Originally published on July 13th, 2020: Verlander announced on Saturday that he is having Tommy John surgery and that he will likely miss the 2021 season. Here is why and when I believe he will return to the Detroit Tigers.
Justin Verlander has made it clear that he wants to pitch until he is 45 (or longer), which would be one year younger than his idol, Nolan Ryan. If and when that time comes, it would only be fitting for him to be wearing a Detroit Tigers jersey and I believe that is exactly how things will play out.
Currently, Verlander is 37 and he is under contract with the Houston Astros through the 2021 season, which would make him 39 when he is eligible to hit free agency once again.
At that time, I believe JV and the Detroit Tigers will work out a deal which will give him the opportunity to close out his career wearing the Old English ‘D’ in a place he called home for 13 seasons.
If Verlander can continue to pitch the way he has been since being traded to the Astros, you can bet it will cost the Tigers a pretty penny to re-sign their former ace. That being said, financially speaking, it should work out considering the young pitchers (who are still in the minors) they will have on the staff.
Verlander still loves the city of Detroit and Detroit still loves him, which is why he should (and will) finish out his career in the Motor City.
Who knows, maybe JV can end up leading the Tigers to a World Series title after all.
Always a Tiger!