Justin Verlander agrees to terms of 7-year contract deal with Detroit Tigers
Updated On: Mar 29 2013 05:23:21 PM EDT
The Detroit Tigers announced the club has agreed to terms with right-handed pitcher Justin Verlander on a seven-year contract deal through the 2019 season with a vesting option for the 2020 season.
Verlander, who agreed to the five-year contract extension on Friday, will get $180 million over seven years, topping Felix Hernandez for the richest deal for a pitcher in baseball history.
The 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner had been signed through 2014 and set to earn $20 million in each of the next two seasons.
The new deal announced Friday keeps those salaries and adds $140 million in new guaranteed money: $28 million each season from 2015-19. It includes a $22 million option for 2020 that would become guaranteed if he finishes among the top five in 2019 Cy Young voting. The deal could be worth $202 million over eight seasons.
Verlander tweeted: "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!!!"
Verlander, 30, compiled a 17-8 record, 2.64 ERA (238.1IP/70ER) and 239 strikeouts in 33 starts with the Tigers during the 2012 season. He topped the American League with six complete games, 238.1 innings pitched and 239 strikeouts, while he finished second with a 2.64 ERA, .217 batting average against, 7.25 hits per nine innings and 3.98 strikeouts per walk, tied for third with 9.0 strikeouts per nine innings and tied for fourth with 17 wins.
"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," Tigers President, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager David Dombrowski said. "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."
A five-time American League all-star selection (2007, 2009-12), Verlander has posted a 124-65 record, 3.40 ERA (1,553.2IP/587ER) and 1,454 strikeouts in 232 starts during his major league career.Detroit’s first-round selection in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft in 2004, he is currently fifth all-time in club history with 1,454 strikeouts and 10th with 124 wins.
Verlander was selected the American League Most Valuable Player and unanimously selected the American League Cy Young Award winner in 2011. He became the 10th pitcher in major league history to win both the Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Awards during the same season, joining Don Newcombe (1956), Sandy Koufax (1963), Bob Gibson (1968), Denny McLain (1968), Vida Blue (1971), Rollie Fingers (1981), Guillermo Hernandez (1984), Roger Clemens (1986) and Dennis Eckersley (1992).
He was selected the American League Rookie of the Year with the Tigers in 2006. Verlander joined Don Newcombe to become only the second player in history to win the Most Valuable Player, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year Awards. Newcombe was the National League Rookie of the Year in 1949 and he earned both the National League Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Awards in 1956.
Verlander led all American League Pitchers with 24 wins, a 2.40 ERA and 250 strikeouts during the 2011 season to become just the second Tigers pitcher to ever lead all three categories during a single season. He joined Hal Newhouser (1945) in accomplishing the feat.
He has led the American League in strikeouts in each of the last two seasons, fanning 250 batters in 2011 and 239 batters during the 2012 season. Verlander is the first Tigers pitcher to lead the league in strikeouts in back-to-back seasons since Jim Bunning did so in 1959 and 1960.
Verlander fired the first no-hitter in Comerica Park history on June 12, 2007 versus Milwaukee, marking the sixth no-hitter in Tigers history. He tossed the second no-hitter of his career on May 7, 2011 at Toronto, the seventh no-hitter in Tigers history. Verlander joined Virgil Trucks as the only two pitchers in Tigers history with multiple no-hitters. Trucks threw two no-hitters for the Tigers during the 1952 season. According to STATS LLC, Verlander became the 27th pitcher to record two career no-hitters in the American or National League.
He is scheduled to start on Opening Day in Minnesota on Monday afternoon, marking the sixth straight season (2008-13) Verlander has been tabbed the club’s Opening Day starter by Jim Leyland. It marks the longest such streak by a Tigers pitcher since Jack Morris started 11 straight Opening Days (1980-90).
For each of his home starts, Verlander hosts Veterans from the John D. Dingell Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Detroit and the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System. The Veterans, along with their families, watch the game from Verlander’s personal luxury suite. Veterans receive a personalized welcome letter from Verlander, while all guests receive a Verlander’s Victory to Veterans T-shirt and are welcomed on the scoreboard during the game.