Astros pitcher Justin Verlander will be a free agent after the 2021 season and the possibility of a reunion with the Detroit Tigers is on his mind.
Justin Verlander spent the bulk of his Hall of Fame career pitching for the Detroit Tigers. Could he finish it there?
The veteran pitcher is coming off Tommy John surgery, but his impending free agency at the end of the 2021 season could put him in the sights of the Tigers.
He’s open to the idea.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about it,” Verlander said, per the Detroit Free Press. “Yeah, of course. I loved playing there. I love the city. I love the fans. Yes, I do think about it.”
Justin Verlander has thought about returning to the Tigers
However, Tigers fans shouldn’t get ahead of themselves just yet. Verlander also cautioned that he’ll be making free agency decisions that aren’t necessarily based on sentiment.
“Ultimately, the decision comes down to what’s best for my career. If that aligns with that possibility, then maybe it does,” Verlander said.
Verlander’s future for 2022 is interesting. He was shut down last summer and ultimately had to undergo Tommy John surgery. The procedure guaranteed he’d miss the rest of the season and all of 2021. While he remains with the Astros, he isn’t slated to pitch for them before his contract runs out.
While he’s currently 38 years old, Verlander was still pitching at a high level before his injury. He won 21 games in 2019 and garnered an All-Star nod for the second-straight season in Houston. In 2010 he had one win and an ERA of 3.00.
Can he possibly retain that level after a year and a half out? Will he finally hit the wall at 39?
Houston could try to bring him back, another team could swoop in or Detroit could push for a reunion. It’s all still up in the air.