The Associated Press is reporting that Detroit and their ace Justin Verlander have agreed on a multi-year deal that will lock up the right hander through the next 5 seasons. Verlander will make $80 million over the life of the deal. Verlander was facing salary arbitration for the second time. He settled with the Tigers exactly one year ago on a deal that paid him $3.675 million for 2009.
Facing a hearing later this month, the Tigers and Verlander worked out this deal that buys out his final year of salary arbitration eligibility as well as three years of free agency. He'll remain a Tiger through his age 31 season. The year by year salary breakdown of the deal has yet to be released. A press conference is scheduled for 3 PM this afternoon to officially announce the signing.
The former Rookie of the Year has finished in the top seven in Cy Young voting in three of his four full major league seasons. His 2009 saw career bests in wins, ERA, starts and innings pitched. His 19-9 record and 3.45 ERA in many years would put him at the front of the Cy Young discussion, but he finished third behind Kansas City's Zack Greinke and Seattle's Felix Hernandez. Hernandez signed a contract comparable to Verlander's in January.
Once Verlander's contract is finalized, it will reduce the number of players whose cases are pending to 14 (his details are set to a pending status). Verlander was Detroit's only pending arbitration case. Hearings will begin imminently for the remaining players like Wandy Rodriguez, Cody Ross and Corey Hart who have not come to terms with their teams. Please visit the salary arbitration figures page for more information.
Joe Tetreault is a member of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey.
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