The Detroit Tigers need to lock up Justin Verlander before he hits free agency in 2014. Why? The reason is simple. If you let him hit free agency, teams like the New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers are going to be ready to offer him the biggest contract ever for a pitcher. The Tigers CANNOT take any chances in that regard.
Verlander has been everything to the Tigers. He’s done it all in a Tigers uniform (except win a World Series), and if the Tigers actually lost him, it would be almost impossible to find the production Verlander brings to the table. Actually, check that. It WOULD be impossible to find a guy to duplicate his production.
What kind of contract can Verlander get? Well, he could be the first pitcher in history to make $30 million a year annually and it would be totally justified. The guy IS the best pitcher in baseball. He’s as feared and un-hittable as anyone around, and if Zack Greinke can get the contract he got from the Dodgers, Verlander should at least get more.
It’ll be interesting to see if the Tigers can pony up the cash, or if Verlander will give them a hometown discount. I mean, when you look at it- why would he want to leave? He’s got Prince Fielder around offensively and an owner that will pay people a lot of money…but wouldn’t Verlander want to get paid too?
We’ll see what happens as we move forward, but if Justin Verlander hits free agency in 2014, the Tigers risk losing a future Hall of Famer.