It took a few days, a number of unconfirmed reports and rumors, but the latest news connects Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander to the Tigers through the 2014 season. For Mike Ilitch, it took $80 million and five years for the defending Tiger of the Year to continue his role as the Tigers ace, while it took Dave Dombrowski a major gamble to lock up the team with another multi-year deal.
Much like the ever dooming Dontrelle Willis deal, the first few years given to the Verlander were not mandatory as he had not reached eligibility for free agency. In order for Dombrowski to avoid his first arbitration, and any bad feelings with the Verlander family, this deal had to be done quickly and with the proper terms from the beginning. The Felix Hernandez deal set a high standard that the Tigers had to follow for their 65-game winner, as the final deal ended with $2 million more heading to the Virginian.
One other major factor in getting this deal done was due in part to Scott Boras not being part of the negotiations. Following his ridiculous news conference held about Johnny Damon’s interest in joining the Tigers, Boras goes beyond the proper channels to exploit the fans for personal gain. His pipe dream statements have worn thin for the fans and an increasingly larger number of players. With Richard Verlander at the helm, Ilitch and Dombrowski must feel more comfortable with the pitch man and his known entity.