"Of course," he told Yahoo! Sports on Friday morning. "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.”
Verlander views the prospect of free agency as something that’s “really cool,” but he did say that he doesn’t think he has to hit the open market for receive a $200 million deal. This would hint at his belief that he can reach an extension agreement with the Tigers prior to reaching free agency.
While last year at this time a $200 million extension may have seemed out of reach, Felix Hernandez’s recent seven-year, $175 million deal with the Seattle Mariners has helped Verlander’s cause.
The Mariners aren’t a club known for spending big, something the Tigers have developed into in recent years. Detroit has signed free agent sluggers Victor Martinez and Prince Fielder and right-hander Anibal Sanchez after it appeared they already had competitive clubs.
For this reason, you can bet Detroit will make Verlander a competitive offer in an attempt to ensure he continues his career with the club. The 30-year-old owns a career ERA of 3.40 with a 3.09 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and he has an American League MVP and Cy Young Award under his belt.
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