There is no doubt that the Detroit Tigers are the class of the American League Central, and a lot of that comes from having the best pitcher in Major League Baseball on the roster in Justin Verlander. Verlander went 17-8 last season, nearing winning his second straight Cy Young award.
With Verlander’s contract coming up after the 2014 season, the time has come for the Tigers to make a bold move and lock him up for the rest of his career with the team.
There are a lot of smart people out there who wouldn’t give a pitcher more than a three or four-year contract but Verlander is a special pitcher and needs to be thought of that way. I would tear up the last two years of Verlander’s contract and give him a ten-year, $200 million deal right now. I would set the deal up where Verlander gets half of that money over the first four years, with the amounts going down over the last six years of the contract.
Verlander is 78-31 over the last four seasons and while he is getting paid $20 million the next two seasons, the time has come to make sure that Verlander stays in a Tigers uniform for his entire career. Verlander has had just one bad season over the last seven seasons, and has won at least 17 games in every other season – so why not just pay the man the highest contract for a pitcher ever?
Hopefully the people in Detroit get the message and get this done before Verlander goes into the final year of his contract in 2014.