The Detroit Tigers refused to let their ace hurler even get a sniff of free agency after locking up Justin Verlander to a five-year contract extension on Friday. The former Cy Young award winner was set to become a free agent at the conclusion of the 2014 season.
Verlander–who was set to earn 20 million for the next two seasons–will now be employed by the Tigers for the next seven seasons and will most likely end up retiring as a Tiger. Verlander will now earn $180 million over the next seven seasons with a vesting option for the 2020 season.
The 2011 MVP owns a career 124-65 record with an earned run average of 3.40 in eight seasons with the Tigers. The 30-year-old has been a model of consistency and a perennial workhorse throwing well over 200 innings in each of the last six seasons.
The Tigers were in no way, shape, or form going to let the “Face of the Franchise” even ponder wearing another teams uniform.
Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski was quoted during a press release about the extension for Verlander–which can be seen below.
“Justin is one of the premier pitchers in baseball and we are thrilled to keep him in a Tigers uniform for many years to come. Justin has been a Tiger for his entire career and he is on pace to be one of the greatest pitchers in this illustrious franchise’s history.”
The deal makes Verlander the highest paid pitcher in baseball history and rightfully so. Somewhere, Kate Upton is smiling.
Clayton Richer covers the Toronto Blue Jays for Rant Sports. Follow and interact with him on Twitter at @MLBHotCorner.