Justin Verlander just got paid. Arguably baseball’s most dominant pitcher, Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander has reached an agreement on an extension for 7-years and $180 million dollars to remain with the team through at least the 2019 season.
The deal could last up to 8-years and earn Verlander $202 million dollars.
This contract makes Verlander the highest paid pitcher of all-time, passing Felix Hernandez’s 7-year $175 million dollar deal from last year.
The Tigers and Justin Verlander are both winners with this deal. The Tigers lock-up a 30-year-old pitcher for what may possibly be the rest of his career, and Verlander gets the highest contract ever given to a pitcher. His contract is well-deserved.
Over the last 4-years, Verlander has led all pitchers in innings pitched and strikeouts three times, wins twice, and ERA once.
It was also just two years ago that Verlander became the first pitcher since Roger Clemens in 1986 to win a league MVP award. Verlander went 24-5, with a 2.40 ERA and 250 strikeouts. His 24 wins in 2011 were the most by any major league pitcher since Oakland A’s pitcher, Bob Welch, won 27 games in 1990.
Last season wasn’t as impressive for Verlander as his 2011 season, but he still stood out amongst the rest of the league. He finished with a 17-8 record with a 2.64 ERA and was 2nd to David Price in the AL CY Young voting.
With his new contract, expectations are going to be as high as ever for Verlander and the Tigers. Darren Rovell of ESPN calculated Verlander’s contract, and it translated to him making $758,000 dollars per start, and $6,900 per pitch. $6,900. Per. Pitch.
It’s going to be very interesting to see how long Verlander remains baseball’s highest-paid pitcher. Earlier this month, Felix Hernandez predicted that it would be Clayton Kershaw who would break his own mark. Kershaw breaking Verlander’s contract is realistic and makes a lot of sense, especially since he’s 5-years younger than Verlander. You also have to factor in the team Kershaw plays for; the Los Angeles Dodgers. At this point in time, money is of no obstacle in LA. The Dodgers pay-roll last season was $90 million dollars, and this year it’s expected to be over $220 million dollars.
Kershaw is scheduled to make $11 million this season and is still under arbitration until 2014. Kershaw could become the first pitcher to sign a $200 million dollar contract, but only time will tell.
In his career so far, Verlander is 124-65 with a 3.40 ERA to go along with two no-hitters.