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Justin Verlander and Tigers agree to $180 million contract

Mar 29, 2013, 12:56 PM EDT

verlander gatorade Reuters

Justin Verlander was eligible for free agency after the 2014 season, but the former MVP and the Tigers have agreed to a five-year contract extension that will keep him in Detroit through at least 2019.

Verlander was already under contract for $20 million this season and $20 million next season as part of a deal signed in December of 2010. This extension will begin in 2015 and includes a sixth-year option for 2020, which would be Verlander’s age-37 season.

According to Buster Olney of ESPN.com the total value of the deal if his existing 2013 and 2014 salaries are included is $180 million and the contract could be worth as much as $202 million if the 2020 option gets picked up. Which, if I’m doing the math correctly before official numbers are released, essentially means the five-year extension is worth $140 million or $28 million per season.

Huge, huge money, as $180 million tops Felix Hernandez‘s short-lived record for pitchers of $175 million, although the stage is still set for Clayton Kershaw to become the first $200 million pitcher.

Verlander won the Cy Young and the MVP in 2011, finished runner-up for the Cy Young last season, and led the league in innings pitched in three of the past four years. During that four-year stretch of 2009-2012 he led all MLB pitchers in wins, starts, strikeouts, and Wins Above Replacement while ranking second in innings and fifth in both ERA and strikeout rate.

Massive long-term commitments to pitchers are awfully scary no matter the circumstances–with this week’s Johan Santana news providing the most recent cautionary tale–but no pitcher has been better or more durable than Verlander through age 29.

  1. sfm073 - Mar 29, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    Pujols wasn’t worth the money in the first year of his contract. This make the wainwright look like a steal.

  2. johnstjc - Mar 29, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    which of the mega extensions or fa deals to people feel will work out the best: verlander votto pujols king felix or longoria? my bet would be on votto or longoria

  3. barnesaintnoble - Mar 29, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    blah blah blah it’s unbelievable that you would complain about how much these players make. Yes, they make a lot more money than normal people for playing sports, but do you have any idea how much revenue a team brings in every year? Television, radio, merchandise, concessions/alcohol, tickets, etc. – it all adds up into astronomical figures in the hundreds of millions every year.Don’t be so short sighted and complain about players making too much money. There is a reason numbers on players pay is so readily available and financial information on teams is not. I’m sure there is a very small link between players pay and prices, but most of the absurd and rising prices are just due to greed of teams/owners and blind loyalty and acceptance of fans. Yet people like you continue to make the players seem like the villains. I would tell you to go look up how much your favorite team made last year, but that information isn’t available and probably never will be.

  4. midjerseyfatcat - Mar 29, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    All I can say about the cost of players and going to a game is that King George owner of the Yankee’s ruined baseball for the real fans. The Yankee’s are now worth over 2 billion dollars in fact all the teams are worth about 23% more due to the new TV contract. With all of that out of the way I will say that all the teams must pay their players if they want to keep them and what better player to have on your team than Justin Verlander? The guy is a real workhorse and is very loyal to his team. I’m sick and tired of all the stars in both leagues showboating their “talent” in front of the Yankee’s because they are the only team to be able to pay huge salaries to 6-7 different players and they want to play for them. I love it when the Yankee’s get beat by teams with only 25% of their payroll.

    This big money deal couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. I never heard one bad word said about him and let’s face it, IMHO he is the best pitcher in baseball.

    • djpostl - Mar 29, 2013 at 3:53 PM

      Idiot, Hicks was the guy who started handing out crazy wanker deals first. Get your facts right before whining.

      Now stick a tampon in it and pipe down lol.

    • djpostl - Mar 29, 2013 at 3:55 PM

      And while we’re at it, you do realize that while the team is worth all that money the Steinbrenner’s themselves don’t even crack the top ten wealthiest owners in MLB right?

      The Giants and Tigers owners are far more wealthy and we all know Detroit has no problem handing out big,. bloated, over-priced deals too.

      So spare us your faux indignation.

    • scoocha - Mar 29, 2013 at 3:59 PM

      Maybe an economics and finance lesson is due in Jersey. There are a number of teams that have much more cash than the NYY. NYM being one of them at least until the Madoff scandal. If a public company owns a team (TOR) they are worth much more than a private owner (NYY) and can spend whatever they like just by issuing more stock. And you mention getting beat by less wealthy teams, in order to keep talent you must pay for it – thats why Verlander is getting a ridiculous sum of money from DET.
      How would you quantify a player’s salary – 1) Rings, 2) MVPs 3) maybe ASGs, anything else matters little. Using this formula at say $4m/ring. Jeter’s ~$20m with 5 rings looks pretty manageable. It’s the players like Beltre and Carl Crawford for example that make these salaries look ridiculous.
      Yeah, Verlander is a sweetheart. Keep tearing up the pathetic AL Central and then (somehow) getting destroyed in WS and ASGs by below average NL teams/players.

      • bigdicktater - Mar 29, 2013 at 6:35 PM

        “Below average”?? The Giants have won 2 of the last 3 in case you haven’t noticed.
        Don’t let that green-eyed monster rule your life!

  5. djpostl - Mar 29, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    Kershaw is going to make sooooooo much lol.

  6. florida727 - Mar 29, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    Good for Verlander. Bad for everyone else (except his agent). Now you know why a 12 oz. beer costs $8 or more. It’s ridiculous. Whatever the market will bear. If you don’t mind refinancing your home, you too can go to a major league baseball game.

    • Kevin S. - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:08 PM

      If Verlander signed an $18 million dollar, you know how much a 12 oz beer would cost? Eight dollars. Until anybody can explain how Verlander’s salary affects how much it costs to supply the beer or fans’ willingness to pay for the beer, shut the hell up and let the grown-ups explain the economics to you.

    • kiwicricket - Mar 29, 2013 at 11:30 PM

      You answered you own question/statement.
      What ever the market will bear.
      The reason the pissy beers are $8 and the terrible food is more, is because there is a certain percent of the patrons who will pay that amount.

      It’s not because they pay Verlander $25M per season and suddenly think, oh shit, we have to increase the price of food and beer! Hurry!!

  7. warpd - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    Wainright pitches in National League thus rendering your analysis a non sequitur.

    http://www.sportsfan4.com/baseball/the-effect-of-switching-leagues-on-pitchers/

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 29, 2013 at 7:01 PM

      Yikes so much bad analysis in that article. Let’s cherry pick two years that prove our preconceived notion, and not worry about any peripheral information just era/r/hr/whip. How about:

      NL – 05 – 3.38 ERA – 75 R – 14 HR – 1.181 WHIP
      AL – 07 – 3.27 ERA – 76 R – 17 HR – 1.141 WHIP
      AL – 11 – 2.89 ERA – 65 R – 21 HR – 1.026 WHIP

      this is why you don’t cherry pick stats, or use things like R (not even ER) or WHIP.

      • dawgpoundmember - Mar 30, 2013 at 2:34 AM

        I read warpd article and yeah, I agree, that article was basically statistics 101, but c’mon church, what are you comparing? What about NL in 05 or AL in 07 or 11?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 30, 2013 at 12:49 PM

        See this statement:
        this is why you don’t cherry pick stats, or use things like R (not even ER) or WHIP.

        That’s what I’m arguing. When you cherry pick information to prove your point, it’s often very easy to cherry pick other information to argue against it. Never mind that he’s trying to make a point (AL is harder than NL) and uses only one person to “prove” it.

  8. tominma - Mar 30, 2013 at 8:28 AM

    Like many teams before them, the Tigers will rue the day when they signed such a ridiculous contract!! I mean, the Yankees have to pay Arod HOW MUCH for HOW MANY more years?? Same with Pujols Texeira etc!

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