Tigers lock up Justin Verlander

Supposedly the Tigers have signed Justin Verlander to a 5/$80mil deal. After handing out some sketchy and expensive contracts the past few years (what you talking ’bout Willis- yeah corny I know) the Tigers have made a financialy smart move. They bought out two arbitration years and three years of free agency at a slighty discounted price.

Verlander will be turning 27 in a couple weeks, and the Tigers will have locked him up to a decent price for his collective peak years. Through his age 23-25 seasons, Verlander was a solid 3-4 WAR who broke out last season to the tune of an 8.2 WAR (second best among AL pitchers in 2009). He increased his K/9 to over 10, while lowering his BB/9 to 2.36. He also does a good job keeping the ball in the park.

Going forward, one can project Verlander to be a 5+ WAR pitcher. In fact, the Fans have him pegged for a 5.8 WAR in 2010 and other projection systems have him projected in that range as well. A 5 WAR would mean Detroit will be underpaying him according to his market value, but that’s even more important to Detroit since they get to lock up a franchise player who draws fans to games and will help them compete in the weak AL Central.

Well done, Detroit.

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