Justin Verlander, who is 30 years old, already has two career no-hitters, a Cy Young award and an AL MVP award with the Detroit Tigers.
When factoring in his career win-loss record of 124-65, 3.40 earned run average and 1,454 strikeouts in seven full seasons, you realize how special Verlander is.
Some pitchers would be thrilled with those numbers throughout their career, but Verlander isn't like most pitchers. He wants to expand on his statistics to ensure he gets elected to the Hall of Fame.
While nothing is ever guaranteed in baseball, Verlander has as close of a chance as any pitcher to be elected to baseball's Hall of Fame. Verlander is in the prime of his career and has been remarkably injury-free. His body is very durable and no one has ever expressed any concerns of him losing his effectiveness as he ages.
Verlander has set the Hall of Fame as his goal, and is not afraid of talking about it in public. He openly spoke about it to Bob Nightengale of USA Today before the 2012 World Series:
Well, I want to get to that level. I don't think anybody's goal is to be mediocre. I think everybody should want to be the best. I've always felt that way. I want to be at the best at everything I do.
I want to be in the Hall of Fame one day.
With Verlander's competitiveness, you won't find too many people who would bet against him.
It's imperative to the Tigers that he spends his entire career in Detroit so that if he does get elected, he will proudly go in wearing the Old English D on his hat.
It would sting the Tigers organization if Verlander goes to another team after the 2014 season and wins one or two World Series trophies plus another Cy Young award. In that scenario, he could potentially be linked more closely with that organization instead.
A $200 million extension would go a long way to ensuring that Verlander would enter Cooperstown as a Tiger. Plus, the Tigers would be able to recoup some of their money through marketing and events related to Verlander's induction into the Hall of Fame.