Announced this morning on their official Twitter account, the Detroit Tigers officially agreed to terms on a new five-year contract extension with Justin Verlander, easily one of if not the best pitcher in baseball.
Verlander’s contract, which will be worth $180 million over the next seven years, includes a vesting option for the year 2020 that if met, will give Verlander $202 million over the next eight years. This deal makes him the highest paid pitcher in baseball history.
After failing to come to terms earlier in the preseason, Verlander presented the Tigers with terms of his own. He told the organization if an extension was not signed by his final spring start, which was this past Wednesday, that there would be no more talks of a new contract until the end of the season, as Verlander wanted to focus his efforts on winning and bringing a World Series home to Detroit.
Upon agreeing to the terms, Verlander took to Twitter this morning to make his announcement, saying:
“I love this city & the fans – couldn’t be more excited to spend my career here! We’re going to bring a World Series to Detroit!!!” – @justinverlander
Verlander was previously under contract until 2014 and no doubt would have been the hottest free agent pitcher on the market had he and the Tigers not come to terms. Over the past four seasons, he has been one of the most productive aces in all of baseball, winning at least 17 games and losing no more than nine in each of those years.
During this time, Verlander also tossed a no-hitter, not the first of his career, as well as won the AL Cy Young and MVP in 2011 with a 24-5 record and phenomenal 2.40 ERA.
A dominant force in baseball, Verlander leads a talented and deep Tigers’ rotation that has kept them competitive in the AL for years. Adding to that the 2012 Triple Crown winner in Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, the Tigers will once again challenge for the AL pennant.
And now that they have Verlander locked down for at least seven more years, it would be no surprise to see the ace finally get the one item missing from his trophy case; a World Series ring.