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Tigers, Justin Verlander agree to 5-year, $140 million extension

Detroit has made the ace right-hander the highest-paid pitcher in baseball history.

Doug Pensinger

The old adage says that money can't buy you happiness. I don't think the person who came up with that was ever offered over $200 million to throw a baseball for a living.

The Detroit Tigers have come to terms on a mammoth, record-breaking contract extension with 2011 AL Cy Young and MVP winner Justin Verlander, the team has announced, agreeing to pay the right-hander a guaranteed $180 million through the 2019 season with a $22 million vesting option for 2020.

All told, the deal would give Verlander $202 million over the next eight seasons, making the right-hander the first $200-million pitcher in baseball history.

I think it's safe to say Verlander is a pretty happy guy today.

Verlander still had two years and $40 million to go on his existing five-year contract with the Tigers, so the new extension by itself amounts to five years and $140 million guaranteed. If the five-year extension is distributed evenly -- which it apparently is -- the average annual value will come out to $28 million a year.

Verlander also gets a full no-trade clause with the deal and will receive performance bonuses for further Cy Young and MVP awards, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.

Rumblings about a monster deal for Verlander have been floating around the rumor mill since Felix Hernandez signed his seven-year, $175 million extension in early February. Verlander was set to hit the free-agent market along with Hernandez and Clayton Kershaw following the 2014 season, but now Kershaw stands alone.

The 30-year-old Verlander has been far and away the best pitcher in baseball the last two seasons, amassing a 2.52 ERA and 4.18 strikeout-to-walk ratio in a ridiculous 489⅓ innings of work. The tall right-hander is pretty much unmatched in his ability to regularly touch 100 miles per hour while logging an obscene number of innings. Verlander has never once come close to a stint on the disabled list, and looks to be the anchor of Detroit's rotation into the next decade.


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