The happiest person right now is Justin Verlander.
He’s not only anchoring the best starting pitching foursome in baseball, with Anibal Sanchez’s return to the Tigers this morning, but he’s now perfectly positioned to become the game’s first $30-million-per-year pitcher upon the expiration his contract following the 2014 season.
This is the price of championship contention for the Tigers.
Sanchez’s deal, on average, is slightly higher than the five-year, $79.5-million contract Verlander signed in 2010. But Verlander will make $20 million next season and in 2014. And after Zack Grienke’s five-year, $147-million deal with the Dodgers, the starting point for any negotiations with Verlander will be $28 million annually.