Justin Verlander thinking of Tigers return

Justin Verlander thinking of Tigers return

Verlander thinking about the Tigers

The Detroit Tigers are one of the worst teams in all of Major League Baseball, as they sit fourth in the American League Central Division. The Tigers always knew this would be a rebuilding year though as they continue to look to the future. Building for the future may result in the Tigers looking to their past.

In a recent interview with the Detroit Free Press, Houston Astros’ pitcher Justin Verlander admitted that he still thinks about a return to his former club the Detroit Tigers.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about it,” Verlander told the Free Press, after discussing his 2011 MVP season with the Tigers. “Yeah, of course. I loved playing there. I love the city. I love the fans. Yes, I do think about it. Ultimately, the decision comes down to what’s best for my career. If that aligns with that possibility, then maybe it does.”

Verlander will be a free agent when the season concludes and will have the option to sign anywhere he likes. The 38-year-old was drafted by the Tigers with the second overall pick in the 2004 MLB Draft and remained with the franchise until midway through the 2017 campaign, when he was traded for Franklin Perez, Jake Rogers and Daz Cameron.

Despite winning a World Series with the Astros in 2017, it seems unlikely that Verlander will remain in Houston after this year. He made just one appearance last year and has yet to play a game this season due to injury.

“I need to get my elbow healthy first,” Verlander said, “and then I don’t even know what the next steps are. I’m a free agent, and I have no plan. For the first time, I’m entering free agency. We’ll just see what happens.”

While Verlander is far from the pitcher that was dominating the league a few years ago, his experience could still be useful for a young Tigers’ side that is still lacking experience. The veteran could bring a wealth of knowledge to a locker room that could surely use it.

“Yes, I mean, I’m human,” Verlander said. “It’s a city that means a lot to me and I grew up in front of and had a lot of accomplishments there. So yeah, of course I do (think about returning).”

The eight-time All-Star made over 380 starts for the organization and has thrown over 2,511 innings. Along with being named the American League Rookie of the Year in 2006 with Detroit, Verlander was also named the CY Young award winner and MVP in 2011.

“That’s another one of those things that I just don’t really like to talk about too much,” Verlander told the Detroit Free Press when asked if it was still a goal to win a World Series with the Tigers. “If it happens, it happens.”

The Tigers still have a long way to go before they can even consider being contenders for the league’s most prestigious prize, but at least fans can begin dreaming again.