Verlander: “I would love to play my career here”

The Tigers began the Detroit portion for their winter caravan Thursday with a media luncheon, and as with last year, Justin Verlander was the center of attention once the interviews began. He talked about his upcoming appearance in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, his offseason workouts (he put off his throwing program this winter after a long season and didn’t began throwing until earlier this month) and the outlook for the team.

Once the scrum died down, then came the discussion about his contract status. He has two years left on his current deal, usually the time when teams consider extensions for guys they want to keep. The Tigers have said very little about their plans on that. Verlander let his side be known.

“There haven’t been any talks,” Verlander said. “I’ve made no secret that I love Detroit. I grew up in front of these fans. I feel like I’ve been a big part of this city, and this city has become a big part of me. So I, obviously, would love to play my career here.

“I’ve made this point before, that the ultimate goal for me is the Hall of Fame, and I would like nothing better than to go into the Hall of Fame with the Old English D on my chest. That doesn’t happen too often nowadays, for somebody to play with a team through their whole career. You see Chipper Jones, what he did, that’s something special.  But, like I said, there’s been no talks yet.”

Asked if he’d prefer having those talks now or whether they might be put off until next offseason, Verlander said, “It doesn’t matter. I mean, that’s not up to me.”

When asked how important it would be to him if he became baseball’s first $200 million pitcher, Verlander let out a laugh.

“Loaded question there,” Verlander smiled as he pondered. “Well, you guys know me and how competitive I am with every aspect of everything. But I’m my own individual. I don’t look at anybody else and say he did this, he did that. It’s what I’m comfortable with when it comes to something like that. There’s been no discussions as of yet. Don’t know if there will be.”

The fact that there’s no public timetable for talks at this point doesn’t mean that it’s not going to happen. If you remember back to this point three years ago, Verlander sounded back then like there was nothing close. Two weeks later, they had a deal.

A new deal now would be more complicated. Instead of a promising young pitcher on the rise, Verlander has arrived, now at the top of his profession. Still, the Tigers have a talent for putting together deals without prolonging talks.

In other news, Verlander said he has not yet decided whether he’ll pitch in the World Baseball Classic, where a potential spot is waiting for him on Team USA. How he feels in his bullpen sessions early in camp will help him decide, he says. If he does take part, he admits it would be hard not to go all-out against hitters, which would be a big  change from his usual Spring Training approach of every pitch with a purpose. That might be enough to keep him out.

“In Spring Training games, you can afford to hold a little bit back,” Verlander said. “But all of a sudden, you put yourself in a situation like that, and it’s pedal-to-the-metal. There’s no holding anything back. When you’re playing for your country, it means something.”

46 Comments

I would like it better if Verlander’s ultimate goal be a world championship

He will be. 210/7 . The two year remaining and 5 more

No one asked the question that everyone really wanted to know? Is he dating Kate Upton? Inquiring minds want to know!

Actually, I am dating Kate Upton. Don’t tell anyone.

Funny.

It’s in the news. They were together during the holidays.

O.K Dave …That sounds like to me J V would like to get it over with. I think the sooner the better cause there is no better pitcher,and the price might just keep going higher and higher

Not sure why I would bother commenting on this but I for one hope that JV is able to keep his head on straight with all the glam, the fame, and ego he has. I think he can be an even better pitcher in the long run but there are signs that trouble me. I have always thought he needed to think and analyze more than attempt to intimidate. He really started to show signs of understanding that. To rely on his brain more than physicality. That being said–he seems to quite attracted to physicality. His oft-stated aspirations of becoming a Hall-Of-Famer will be tested by that ego of his and those attractions. Keep your head in the game and your face off OMG.

I’m just going to come right out and say it: I’ll be shocked if they sign Justin. He might want more money/fame/celebrity than they have to give. We’ll see.

I agree with you. He likes the spotlight. They have the money ( but they would need to let go Miguel to sign JV) but the pinstripe nightmare is always a possibility .
HoF? Im OK with that. He needs a low ERA, a low WHIP and a high WAR to enter and those numbers are good for the Tigers too.

I suppose some arrogance and ego is necessary to to be excellent. But really your ultimate goal is the HOF,,,,keep it to yourself, answer should be something about team and and doing well for his team and owner then the rest will follow. Might want to learn to pitch on the big stage first ( ie allstar game and world series)
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I agree with you Kathy….he won’t except anything but being the highest paid pitcher, maybe player.

ugh, money. its killing our sport faster than PEDs!

how is money killing the sport? increased player movement via free agency has allowed the players to earn more for their efforts. i just don’t see how the quality of the games is diminished by all the money that is changing hands.

Jurrjens just signed with the Orioles for $1.5 million (up to $4 million with incentives)

And if you can’t sign justin, Trade him after this season so you can get some parts for him.

That’s a real possibility or he might become a free agent in a New York minute.

Even with pool money and a first round choice as minimum compensation, after not having to spend big money at the risk of injury and performance decline for an older player? We are now in a new era and free agents with qualifying offers no longer look to be in the driver’s seat. I think the decision by management in this arena has become more complicated.

And management has a full 2 years to make its decision in JV’s case.

teams will be willing to surrender a draft pick for a true ace like Verlander. core players will still get the big payday. supporting role players like Bourn, Soriano, and Lohse and getting squeezed a bit…an unintended consequence of the new free agent compensation system.

this organization has a track record of paying it’s best players at or above market value. loyalty is a significant thread that runs through this organization from Ilitch to Leyland, sometimes to a fault. this team is unlike say, the Oakland A’s who trade away players when they become too expensive and churn the roster constantly. as long as Ilitch remains owner, unless some other team offers a downright outrageous contract to Verlander, I expect him to remain a Tiger long term.

Woody…I think it is a tough call for management. If JV remains healthy and continues to perform at his present level, an extension looks reasonable. On the other hand, should JV incur serious injury and/or lose effectiveness, that scenario could prove to be a devastating situation for an organization like the Tigers.

The Tigers are not the Yankees and woud be very negativly impacted by a JV deal gone bad. For example, look at the A-Rod extension contract. The Yankees are on the hook for years with him and that reduces even that team’s ability to now compete for free agents. And what have the Yankees got? An older and oft injured player who is nothing close to what he once was. And there is absolutely no chance for him to ever return draft chice and pool compensation when he again enters the market.

I’m not so much commenting on what I think the Tigers should do, but rather on what I think will happen with the current ownership.
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one thing that might be overlooked is that, as I understand it, teams often insure these contracts so that if a player does get seriously injured, they get some insurance compensation. a sensible way to protect their huge investment. the loss of effectiveness seems to me the greater risk.

I believe typically around 50%

Funny how people automatically assume the Yankees. If I was JV, I’d be hooking up with the Dodgers. More money than I could spend, hang out in Hollywood, enjoy the warm weather and beaches, do guest spots on TV shows and eventually become an actor. :-)

Maybe Kate will be a grown up by that time.

Better change the topic quick! Though I must admit I prefer when Emily was the main squeeze.

Alex Avila: We need him to HIT. And to contribute to a meaningful bottom of the lineup. Can’t have the easy outs and the lack of intensity at the plate.
I always hear the defense of fans who come to his rescue and say that catchers shouldn’t be expected to hit and any hitting they provide is a bonus.
Well how about Posey, Mauer, Molina, AJ, Perez, Lucroy, Ruiz, Wieters, McCann, Santana and others that provide some HRs and RBIs?
Alex can do much better. He’s actually shown that. It appears to me he lacks confidence. Not sure why that happens but it happened to Boesch as well.

I wanna see that short aggressive swing instead of that big long one he uses when he is lost. At least his walks are always high – but his slugging disappeared this past year.

Interesting exchange regarding JV. I’m just glad I don’t have to make the final decision.

Upton brothers on the Braves!

Bourn’s name keeps popping up with the Tigers as a possible destination. He is a Boras client and we know his influence over Mr. I. Even so, it’s hard to see that happening.

Can’t see it at all, myself, unless there was somethink iike a 3 team deal.

Justin 2014, Migg’s 2015 with Prince’s 2020 the elephant in the room.
I think whilst it is Mr I’s watch, he will make room for all three.

This was tweeted by Olney. At 0.33 Sparky shows how egos win games
http://goo.gl/nrdQl

:) thanks

Or in the case of Goose, how egos lose games. One of my favorite pieces of baseball video right there.

Admit to loving every news article, picture, film clips, and twitter stories regarding the Tiger Caravan. Tigerfest today. Hope anyone who visits this blog and attends Tigerfest gives us the lowdown. Hope they make it back to Kalamazoo next year. That was a blast and when Mr. D got back to Detriot was when he had to hurry and take the call from Mr. I giving the green light (after listening to Scott Boras bend his ear for at least an hour) to acquire Prince. The highlight film is always fun because it brings back so many memorable moments during the season.

Less than 20 days until pitchers and catchers report!

enjoying the live feed from Tigerfest, some humorous exchanges between players, fans, interviewers.

Leyland’s comments included: he thinks Garcia will be a star or a bust. favors giving him 500 ABs in AAA this season, but acknowledges final decision is Dombrowski’s. doesn’t think Coke, Benoit, or Dotel can close on long term basis. likes Dirks, but doesn’t think he can be everyday LF…doubts about his performance and health holding up over a season of full time duty.

He’s made that comment about Andy several times this week. You can only imagine what Andy thinks.

he said the same thing about Ramon – everyone said it was untrue – turns out it was true.

How you figure it’s true? That was never proven.

Have been looking at lots of pictures of the guys travling between events and Prince sure looks like he’s slimmed down a bit. Maybe Jason can confirm?

That’d be good!!!
Heard Peralta has shed significant weight as well. We absolutely need guys to understand that the added quickness helps them offensively too. We need guys able to go from 1st to 3rd. We need guys taking an extra base hit on a hit tight down the line. The extra weight didn’t provide any home runs that I can see last year.

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