Astros' Justin Verlander, Kate Upton Donate MLB Hiatus Pay to COVID-19 Relief

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIApril 4, 2020

Justin Verlander, left, and Kate Upton arrive at the 2018 Maxim Hot 100 Experience at the Hollywood Palladium on Saturday, July 21, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)
Willy Sanjuan/Associated Press

Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander is set to earn $33,425 per week after the MLB Players Association divvied up the pool of $170 million in advanced salaries the union was able to negotiate. That money won't stay in the pitcher's pocket, though.

Verlander took to Instagram on Saturday to announce he and his wife, Kate Upton, will donate those funds to a different COVID-19 relief organization every week. 

"Recently the MLB announced they will be continuing to send paychecks to players while the season is suspended. Kate Upton and I have decided to donate those funds to a different organization each week so that we can support their efforts and highlight the great work they’re doing during the COVID-19 crisis," Verlander wrote.

"Everyone around the world is affected by this virus, and we hope to contribute to the families and jobs affected, the healthcare workers and first responders on the front lines and the many others in need of basic necessities, medical supplies and support at home. As soon as the first paycheck is received we will be highlighting the first organization. We know everyone is impacted by this crisis, but for those who are able, we encourage you to stay home to help flatten the curve and look to those around you who need a helping hand."

The players union decided to split the $170 million based on service time with Verlander, a 15-year veteran, placed in the highest bracket. According to Spotrac.com, the hurler has earned more than $225 million throughout his career, while Upton remains one of the highest-paid supermodels in the world. 

The 37-year-old pitcher was set to earn $33 million this season before MLB suspended its season due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

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Now he's putting his salary to good use, donating whatever the league pays him to those in need.

Should Major League Baseball end up canceling the season, players will not have to repay the advances they received on their contracts.