Baseball’s best pitcher has been signed to a new contract extension with the Detroit Tigers. The deal for Justin Verlander is for 5 years (through the 2019 season), with a 6th year vesting option (for 2020).
Verlander’s current contract was set to expire after the 2014 season, when he was going to be a free agent. Meaning he is now signed for the next 7 years, and possibly 8.
Verlander’s current deal has a value of $20 million each over the next two years of the deal. The new five year extenstion is worth $28 million per season, and the 6th year vesting option is worth $22 million. The total value of the contract is is $140 million over 5 years, or $162 million over 6.
Over the next 7 years, Verlander will make $180 million, and potentially go over $200 million if the vesting option kicks in.
This puts Verlander as the highest paid pitcher in baseball, topping the 7 year $175 million deal signed by Felix Hernandez in Seattle.
Verlander, 30, has been baseball’s best pitcher over the last 4 years. His best year was in 2011 when he went 24-5 with a 2.40 ERA and 250 strikeouts. He picked up the Cy Young Award and MVP that season.
Last season, Verlander went 17-8 with a 2.64 ERA, and finished second in Cy Young voting to David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays. Verlander was the Tigers ace and helped take the team to the World Series, where they fell to the San Francisco Giants.
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