Detroit Tigers Free Agency Option 5: Carlos Correa and Justin Verlander
Fine, we’ll give the fans what they want. Never mind that fan opinions aren’t always the best, or that Carlos Correa has played more than 110 games in a season just twice in his career, or that there’s zero track record of 39-year-olds returning from Tommy John surgery. Let’s reunite A.J. Hinch with two key cogs from his 2017 World Series team. If nothing else, it’ll sell tickets.
Carlos Correa just turned 27, and he’s in the midst of the best season of his career. He’s batting .277/.363/.475 with 24 home runs and outstanding defensive numbers at shortstop. Remember that first proposal, when we mentioned Trevor Story ranks 3rd among all shortstops in defensive runs saved over the past four seasons? Well, Carlos Correa ranks 2nd (in 925 fewer innings), and all his underlying data (save for sprint speed) is terrific. Correa also happens to be one of the greatest performers in postseason history, with a .270/.338/.531 batting line and 17 home runs in 63 games. He is going to get a tremendous amount of money.
Detroit Tigers fans don’t really need an introduction to Justin Verlander. He’s probably the best pitcher in franchise history, and he’s a surefire Hall-of-Famer who has earned practically every accolade possible. But time comes for everyone, and Verlander’s arm finally gave out last year.
It’s dangeous to sign any pitcher coming off Tommy John surgery, but inking a 39-year-old recovering from TJ is off-the-charts risky. There isn’t much data to suggest Verlander can return to form, but that’s mostly because pitchers his age tend to just retire.
But Justin Verlander is built differently than most pitchers, and he seems inclined to pitch into his mid-40s if possible, so someone is likely to sign him. And the Tigers certainly wouldn’t ink this deal on blind faith. Verlander will probably have a showcase or two before signing, and if he looks good, then sure, why not give him a deal? The fans will rejoice, and even if he doesn’t fully return to form, he can at least help mentor the young pitching staff.
So there you have it, five wild proposals to make the Detroit Tigers better. What would you do? Leave us your ideas in the comments section below.