Justin Verlander is going to be a Tiger for the bulk, if not all of his baseball career, and his great great great grandchildren will never go hungry, after baseball's consensus best pitcher agreed to a $180 million extension with the Detroit Tigers, the only team Verlander has ever played for. The deal could reach $202 million with a 6th year vesting option. The deal tops the previous largest deal ever for a pitcher: Felix Hernandez' 6 year, $175 million extension signed this winter.
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!!!— Justin Verlander (@JustinVerlander) March 29, 2013
Verlander's new deal replaces the previous one he had which would have paid him a mere $40 million through 2014. The Tigers didn't want Verlander to get close enough to free agency to smell it from where he was, so they signed him to a deal that is close to what Verlander could have gotten on the open market, throwing down for an additional 5 years and $140 million. Verlander gets guaranteed money now, instead of having to worry about getting injured at the wrong time and losing bargaining power going into free agency. He can also continue being addicted to dropping pieces of solid gold out of helicopters into large bodies of water for at least a few more years before that becomes an issue.
Will Verlander be worth $28 million a season for his age 33-38 seasons? Probably not all of them, but between him being legitimately amazing and likely contract inflation, he's as good a bet as any pitcher to earn such a massive contract, and for the willing checkbook of the Detroit Tigers, this was a no-brainer.