Justin Verlander Extension Reactions

The Tigers agreed to a five-year, $80MM deal with ace Justin Verlander yesterday – $2MM more than Felix Hernandez received upon signing in January.  The deal buys out Verlander's final two arbitration years and three free agent seasons.  Reactions from around the web:

  • ESPN's Buster Olney compares Verlander to Dwight Gooden, and says the Tigers "are right to commit an enormous contract to a guy who won't be 27 for another couple of weeks, and who has established a nice base for what might turn out to be a Hall of Fame career."  Interestingly, Baseball-Reference lists Wade Miller and Hernandez as Verlander's top two comparables.
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post notes the rarity of under-30 aces reaching the free agent market.
  • Zack Greinke will be 29 when he's eligible for free agency after the 2012 season, writes Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star.  More so than Verlander, Greinke and Hernandez are positioned to enter free agency in their prime if they choose.
  • MLB.com's Jason Beck says the Tigers are one of three teams now on track to have two players earning more than $20MM at the same time.  ESPN's Rob Neyer points out that the Tigers "will shed an immense amount of payroll obligations over the next couple of years."
  • Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports still feels that Verlander "has accomplished more than Hernandez in the major leagues."  I still disagree, but they're close and the contracts are virtually a wash.


23 Responses to Justin Verlander Extension Reactions Leave a Reply

  1. w44 5 years ago

    Hernandez is way better.

  2. w44 5 years ago

    Hernandez is way better.

  3. CreativeMace 5 years ago

    I may be one of the few Tiger fans who have supported all of their off-season decisions. This one will much be easier to swallow for the majority of Tiger fans compared to the dealing of Granderson.

    • chicothekid 5 years ago

      This one was a no-brainer for the Tigers. You give him what he wants to keep him in Detroit. With as many bad contracts as they have, they obviously can afford to spend some money and need to give fans a reason to come to the games, and this guy is only gonna get better. The longer you waited, the more you were gonna hear rumors like A-Gone, and that wasn’t going to help your franchise one bit.

    • chicothekid 5 years ago

      This one was a no-brainer for the Tigers. You give him what he wants to keep him in Detroit. With as many bad contracts as they have, they obviously can afford to spend some money and need to give fans a reason to come to the games, and this guy is only gonna get better. The longer you waited, the more you were gonna hear rumors like A-Gone, and that wasn’t going to help your franchise one bit.

  4. CreativeMace 5 years ago

    I may be one of the few Tiger fans who have supported all of their off-season decisions. This one will much be easier to swallow for the majority of Tiger fans compared to the dealing of Granderson.

  5. I believe that the Tigers paid to much for this deal vs Felix H.. True enough Jason had more wins than Felix but that only shows a better supporting cast that what Felix had so having said that Felix is the better pitcher because;

    Hernandez is almost three years younger than Verlander.
    Hernandez has a better career ERA, ERA+, and FIP.
    They’re similar (Hernandez being slightly better) in career innings, strikeout rate, walk rate, and home run rate.
    Regarding Verlander’s seven extra career wins in six fewer starts, look at run support. Verlander has received 5.2 runs scored per start, Felix 4.3.

    So the bottom is line Detroit over paid for a lesser pitcher.

    • RestoreTheRoar 5 years ago

      Interesting THEORY. Could also be that Felix took less money than he could have gotten, and Verlander got paid what he’s worth.

      its also worth pointing out that Felix has been under professional baseball training years longer than Justin was (his name isnt Jason btw), he started when he was 19.

      so even if Felix is younger, he’s also had more time as a pro baller. After watching them both in person, probably more than anyone else on these boards- I’d have to agree with Morosi.

      As far as the run support in JV’s favor, what about Felix having the #1 defense in the league backing his numbers up… You think that didnt inflate his numbers? I think thats the main reason Zack killed Felix in the Cy Young nominations. Its not as tough to be an outstanding pitcher with Ichiro, Beltre, Guti, and Jack Wilson behind you.

      • angrysmurf 5 years ago

        Exactly RestoreTheRoar, especially with the mostly poor defense Verlander has had to put up with (Ordonez, Thames, Guillen, and Cabrera anyone?).

  6. vtadave 5 years ago

    Seeing as how Verlander has slightly less service time than Felix Hernandez, one can either say that the Tigers overpaid or that the Mariners got Hernandez locked up at a discount. I’d be inclined to lean towards the latter myself, but the Tigers did well either way to lock up their ace.

  7. bjsguess 5 years ago

    This question really boils down to whether you think the 09 version of Hernandez is what you can expect going forward or that 09 he outperformed his expected future.

    For me, I think 09 was a great year by Hernandez and won’t likely be repeated with any consistency. Verlander, on the other hand, can repeat his 09 season pretty easily (he’s basically had 2 similar seasons already). With Verlander you can count on an ERA in the low to mid 3’s and 200+ innings.

  8. whitesoxfan424 5 years ago

    I’ll be the unpopular one here, but I agree in that Verlander has accomplished more to this date, HOWEVER Felix will have better career numbers comparatively barring injuries and cheeseburgers. If and when Felix goes FA, he’ll sign with the yankees or some other fierce competitive team and get his post-season accolades.

    He just needs to stay fit and healthy, where I do not think you have to worry about that with Justin (not Jason Mr. Staples).

  9. alxn 5 years ago

    Morosi is a moron.

    “Sure, Hernandez has the better career ERA. And he is younger. But Verlander has won more games, posted more seasons of 15 victories or more, made more appearances in the All-Star Game.”

    wow….

  10. MichiganYankee 5 years ago

    Are years 23-27 really more valuable than years 27-31?

    From a supply-side perspective, Verlander’s age makes him more expensive. Felix will get to hit the open market age 28 (like Sabathia), while Verlander will have a much lower market value at age 32.

  11. aquanarc 5 years ago

    Wade Miller? This is why Bill James is more of a figurehead in the sabremetric community these days than someone to actually listen to.

  12. alleykat23 5 years ago

    Lincecum’s better then both these guys,and yet the Giants won’t commit to their franchise player long term.Unbelievable.

    • Infield Fly 5 years ago

      Yes, Lincecum is better, and while things aren’t looking good at the moment don’t sweat too much. Everybody knows he’s your franchise so Sabean & Co. will have to wake up sooner or later. There’s just too much at stake not to nail him for as long as possible.

  13. tigerphil 5 years ago

    whoa hang on a second. i agree lincecum is a good pitcher, but i don’t know that he’s better than verlander or hernandez. the reason i say that is because lincecum pitches in the NL west, which has been the weakest division in baseball for a while now. most of his career is built on pitching against a weak NL west; plus, he’s practically guaranteed almost three strikeouts a game going up against the pitcher. verlander and hernandez don’t enjoy that luxury, most especially when they’re facing teams like the yankees, red sox, twins, angels, etc. i’m not saying lincecum isn’t as good, because it’s hard to say; but those kind of things are at least part of the discussion. i mean, there’s a reason the AL has won like 12 all-star games in a row.

    • Joey 5 years ago

      I’m pretty sure the NL West had 3 playoff caliber teams last year..?

  14. Joey 5 years ago

    Also Lincecum stuff vs his division opponents last season:

    Dodgers: 4 starts, 1-1 record, 4.56 ERA, 25.2 IP
    Rockies: 3 starts, 2-1 record, 1.64 ERA, 22.0 IP
    Padres: 3 starts, 1-1 record, 3.79 ERA, 19.0 IP
    Dbacks: 3 starts, 2-0 record, 1.17 ERA, 23.0 IP

    In total, 13 starts with 6-3 record, 2.83 ERA, 89.2 IP

    His ERA for the year was 2.48, so he must’ve done better against teams outside of his division.

    He was also 2-1 in interleague play with a 1.38 ERA in 3 starts.

  15. RestoreTheRoar 5 years ago

    I dont think he’s trying to say Tim isnt a great pitcher, but you have to admit his K’s total and ERA are certainly inflated due to seeing a pitcher at least 3 times a game in the batter’s box.

    I cant say JV, Felix, or Tim are any better than each other…but anyone throwing out stats from one league the next isnt really looking at balanced data.

  16. bjsguess 5 years ago

    I think you are right on. While it’s fun to debate who we think is the better signing the reality is that both pitchers are incredibly valuable. They both have huge upside, and they both could easily outperform their contract value.

    On a negative sign – 5 years is a really long deal for any pitcher. As such, both carry tremendous risk.

  17. RestoreTheRoar 5 years ago

    They didnt “Shed payroll”, they traded two players probably at their peak value for 4 because they had holes in the bullpen and that was a good way to fill them while getting younger at the same time. They went from something like 5 years of team control on Ejax & Curtis to 22 years on those 4 guys, 3 of them potential all-stars.

    Then they threw down $14 million on one of the best closers of the past few years. Id say they’re pulling the team into a direction thats less “WIN NOW AT ALL COSTS” like previous years, and more “Lets have a chance at winning for the next several years to come, and still be competitive in the weakest division of the league”

    Dont forget, $49 million are coming off the books next year. They will have a load of dough to sign some big talent if they want to. And they continue to dump big cash on their talented draft picks, who could turn out being the next Porcello/Verlander again.

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