The pair of aces were teammates on the Detroit Tigers from 2010 – 2014. It was a time of personal and team accomplishments.
Verlander was the 2011 AL Cy Young and MVP. Scherzer won the 2013 AL Cy Young. The Tigers won the 2012 pennant and were in four straight postseasons.
Whatever the dynamic between Verlander and Scherzer was, it worked. The Mets are reuniting them because of how well that dynamic once worked.
Just because the dynamic worked, it doesn’t mean they were friends. As former Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski told Tim Healey of Newsday, “Let’s say they butted heads.”
Now, like anything else, this deserves context. Dombrowski said this was a direct result of their competitiveness and need to one up the other. As noted above, that lead to each having outstanding seasons and success for the Tigers team.
Their two catchers shared the sentiment. Alex Avila said they were both Type A personalities. Gerald Laird said how their conflicts drove each other to greatness even if it came along with constant bickering.
If we fast-forward to the present, here is what we know. While both were driven by each other to greatness with the Tigers, they were great apart from one another.
Verlander went on to win the 2019 and 2022 Cy Youngs. He won the World Series in 2017 and 2022. Scherzer won the 2016 and 2017 Cy Young and won the 2019 World Series (over Verlander’s Houston Astros team).
When deGrom left, they made the decision to pivot to Verlander. Certainly, the team would have checked in with Scherzer to get background and see if it’s a good idea. It’s fair to presume Scherzer raised no real objections.
As for Verlander, he opted to sign with the Mets knowing Scherzer was there. To a certain extent, he signed with the Mets probably knowing this is more Scherzer’s team than his.
All told, Scherzer and Verlander opted to reunite on the Mets. Certainly, whatever their prior relationship was didn’t cause Scherzer to want to interfere, or for Verlander to look to sign elsewhere.
Scherzer and Verlander are also older and more mature people now. They’re locks for the Hall of Fame. All they’re playing for now is legacy, another ring, and yes, another big payday.
To accomplish those goals, they’re reuniting on the Mets, which means they’re bringing back that same dynamic from the Tigers. They wanted this. The Mets wanted this. We all wanted this.
As a result, their prior relationship is irrelevant. Whatever it was, they want to do it again, and for that, Mets fans should be ecstatic.