Justin Verlander wants to get in on the action. Large contracts are being handed out to Major League Baseball’s best pitchers like candy.
Verlander’s newest teammate, Annibal Sanchez was given a five-year, $80 million deal by the Detroit Tigers over the winter. Felix “King” Hernandez then broke a record with his $175 million contract just a few weeks later.
That led Verlander to talk to Yahoo! Sports about the kind of contract he’d like to receive one day in they very near future. Verlander told the site that he would like to become baseball’s first $200 million pitcher, while adding that winning is still the most important thing to him saying:
“I don’t play this game to make the most money. But I do feel like it would be nice to be compensated for what I feel like I’ve been: one of the best, if not the best, the last few years. In my career, I feel like I’ve been one of the top. But the last two years, I’ve kind of separated myself, me and a handful of other guys. It’s not a thing where I’m like, ‘Hey, I want to be the highest-paid player,’ where that’s the chief goal. It innately comes with my competitiveness. That’s just me. That’s not why I play the game. I’m good at the game because of that side of me, because I’m competitive at everything I do.”
Verlander talked about how free-agency is “cool” in that you can get those kind of contracts, but he also mentioned that you don’t have to be a free agent to get those. The King Felix situation seems to prove that out.
The Sporting News points out that Verlander has indeed been one of the best pitchers in the league that last few years. Verlander won the AL Cy Young in 2011 and posted a 17-9 record in 2012. The Detroit Tigers ace led the American League in strikeouts both seasons.
Will Justin Verlander get his $200 million contract?