Former Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander established himself as one of baseball's top pitchers throughout his career in the Motor City, and he continues to hold a special place in the hearts of Motor City fans everywhere.
After his 2017 trade to the Houston Astros that saw him earn his first career World Series victory, he continued his dominance on the mound. In 2019, with 21 wins and his 2.58 ERA, he earned another Cy Young Award/ His 34 starts were tied for the most in baseball, and he also finished with 223 innings played.
He's currently recovering from having undergone Tommy John surgery and won't be pitching competitively again until 2022. However, that hasn't stopped him from saying that he intends to pitch into his 40's. Could his future hold a return to the Tigers? According to his brother Ben Verlander, it's been on his mind – as well as for how much longer he intends to pitch.
“We have certainly talked about it,” his brother and former Tigers draft pick Ben Verlander said Thursday during an appearance on Milwaukee's 1250 The Fan. “My brother still wants to pitch for a long time, five-plus years, and it would just be very poetic for him to end up back there. I don’t know come this offseason if he’s going to end up there, but I do know hopefully down the road it ends up happening.
“It would just be a very poetic end to his incredible career. That city means so much to him and so much to our family and it’d be pretty cool to see that happen.”
Of course, the man himself admitted earlier this year that once again wearing the Old English D does cross his mind.
“I'd be lying if I said I didn't think about it,” Verlander said. “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.
“I need to get my elbow healthy first, 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.”
– – Quotes via Will Burchfield of Audacy Link – –