Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander wants to be the first pitcher to make $200 million, according to a Yahoo! Sports report. Speaking to the site, Verlander made it clear that he considers himself the best pitcher in the major leagues and he expects to be compensated as such. Asked about the possibility of such a large contract, Verlander responded as such:
“I don’t play this game to make the most money. But I do feel like it would be nice to be compensated for what I feel like I’ve been: one of the best, if not the best, the last few years. In my career, I feel like I’ve been one of the top. But the last two years, I’ve kind of separated myself, me and a handful of other guys.
“It’s not a thing where I’m like, ‘Hey, I want to be the highest-paid player,’ where that’s the chief goal. It innately comes with my competitiveness. That’s just me. That’s not why I play the game. I’m good at the game because of that side of me, because I’m competitive at everything I do.”
Verlander indicated that his preference would be to stay with the Tigers with such a hefty contract, and the player is expected to start negotiations with the team over a contract extension this summer. Verlander is due to hit free agency after the 2014 season. His current contract is worth $80 million over five years.