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#pounditTuesday, December 6, 2022

Justin Verlander leaning one particular way in free agency?

Justin Verlander smiles

We may have a notable development in Justin Verlander Watch 2021.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported on Tuesday that Los Angeles Angels officials believe that Verlander is more inclined to sign with an East Coast team or to return to the Detroit Tigers than to sign with a West Coast team. That may have played a factor in the Angels’ decision to sign fireballer Noah Syndergaard on Tuesday.

The former Cy Young winner Verlander did not pitch at all last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow in 2020. Another concern is that the two-time Cy Young Award winner will turn 39 years old in February.

Verlander was drafted by Detroit and pitched for them from 2005 until they traded him in 2017, allowing him to win the World Series with Houston. A former teammate has been recruiting him back to the Tigers.

Verlander reportedly looked good in a recent workout for interested teams. That could give him a bit more leverage to choose his destination for next year, which now sounds like it will be on the east side of the country.

Photo: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

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