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Verlander, Tigers nearing long-term talks

Jan 21, 2010, 7:31 PM EDT

Tigers ace Justin Verlander told MLB.com’s Jason Beck on Thursday that he expects to engage in long-term contract talks with the club soon after his 2010 salary is decided. 

Verlander requested $9.5 million and was offered $6.9 million from the Tigers when arbitration figures were exchanged on Tuesday.  The two sides obviously disagree on his current value, but perhaps the arbitration-related discussions will help establish some sort of common ground moving forward.

“I think Dave [Dombrowski's] quote is that they want me around for a
long time. I want to be here for a long time,” Verlander said Thursday
afternoon. “I know I love it here, and I know I’d like to be here for a long time,
but that has not been discussed yet. We’ll see. We’ll cross that bridge
when that comes.”

The right-hander, who turns 27 in February, went 19-9 last season with a 3.45 ERA and led all American League pitchers with 269 strikeouts in 240 innings.

  1. woodrow - Jan 21, 2010 at 8:26 PM

    Felix Hernandez got 5 yr $78 million…and Verlander is more accomplished at this point in their careers. Tigers have been bitten recently with bad contracts to Robertson, Willis, Bonderman. It will be interesting to see how Dombrowski handles this…maybe shorter term more per season than Felix.

  2. Eric Cioe - Jan 21, 2010 at 11:21 PM

    I love Verlander, but I think Felix is more accomplished at this point. I’d expect 5/$80 to be pretty reasonable.
    Craig, I just wanted to note that Verlander didn’t lead the AL in strikeouts and innings last season, he led the entire planet in both. And these weren’t 12 pitch Greg Maddux innings, either. He does it the hard way. It’s really impressive to watch. Ask Dennis Eckersley (from “wow, 97 in the first, no way this can last” to “just not fair” in 7 innings), Josh Lewin (“like Attila the Hun, he may have a weakness…” (99 mph swinging strike ends the threat) “…but Attila’s got a good fastball), and Nolan Ryan (“best stuff we’ve seen all year”). He’s the most manful pitcher in the game right now.

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