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Justin Verlander won’t discuss extension during season

Mar 23, 2013, 8:30 PM EDT

Justin Verlander AP

Tigers ace Justin Verlander isn’t interested in letting contract talks distract him during the season, reports Jon Heyman:

Verlander said Saturday that if there’s no deal in place by his next start, his last spring start, there won’t be any more contract talk through the remainder of the season, as he wants to focus on winning. So if there isn’t a new contract done in 3 1/2 days — his last spring start is Wednesday — the Tigers will have only one calendar year to sign him.

Verlander, who has won an AL Rookie of the Year award, an AL MVP award, and an AL Cy Young award, will earn $20.1 million in each of the next two seasons leading up to his free agency. Now 30 years old, an extension with the Tigers would likely take him past his age-35 season, but Verlander might be more tempted to test free agency if the Tigers don’t close the case in the next few days.

The seven-year, $175 million contract awarded to Felix Hernandez by the Seattle Mariners is thought to be a model for a potential Verlander extension, though Verlander is more than three years older.

  1. Kevin Gillman - Mar 23, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    See, it’s comments like this I don’t understand. The player never discusses deals anyway, it’s usually the agents, until a deal is close is working out. Am I right? If that is the case, then what is the big deal? Just don’t discuss it with the media.

  2. jessethegreat - Mar 23, 2013 at 11:31 PM

    Verlander is at the king of the mountain of the best pitchers in the game right now, but there’s no way he sees a contract as big as Felix’s. The guy will be 32 at the end of this contract. GM’s would be stupid to go over the minimum of 5 new years it would take to extend/sign him. He’s got leverage but paying him 20+ million into his late 30’s would be as unintelligent as paying Pujols and ARod the same.

    Don’t pay him 5 years salary for 3 years worth of solid/spectacular production!

  3. chrisdtx - Mar 24, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    Pay this man his money.

  4. historiophiliac - Mar 24, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    Well, there was less blathering on about his age than I feared. That’s nice.

    Thanks, Bill, for the dose of Tigers awesomeness.

  5. abaird2012 - Mar 24, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    If they’ve got him for the next two years, that should be about enough. Let the contract run its course.

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