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Justin Verlander wants to be the game’s first $200 million pitcher

Feb 22, 2013, 9:32 PM EDT

Justin Verlander AP AP

Since Felix Hernandez inked his seven-year, $175 million extension with the Mariners earlier this month, there has been a lot of discussion about who will be the game’s first $200 million pitcher. One of the most likely candidates, Justin Verlander, tells Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports that he feels he is deserving of the distinction.

“I don’t play this game to make the most money. But I do feel like it would be nice to be compensated for what I feel like I’ve been: one of the best, if not the best, the last few years. In my career, I feel like I’ve been one of the top. But the last two years, I’ve kind of separated myself, me and a handful of other guys.

“It’s not a thing where I’m like, ‘Hey, I want to be the highest-paid player,’ where that’s the chief goal. It innately comes with my competitiveness. That’s just me. That’s not why I play the game. I’m good at the game because of that side of me, because I’m competitive at everything I do.”

While Verlander said “free agency is really cool,” he also doesn’t think that he has “to be a free agent to get [$200 million].” In other words, if the Tigers come to him with the right offer, he would listen. But he’s also keenly aware that if he continues to pitch the way he has over the past two years, there could be a serious bidding war on the open market.

Verlander, who turned 30 on Wednesday, is currently eligible to become a free agent following the 2014 season. Dodgers’ left-hander Clayton Kershaw might be the best candidate of all to top $200 million, as he’s nearly five years younger than Verlander. By the way, he’s also due to become a free agent after 2014.

  1. fanofevilempire - Feb 23, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    I wish I made that kind of money.
    I won’t hate him because he has mastered his craft.
    I hate guys who get the contract and shit all over themselves.
    I hope he gets his contract, I will not hate.
    I hope he knows I want to kiss his girlfriend.

  2. djpostl - Feb 23, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    I don’t this…but.

    I don’t that…but.

    Just grow a freakin’ pair and be honest enough to admit you’re just as shallow as every other athlete that equates money with respect.

    Not an Angels fan, not even close…but damn if Weaver isn’t looking like a cooler guy with each passing moment for the way he handled his deal.

    • jwbiii - Feb 23, 2013 at 3:22 PM

      Just out of curiosity, if you take less than market value for your job, does your spouse think it makes you “cooler”?

      • djpostl - Feb 23, 2013 at 4:02 PM

        You failed reading comprehension, huh?

        I have zero problem with him taking more money, wanting more money…even thinking he deserves more money (because he does).

        Just have the nuts to say it. Stop dancing around the subject.

        If you feel you deserve a raise do you have a hard time admitting that you think you deserve one or do you just say “I don’t want you to think it’s all about money…but it would be really cool if I was the highest paid cashier at the Kwik-E-Mart”?

        Every time some athlete says otherwise they are just insulting your intelligence.

      • jwbiii - Feb 23, 2013 at 5:33 PM

        Did I fail reading comprehension?

        damn if Weaver isn’t looking like a cooler guy with each passing moment for the way he handled his deal.

        Jered Weaver, and his agent, Scott Boras, agreed to an under market deal. Is this not what you meant by “the way he handled his contract”?

        By agreeing to an under market contract, Weaver “is looking like a cooler guy.” Is this not what you meant? Boras, too, by the way.

        What did I get wrong?

  3. sportsnut101 - Feb 23, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    So let me get this straight he thinks he’s getting 200 mil. At the age of 32 going 33. Did I miss sumthing here yes he will get at least 160 mil but only way he does that is to get the contract now he’s the workhorse how do u know how his arm won’t get injured before free agency

  4. metrocritical - Feb 23, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    Stories like this and the ensuing threads are maddening. No doubt, JV has been dominating and elite and deserves to be well compensated but its a bit disheartening to hear him talk about contractual aspirations well in advance of free agency. Part of his charm has been his confident but low key demeanor and fans don’t really want to hear him sound like a money chaser like everybody else. As long as he performs, the money will be there but it’s unfortunate that Seattle had to foolishly raise the bar so high to pay King Felix’s ransom and throw the whole salary structure further off kilter. JV’s expectation’s notwithstanding, a 200 million dollar contract for a guy his age would mean something outlandish like 5 for 40 million or 6 for 33 million or 7 for 28….or 10 for 20. The numbers look absurd on paper and could not possibly be justified by performance without multiple MVPs and many World Series wins, which is highly unlikely. And by the backend it would be a major resource drain. It’s not the players’ fault to ask but the owners’ collective stupidity will ultimately cause the game as we know it to implode. Eventually, the structure will not support the salaries inflated so recklessly.

    • damnyankee13 - Feb 24, 2013 at 10:37 AM

      he is so dominating he cant beat NL teams. 0-2 2006 ws, 0-1 2012 ws, lost 2012 allstar game.

      • kingofsteak - Feb 24, 2013 at 1:48 PM

        … He is 19-2 in inter-league play. 0-3 against world series championship teams in the world series, and an ALL STAR TEAM. The 4 losses you mention are literally against the hardest competition he could have possibly been facing.

  5. rdanie29 - Feb 23, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    I quit watching, and even following basketball last year after the greed got to be too much. It’s getting to that point in baseball. I am sick and tired of greedy agents and ballplayers forcing greedier owners to pay that kind of money, while it costs me $100+ to go see a ballgame. I am really getting shit-full of it. Does this guy really think he is worth that kind of money? Sadly, he probably does.

  6. password1 - Feb 24, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    But I do feel like it would be nice to be compensated

    barf… this kind of comment shows he’s out of touch. he throws a damned ball for amusement and pride of winning, he’s highly compensated if he makes $100K a year doing it. I am all for the players union getting their share, believe me, but I hate reading out of touch rich people who have $100 million saying it WOULD BE nice to be compensated for this or that… sickening.

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