Justin Verlander has now signed the largest contract for a pitcher in Major League Baseball history, and the deal will impact much more than just the richest Tiger in the jungle.
The deal is a five-year extension through the 2019 season worth $180 million. The contract also includes a vesting option for 2020 worth $22 million, putting the deal to a possible amount of $202 million.
Verlander was not eligible for free agency until after the 2014 season, but he had indicated that he would negotiate a contract during the season. By signing him, the Tigers have baseball’s best pitcher set to possibly be a Tiger for life.
Breaking down Verlander’s contract really shows how much of an extraordinary amount of money the ace will be paid to continue dominating his opponents. Verlander was already set to make $20 million over each of the next two seasons, and the extension will pay $28 million each season from 2015-2019.
As a pitcher, the deal is even more lucrative. Since his rookie year Verlander has averaged roughly under 33 starts per season. If he averages that same amount of starts in his extension he will make $1.09 million per start.
Paying someone over a million dollars every time he takes the bump is a heavy investment, but if anyone deserves the money, Verlander is that guy. The five-time All-Star is 124-65 with a 3.40 ERA and two no-hitters in his career.
The biggest winners in this deal are both Clayton Kershaw and David Price. Kershaw will now be the most sought after pitcher available after the 2014 season with Verlander off the market. Price is set to hit free agency after the 2015 season.
Kershaw, 25, and Price, 27, are both younger than the 30 year-old Verlander and both have a Cy Young award to their name.
The Rays may be the biggest losers in the Verlander deal. Verlander certainly set the bar high with this massive contract and obtaining Price long-term will be even more of a challenge. As Buster Olney tweeted, $28 million would account for 45 percent of Tampa Bay’s payroll.
Verlander is well worth the Tigers opening up their wallet and Detroit will be looking at Verlander to lead them to their first World Series since 1984.
In the midst of the big news to the baseball world, NFL players have to be shaking their heads more than ever. Aside from Verlander, another large amount of money was just handed out to an MLB pitcher.
The St. Louis Cardinals recently signed Adam Wainwright to a five-year $97.5 milion extension that cover 2014-18. Wainwright, 31, has already had Tommy John surgery and all of this money is GUARANTEED.
What has to irk football players is the guaranteed money. Even at the age of only 31, teams would be reluctant to sign a player long-term, especially to a big contract. If he had a major surgery, there is almost no way a team would empty their pockets for him unless he’s Adrian Peterson.
Joe Flacco’s record contract has made a huge splash in this year’s free agency. Flacco, who is not considered the best quarterback in football by most, signed a six-year $120.6 million contract, making him the highest paid player in NFL history. However, only $52 million of that money is guaranteed to Flacco.
The NFL has some serious issues brewing with its players and the problems do not seem to be going away. The league is trying to be more safe, but at the same time players feel like the game is going to be a big flag football game soon.
In America’s most violent game, more guaranteed money is deserved by the players and there needs to be change.