Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander looks for the catcher’s sign during a spring training game against the Philadelphia Phillies, March
Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander looks for the catcher's sign during a spring training game against the Philadelphia Phillies, March 27, 2013 in Lakeland, Fla. (Carlos Osorio)

Justin Verlander has said before that he'd like to be a Detroit Tiger for life.

Friday, that came one step closer to happening, as he agreed to a five-year contract extension, locking him up at least through the 2019 season.

The deal, terms of which were first reported by ESPN's Buster Olney, could be worth up to $202 million, if a $22 million vesting option for 2020 kicks in. Verlander will make $180 million over the next seven seasons.

After verbally flirting with the concept of free agency in comments earlier this offseason, Verlander had said he would not negotiate an extension to his existing deal, which ran through 2014, during the season, setting an arbitrary cut-off point at this week. Just Thursday, he said he had no comment on anything contract-related, leaving observers to speculate that the negotiations might be tabled until next offseason.

Until Verlander teased the news himself on Twitter.

"Today is going to be a great day,' Verlander tweeted at 12:30 p.m. ET. "Big news coming.'

Ten minutes later, the news broke.

"Justin is one of the premier pitchers in baseball and we are thrilled to keep him in a Tigers uniform for many years to come,' David Dombrowski, the team's CEO, GM and president, said in a news release. "Justin has been a Tiger for his entire career and he is on pace to be one of the greatest pitchers in this illustrious franchise's history.'

And apparently, he'll stay that way.

FOX Sports' Jon Morosi reported that the deal includes a no-trade clause, something that would have been a given if he had achieved 10-and-5 rights by staying three more seasons with the Tigers, anyway.


Advertisement

Between Verlander, Prince Fielder ($214 million) and Miguel Cabrera ($152.3 million), the Tigers now have $568 million tied up in three players. Cabrera's deal is the first to expire, coming up in 2015.

The three players' salaries will total $90 million in the final year of Cabrera's deal.