Justin Verlander: One-Team Pitcher and HOFer?
Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander recently stated that he would like to spend his entire career in the Motor City and earn Hall of Fame honors in the process. What is the likelihood of this happening?
According to baseballreference.com career leaders for WAR (wins above replacement), of the Top 50 pitchers of all-time only Walter Johnson, Bob Gibson, Carl Hubbell, Jim Palmer, Red Faber, Ted Lyons, and Bob Feller pitched their entire career for one team.
The 2012 Factor12 Rating leader is currently signed through the 2014 season. Conceivably, Verlander might command the first $200 million contract for a pitcher on the open market. However, Tigers owner Mike Illitch has shown a propensity to spend big dollars on marquee players.
The 29 year-old right-hander has compiled a 124-65 record, 3.40 ERA, 1.17 WHIP over his eight-year career. Verlander has tossed two no-hitters and became only the second pitcher ever to win the ROY, MVP, and Cy Young Awards. This is an easy call for the player and club, start negotiating now and avoid an Albert Pujols situation.
By the end of his next contract, Tigers fans can book their trip to Cooperstown. It’s good to be Justin Verlander. Now, can he lock up Kate Upton to a long-term deal?