It's a tail as old as time. The Detroit Tigers have a player who struggles in Detroit, only to go elsewhere and thrive. It's the third constant in life to go along with death and taxes.
There have been too many to count over the years. Even players that thrived in Tigers uniforms — such as Justin Verlander or Max Scherzer — went on to be better somewhere else.
Today, we're going to go over a few players that played for the Tigers last season, but have found success on new teams this season. All of these players had good moments in their Tigers careers, but were never really consistent.
Here are three former Tigers who have found success elsewhere
1. Jeimer Candelario has been great for the Nationals and Cubs
This is one that people love to have fun with. Candy had a great shortened 2020 season, then went on to put up a 3.9 fWAR and lead the league in doubles in 2021. There were talks of extending him the following offseason, but the Tigers held off, and you could say they made the right choice.
Candelario hit .217 with an 80 wRC+ last year. Both his offense and his defense massively regressed. Because of that, then-new president of baseball operations thought it would be better to part ways.
He signed a one-year deal with the Washington Nationals in the offseason, and got off to a great start with them, slashing .258/.342/.481 with 16 homers. His performance saw him garner significant interest at the trade deadline, and he was eventually traded to the Chicago Cubs — the team that traded him to the Tigers back in 2017.
He has been on a heater ever since coming back to the windy city, hitting .425 with a 1.114 OPS over 45 plate appearances. He's already worth 3.7 fWAR this year. This was a huge prove-it year for him, and he's come through.
Many Tigers fans have been upset with Scott Harris for not retaining Candelario, completely dismissing that fact that he was terrible on both sides of the ball last year. Once more, the problem wasn't letting Candelario walk, it was doing nothing to replace him. Had the Tigers got a legit third baseman instead of the combination of Nick Maton/Zach McKinstry/Andy Ibanez/others, people wouldn't be nearly as upset.
The Tigers could easily bring Candelario back this offseason. He's earned himself a nice paycheck. He can play third, while Colt Keith could be moved over to second base.
Jeimer Candelario is a good person. It's nice to see him have some success. He deserves it.