4 Reasons Justin Verlander's Huge Extension Is a Great Idea for the Tigers
On March 29, starting pitcher Justin Verlander signed a massive extension to keep him in a Detroit Tigers uniform through at least 2019.
Verlander's extension is worth $180 million for seven years, with an option that could bring the total to $202 million (via espn.com).
This extension can only be positive news for the Tigers organization and all the effects of this deal will be felt in the future.
Let's take a look at the reasons why this contract extension is great for the Tigers.
Honorable Mention: Will There Be Room for Miguel Cabrera?
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
While I mentioned that Justin Verlander's contract extension is only positive, I need to bring up the one potential negative.
With the Detroit Tigers putting so much money into Verlander and Prince Fielder, do the Tigers have enough to pay Miguel Cabrera?
Cabrera, the 2011 AL MVP and Triple Crown winner, is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2015 season when he will be 32 years old.
Cabrera is a terrific hitter, has a career batting average of .318 (via baseball-reference.com) and appears to only be getting better with age.
Can the Tigers afford to pay Cabrera the big money he might demand? Will Cabrera demand the same money Verlander received even though he'll be 32?
These are questions for another day, as the extension was a huge win for the Tigers. However, the Tigers may have to answer these questions sooner than they would like to.
4. Justin Verlander Can Focus on Pitching
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
After all the speculation about Justin Verlander's contract, he can solely focus on pitching for the Detroit Tigers instead of answering questions or worrying where he'll be pitching in the future.
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
The Tigers can now focus on competing for the AL Central crown and winning a World Series.
Detroit will be satisfied to know that Verlander is not looking to leave and can give 100 percent commitment to the organization.
While Verlander has always been a professional on and off the mound, no one knew how impending free agency might affect his pitching. The best news for the Tigers is that they won't need to find out.
3. It Sends a Message to Other Players
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
With the Detroit Tigers spending a ton of money on Justin Verlander, it sends a message to players around the league that the Tigers plan on competing for several years.
That message is even more important than Verlander pitching through the 2019 season.
With Detroit not being a major market, ownership has been willing to spend money to field a very competitive team. However, this isn’t always possible due to the economy.
The players see how well the Tigers organization treats its athletes, and with huge contracts given to Verlander, Prince Fielder, Anibal Sanchez and Miguel Cabrera over the past few years, it looks like the Tigers are willing to spend what it takes to field a winner.
Maybe a player in the future would be willing to take less money to play for a great organization that wants to win. Even if there is the slightest chance of a great player doing so, then the Tigers come out on top.
Agents will want to steer their players to a good environment, and Detroit is showing to be a great one right now.
Owner Mike Ilitch extended the Tigers’ window to compete.
2. Justin Verlander Is the Best Starting Pitcher in the Major Leagues
Leon Halip/Getty Images
While arguments can be made that there are better starting pitchers in the major leagues, Justin Verlander stands tall above the rest for the Detroit Tigers.
If Verlander left Detroit, the Tigers would have found it impossible to replace him.
While Verlander's extension is a lot of money, he would have received that or more on the open market. Now, barring injury, the Tigers don't need to worry about who will be starting opening day until at least 2020 or longer.
Verlander is built to pitch well into his late 30s, and even when he loses speed on his fastball, he'll adapt. That is why the Tigers are even bigger winners with this contract extension than Verlander is.
The Tigers shouldn't have buyer's remorse over this long-term extension, which is very rare these days.
1. It Allows Tigers Fans and the City of Detroit to Feel Great
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
While the Detroit Tigers signed Justin Verlander to a huge extension for how well he pitches on the field, this deal has an even bigger impact for the city of Detroit.
It's no secret that Detroit is going through hard times, and owner Mike Ilitch wants to give Detroit a World Series.
Now fans won't have to fret about a superstar leaving Detroit and it also makes them feel good about the city.
Detroit has embraced Verlander and by signing this extension, he's acknowledging his love for the city and has backed up his words.
Every Detroit fan on social media is ecstatic today and proud to be a Tigers fan. That is why this extension was a great idea for the Tigers.
It has gotten the fans even more excited for the coming season and will help ticket sales and jersey sales. All around, everyone in Detroit is smiling today and we have Ilitch, Verlander and the Tigers organization to thank.
Do you think the Justin Verlander extension was the correct move for the Tigers?