By: RICKY LINDSAY, STAFF REPORTER
Justin Verlander has many achievements throughout his baseball career. He’s won the AL Rookie of the Year, the AL MVP, the AL Cy Young, and thrown two no-hitters. He’s also won two AL Championships, won baseball’s pitching triple crown, been on the cover of MLB 2K12, and has his own cereal brand. “JV” can now add being a Detroit Tiger for life to his long and prestigious resume.
As spring training wound to a close last week, the Detroit Tigers shocked the baseball world, signing ace Justin Verlander to a historic contract extension. The deal is worth five years and $180 million, with a vesting option for a sixth year in 2020.
The extension will go in effect after the 2014 season, when Verlander’s original contract extension is up. The move makes Verlander baseball’s highest paid pitcher, as he will now make $5 million more than Mariners ace Felix Hernandez, who signed his extension in February.
Verlander took to Twitter this morning on his account, @JustinVerlander, to announce the coming news to fans and media alike.
“Today is going to be a great day. Big news coming!” That tweet, which created a moment of speculation, was followed up with the official announcement and a promise for the city of Detroit from the star pitcher. “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!!!”
Verlander, the second pick by the Tigers in the 2004 MLB draft, has been with the organization throughout his professional baseball career. The right hander made his debut in 2005, and never looked back, winning the AL Rookie of the Year award in 2006 and transforming the Tigers from bottom feeders to perennial contenders.
Now 30, Verlander has a career record of 124-65, a 3.40 ERA, and 1454 strikeouts in eight years. He’s won 17 or more games six times, winning 19 in 2009 and a career high 24 in 2011.
Verlander will be a Detroit Tiger for life with his contract extension. Tigers fans now have the pleasure of the continuation of a Hall of Fame career in the Old English D.