they have ties to the first multi-year deal signed.
Former Detroit Tigers prospect pitcher Drew VerHagen has found himself a new home. He secured a two-year deal with the St. Louis Cardinals, who seem to think that things will turn around for the now-31-year-old right-handed pitcher.
The Cardinals were early to act and grab one of the pitchers who, at one time, was considered to be the Tigers’ next big arm. While some fans may not even really remember VerHagen all too well, it’s clear that he was not a top-tier arm.
VerHagen pitched in games across six seasons for the Tigers, a fourth-round pick out of Vanderbilt University. His time in Detroit came to a halt following the 2019 season, and he ended up spending time overseas before catching the attention of the Cardinals organization.
Former Detroit Tigers pitcher Drew VerHagen finds a new home.
During his time with the Tigers, VerHagen did not get into a ton of games. His last two seasons saw him set consecutive records for himself for innings pitched. In 2018 VerHagen logged 56.1 innings pitched with a 4.63 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP which is nothing super exciting, though the 1.15 WHIP is not too shabby.
His last season with the Tigers was not much better, logging 58.0 innings pitched with a 5.90 ERA a 1.60 WHIP, which is still not great. It seems quite interesting that VerHagen was able to snowball those performances into a two-year contract with $2.5 million in 2022 and $3 million in 2023, with incentives on top of that.
However, an article on ESPN notes that the right-hander had a 13-14 record with a 3.49 ERA over 39 games for the Nippon Ham Fighters over in Japan. This may not be a ton of money when other starters are getting $30 million a year, but VerHagen was able to get a nice chance to stick with the Cardinals.
They obviously think that VerHagen has figured some things out and has a chance to crack with the big league roster, providing some benefit. It seems like he may be viewed in the same light as Pierce Johnson, who the San Diego Padres scooped up after some time over in Japan.
But baseball is back, signings are back, and apparently, Drew VerHagen is back too. While this signing may not affect the Tigers, they can start focusing in on their free-agent targets to round out their roster.