Justin Verlander hit what might well be called a “daily double” for off-season awards. Not only did he win the AL Cy Young award, but yesterday won the AL MVP and with it, became the first pitcher to win such an award since Dennis Eckersley in 1992.
The real winners in all of this are the Detroit Tigers.
Yes, Verlander will likely grace the cover of next season’s Tigers media guide. He will be at the top of the list for the marketing and sales department (“Come see the winner of not one, but two major postseason awards in 2012”). But, where the Tigers really won was with what was saved through the pocketbook.
In researching, it appears that when Verlander reached his 5-year, $80 million in 2010 that avoided salary arbitration, there were no award bonuses attached. In a time when nearly all players have such clauses in their contracts for MVP, Cy Young, or Gold Glove, Verlander didn’t.
So, how much of a payday did the Tigers’ starter miss out on?
Last year, Felix Hernandez landed $2.7 million in bonus and salary escalators over the remainder of his contract for winning the AL Cy Young. It’s possible that depending on how his contract was negotiated, Verlander could have added as much as $4 million in green to his wallet for hitting the two postseason awards.
Maybe Verlander finds this all academic. But, you know that the Tigers have to be happy. They get the award winner. They keep millions in bonus money. Maybe the real winner yesterday was Dave Dombrowski.
Maury Brown is the Founder and President 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, and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).
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