An Extension for Verlander

The arbitration-avoiding contract deals continued today with Justin Verlander and the Tigers coming to an agreement on a five year, $80 million deal. Verlander had reportedly been holding out for a sixth guaranteed year, but ultimately settled for a deal that paid him just north of the deal that Felix Hernandez received last month. Verlander and Felix were both in the same contract situation, with two arbitration years left, so how do these two deals compare?

Felix is three years younger in age than Verlander, which is noteworthy, but given that Verlander is not exactly old at soon-to-be 27 and given how pitchers age, I do not feel this is that big of a deal. Hernandez had been slightly better than Verlander from 2006 through 2008, but as good as Felix was in 2009 – and he was very good – Verlander blew him out of the water. Verlander led the league in innings pitched, with 240, and strikeouts, with 269. Frankly, they are both near equals, each clearly one of the five best pitchers in the league.

Verlander is getting valued at a higher rate though. Not just off the extra $2 million in total value, which is really insignificant when talking about such large deals, but also because Verlander was expected to get less in arbitration for this upcoming season. While Felix seemed certain to fall in around $10 million, Verlander filed at $9.5 million and the Tigers countered at just under $7 million. I clearly would side with Verlander, but assuming they split the difference and signed a deal for a bit over $8 million, it increases the gap between Verlander and Hernandez over the final four years of their contracts to about $1 million per year. Still a very small amount, but worth noting.

I think the overall deal is sound for Detroit, but I am worried about their payroll. This deal likely pushes them over $120 million for 2010. If the team can hang on for the year, they will get significant relief in 2011 with the huge salaries of Nate Robertson, Magglio Ordonez and Dontrelle Willis coming off the books. In the meantime, it seems likely that teams will continue to circle around waiting for a Miguel Cabrera salary dump trade should the Tigers fail to compete in the AL Central.




Print This Post



Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.

58 Responses to “An Extension for Verlander”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. vivaelpujols says:

    Holy crap, Verlander was 8.2 WAR last year.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Taken in full from:
    http://gameofinches.blogspot.com/2010/02/verlander-or-king-felix.html

    According to AP (through ESPN), the Tigers and Justin Verlander have come to an agreement on a five-year, $80 million deal. This comes on the heels of King Felix’s five-year, $78 million dollar deal. In terms of value, both pitchers are quite comparable. Since 2006, Verlander has been worth +3.1, +4.1, +3.4, and +8.2 WAR; cumulatively +18.8 WAR. King Felix, on the other hand, has posted +3.8, +4.1, +3.9, and +6.9 WAR seasons in that same time frame (he also posted a +2.6 WAR half-season in 2005); cumulatively, +18.6 WAR. On the surface, the two pitchers seem equally worthy of the deals they signed. The current market value of 1 WAR is approximately $3.5 million. If we pessimistically assess both pitchers as +4.5 WAR players each of the next five years, then each would provide their respective team with +22.5 WAR, or $78.5 million in free agency value. It would seem like both the Tigers and Mariners are simply locking each pitcher up “at market value,” but its important to note that 1) premium arms tend to come at a premium price and 2) each team is in such a position to compete for a playoff position that the marginal value of a win may be worth more than market value. This assessment of “market value” also assumes that both Verlander and King Felix average “only” +4.5 WAR per season through their prime years.

    Though I see both contracts as quality signings for their respective teams, it is an important question to ask whether or not Verlander deserves more money than King Felix. Verlander has a negligibly higher cumulative WAR since 2006 and 7 more wins in 6 less starts than Felix Hernandez, but King Felix bests Verlander in terms of career numbers in the following categories:

    * ERA (3.45 v. 3.92)
    * FIP (3.54 v. 3.78)
    * xFIP (3.43 v. 4.14)
    * BB/9 (2.68 v. 3.02)
    * K/9 (8.18 v. 7.99)
    * GB% (53.4% v 39.7%)
    * Age (born in 1986 v. 1983)

    Furthermore, Verlander’s been less consistent year to year than has been King Felix. Whereas King Felix’s career high in FIP is 3.91 and whereas his FIP standard deviation since 2006 has been 0.371, Verlander has only one season with a FIP below 3.99 and his FIP standard deviation since 2006 is 0.702. Other factors to consider are ballpark and team defense, both of which favor King Felix.

    Taking all of this data as a whole, I would say that Felix Hernandez is the one who deserves the higher paid contract. Verlander had the better breakout year, but in both fantasy and real life terms, King Felix will be the more valuable (and younger player). Felix already has better peripherals and — based on age, defense and park dimensions — seemingly more superficial upside come years four and five of the contract.

    In the short term, however, both players should provide comparable value. CHONE pegs Justin Verlander as being worth +49 runs prevented compared to the average pitcher (RPAA) over 194 IP, while Felix Hernandez is projected as a +50 RPAA pitcher per 200 IP.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • The tigers need to get Dtrain and mags off the books. Seriously; piss Boras off if need be, but dont let Mags accumulate the necessary PAs to vest his $18 M option for 2011

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Indeed, it would be troubling if Magglio’s seventh year vested, he needs 540 PAs to do so. If he gets that many, he’ll likely have earned it. You never know with Jim Leyland’s dogged love for veterans, but I have a hard time seeing him struggle again and STILL be allowed to go half a year before figuring things out. That’s going to be one of the big sub plots for the ’10 Tigers.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Joe R says:

        He needs 562 PA or 139 games in 2010, correct?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Close…..540 and 135 “starts”. It’s based on EITHER what he does in 2010 OR what he does in 09 + 10. Since the threshold for his games and PA combined 09+10 numbers in both cases (562 & 147) is above the simple ’10 threshold, we can say for all intents and purposes that he just has to hit the 2010 numbers, which are 540 & 135.

        Or to be even more accurate, 540 OR 135. He just needs to hit one of them.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Phil says:

      Wait, CHONE’s projections are based on the average pitcher and not replacement level? So, should we add roughly 2 wins to each pitcher to get their projected WAR?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • If I am not mistake, you do need to add positional/replacement adjustments to the CHONE projections. I’m just trying to point out that their base value is projected to be about the same over 200 IP

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Mike Rogers says:

      I don’t believe that those numbers are park-adjusted and once they are, you get the very, very close WAR totals for the two. Since 2006:

      Verlander: 18.9 WAR, $80.9 million in value.
      Hernandez: 18.6 WAR, $79.2 million in value.

      Obviously a large chunk of that is Verlander’s 09 season, but I don’t think that was a fluke (he’s not 8 WAR good, but he’s clearly an elite pitcher), so it’s closer than the raw FIP and xFIP’s paint.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Nathaniel Dawson says:

        Yes, the article has it wrong. The ballpark and defense favor Verlander, not Hernandez.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Last season, Detroit exaggerated runs production by 2.6% last season (#13 overall); Seattle supressed runs production by 6.7% (#21 overall).

        Furthermore, Seattle’s defense was #1 in baseball. Detroits only 2 positive defenders were 5th best, but the majority of their defensive prowess (+43.6 FRAR) came from Curtis Granderson (+1.6), Adam Everrett (+8.9), polanco (+11.4). Seattle’s only improved (at worst maintained) their defense with additions of Figgins and crew

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • The point I’m trying to make is two fold:

        1) Hernandez has been consistently better, though Verlander has had the best single season of the two. Both took large steps forward last season
        2) Hernandez has a better park, better defense, and better “stuff” than Verlander. xFIP is a better projection of future ERA IMO bc pitchers do not control HR/FB rates, but only GB tendencies. As taken from: http://gameofinches.blogspot.com/2010/01/quintessential-sabermetrics-argument_8470.html

        •As we move from no contact to contact, the degree of control a pitcher exercises over the outcome of an at bat declines further. A pitcher does not control the actual outcome (type of contact) of the at bat (this is because there is no magic “groundball-only-and-always” pitch >> it’s the hitter’s guess of where to swing once the pitch is out of the hands of the pitcher), but he does exert influence over the tendency of type of contact to result from the at bat. A pitcher who throws pitches with sharper break is more likely to have a hitter get “on top of the ball” and chop it into the ground.
        •A pitcher does not, however, control the strength of the resulting contact. I would say that pitchers with more deceptive “stuff” are more likely to induce weaker contact than the average pitcher, but once the ball is out of their hands, the question of contact becomes something only the hitter can answer. The ball en route, the hitter must guess where and how to swing. Assuming he does not strikeout, if he guesses poorly, the result with be weak contact — an infield flyball or weak grounder. If he guesses correctly, the resulting contact will be stronger and harder hit.
        •Because the pitcher controls the tendency of the ball to be in the ground or in the air, but he does not control how hard it will be hit on the ground or in the air or how far, then it makes sense that a pitcher does not control home runs; only the tendency thereof. Pitchers face so many batters that we can generally assume that the average hitter they will face will have “league average” power. The guy with the league average power hits just over a home run per every 10 flyballs he hits. We call this HR/FB rate (I prefer HR/non-GB rates as a whole, as line drives also turn into home runs sometimes, but HR/FB rate is sufficient for our purposes). The league, as a whole, averages a HR/FB rate in the 11% range, though most pitchers have HR/FB% which normalize to the 9-12% range (depending on where they play). Pitchers, over a large enough sample size, regress into this range because they do not control how hard batters will hit their non-groundball-resultant offerings. Since 2002, 73 pitchers have cumulatively thrown 1000+ innings. Of them, only Jason Schmidt (7.5%), CC Sabathia (8.4%), Cliff Lee (8.5%), Barry Zito (8.6%), Mark Redman (8.8%), Jarrod Washburn (8.8%), Roger Clemens (8.9%), Pedro Martinez (8.9%), Odalis Perez (12.3%), Nate Robertson (12.7%), Derek Lowe (12.7%), Brandon Webb (13.2%), and Brett Myers (15.5%) — at total of 13 pitchers (five of whom just barely made the cut) — did not fall into the 9%-12% HR/FB ratio range. Of them, Lee, Sabathia, Zito, and Washburn pitched at exteme home run suppressing parks for most of the sample size, while Webb and Myers pitched at extreme home run exaggerating parks. You might also notice Derek Lowe and Brandon Webb’s presence here, despite being the league’s two most extreme groundball-oriented pitchers; this only further drives home the point.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Nathaniel Dawson says:

        This whole thumb down/thumbs up thing is odd. Did a couple people feel I was insulting Matthew with that comment? He didn’t say anything at all about park effects. It was the statement in the article that David Eckstein linked to that I was correcting.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • What is the correction? Mariners have better run suppressing park factors and a better defense?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Nathaniel Dawson says:

        No, no. I think that’s right. I’m not a Tigers fan, so I’m not too familiar with their park, but Safeco is definitely a pitcher’s park. The statement was from the article: “Other factors to consider are ballpark and team defense, both of which favor King Felix”
        I could be wrong, but I’m going under the assumption that Safeco is a better pitcher’s park than Comerica and Seattle’s defense, at least last year, was better than Detroit’s. Unless I’m wrong about that, any adjustments you make for park or defense are going to favor Verlander, not Hernandez.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • How does that make sense. if park and defense favor felix, how does it favor verlander?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Nathaniel Dawson says:

        But park and defense don’t favor Felix. He’s the one that’s been pitching in a park that suppresses runs and lowering his ERA and making his stats look better.

        You state in you article that “it is an important question to ask whether or not Verlander deserves more money than King Felix”. If, as you state, you’re trying to determine the true value of these players and you’re going to consider park and defense, then Verlander gets a favorable adjustment, while King Felix gets an unfavorable adjustment.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Huh? Felix has better peripherals than verladner too and those are not park/defense oriented. Felix K’s more, BBs less and GBs much more.

        Where are you coming from with the notion that Verlander is better? The better K/BB/GB guy in the better pitchers park and in front of the better defense…all signs point to felix

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Scottwood says:

        Verlander K’s more batters than Hernandez if you look at the last 3 years. He has a 8.61 K/9 ratio and Felix has a 7.96 K/9 ratio. Hernandez has a slightly lower BB/9 ratio, but Verlander has the better overall K/BB ratio. Verlander also has the slightly higher WAR over the last 3 years. And, depending on your views on WPA/LI and how much weight we should give to that, over the last 3 years Verlander has a 7.36 WPA/LI and Hernandez has a 4.99 WPA/LI

        Hernandez is probably the better pitcher going forward, but the gap between them is not as large as I think most people believe. I think that is mostly what people are arguing.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Nathaniel Dawson says:

        “Where are you coming from with the notion that Verlander is better?”

        I’m not saying Verlander’s better or making any kind of judgement about his or Felix’ relative worth. You were comparing the two and making a judgement about their worth, right? I’m only commenting on your statement in the article about park and defense.

        “The better K/BB/GB guy in the better pitchers park and in front of the better defense…all signs point to felix”

        But that’s my point — some of the reason why his K’s, BB’s, GB’s look better is because he’s been pitching in a better environment. But that has nothing to do with his value.

        “Other factors to consider are ballpark and team defense, both of which favor King Felix.”

        You’re comparing the two players. The fact that they’ve been able to put up relatively equivalent numbers while Felix has been doing so in a more friendly pitching environment is not a point in Felix’ favor. It’s actually a point in Verlanders favor, because he’s been able to put up comparable numbers while pitching in a more difficult environment in which to do so.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Nathaniel Dawson says:

        Some of what I just wrote there is wrong — BB’s, K’s, GB’s aren’t really affected by park or defense, at least not to any level we’d care about here. I was writing that out too fast without looking carefully at the stats you used in your comment.

        Still, you do use ERA and FIP in your article, and the point still applies. You state near the end of the article that you think Felix has more value going forward based partly on the park and defense he pitches in, which just isn’t true. His value isn’t affected by his environment, nor is Verlander’s value affected by his.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Nathaniel–

        I realize what you are trying to get at in the sense of superficial stats, but im trying to mainly look at the underlying stuff. What I’m trying to say is Felix is a better pitcher in terms of luck-neutral context, while he’s also in the more favorable environment.

        To scottwood, I say you need to not look @ the 1-season skewed data. Yes, Verlander was better in 2009, but can you say he will be better than felix in ’10? I can’t. The GB rate and BB rate favor Hernandez, while the defense will only make the superficial stats that much prettier. I think both are high quality arms, but verlander is on a defense that lost 3 of its top 5 defenders in the lg avg park, while Hernandez is on a team w/ the best defense in baseball and a bottom ten runs creation park. Plus, verlander’s 5 year deal covers his age 27-32 years, while felix’s covers the ages 24-29 seasons. Felix has more upside, more consistency, more success and is younger. It seems like he deserves the higher payout

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Scottwood says:

        I never said Verlander would be better in 2010 or that he deserved a higher contract. I also didn’t look at 1 year of “skewed” data. I looked at each player’s performance the last 3 years.

        And, when one evaluates pitchers, I think its best to try to isolate them from their environment. Felix will have the better defense and will pitch in a pitcher’s park. I don’t see how that should factor into a player’s value, though. Verlander can’t control his park factors or the quality of the defensive players behind him. Why should he be penalized for that?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Even if theres no talent disparity, which there is, we shouldnt measure contribution based on theoretical values. FIP is a better predictor of future ERA, but ERA measures the actual results. FIP provides the baseline, then you figure out from there where the actual results will lie based on the secondary things. the dimensions and defense are not Verlanders fault, but they will have effect. Felix will end up allowing less runs b/w his skill, the park and defense, which is more important than “verlander has just as good peripherals” (which he really doesnt)

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Scottwood says:

        I’m not going to keep debating this b/c I’ve already laid out the stats and several others have, as well. But, Verlander’s peripheral stats are certainly just as good as King Felix, and I don’t know why you continue to suggest they are not. He has the better K/BB ratio and WAR over the last 3 years. Hernandez is a ground ball pitcher and that gives him some added value, but that is less important than getting K’s. And, Verlander has a career BABIP and OPS against on fly balls well below expected league average. He also has suppressed his HR/FB ratio for 4 straight years. We need a little more data on him to see where his established baseline is, but if this holds true, then being a fly ball pitcher won’t hurt him as much as it hurts other pitchers. His fly balls don’t appear to cause as much damage as it does for most other pitchers.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Joe R says:

      Well, it’s going to be hard to leave him on the bench if he meets his projection of .295/.362/.453. I can imagine a minor shitstorm happening if he plays like that but doesn’t get his required PA’s.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. I think its very unlikely the Tigers will dump Cabrera’s salary. If their financial situation was anywhere near as dire as depicted, they would’ve done all they could to not allow Ordonez to vest last year and they would not have signed Valverde or extended Verlander.

    It appears that Cabrera is moving past his personal issues, and therefore he ought to be a stellar player for the duration of his contract. The contracts you noted are coming off of the books next year, as is the $6m contract of Brandon Inge and the $12m contract of Jeremy Bonderman, which is $18m more than wasn’t noted in the above piece. I could be proven wrong, but it doesn’t seem like money is a significant issue for the Tigers. Certainly they would probably like to get payroll down and may set a new “baseline” next year, but nothing in their actions indicates that a salary dump is coming.

    It’s also worth noting that Porcello and Scherzer are under team control through 2014 which is when the Verlander extension ends, so they essentially have three rotation spots (Scherzer’s health withstanding) filled for the next five years. This gives them some flexibility to allow young players to fill the two back end rotation spots or to sign mid-priced veterans in the coming years after all the fatty contracts expire post-’10.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • mattymatty says:

      I don’t see how you can possibly know whether or not Cabrera is “moving past his personal issues.”

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • I didn’t claim to know. I said “it appears”. I based that off of articles that have been written very recently in which he claims to have sought rehab on the matter and from Tigers management impressed with his progress.

        It could be possible that:

        a) They’re lying.

        b) They’re exaggerating.

        c) He falls back off the wagon.

        d) These personal issues never affected his play in the first place, considering that he apparently was a high caliber player even during what appears to be more than just one rollicking night on the town.

        All of the above are possible, but my point is that there’s no reason right now to be concerned about him moving forward unless they’re concerned about his personal life. And it does *appear* based on all indicators and resources available to me as an outsider that he is straightening that out. If so, then there are zero reasons to be concerned about him moving forward and given what I said in my prior post about the Tigers behavior with regard to their financial situation, there ought to be no reason to be “dumping his salary”.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • It’s the intangibles. Grindiness Per Nine innings, as we call it at GOI

        http://gameofinches.blogspot.com/2009/01/new-sabremetric-discovered_20.html

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Michael says:

    I don’t see how this contract really has anything to do with the 2010 payroll of the Tigers, unless they are frontloading the deal more than these things usually are. He was going to get that kind of money anyways, so this is more about 2011 and beyond than 2010.

    Also, Detroit is very unlikely to dump Cabrera this upcoming season for salary purposes only. If they aren’t good and want to rebuild, I could see them looking to do what they did with Granderson (dealing one all-star for 3-4 close to MLB-ready guys), but I think the last month suggests that they aren’t in the kind of dire financial straits a lot of people seem to want to place them in. If they were, I don’t see how they would have signed Valverde for $7 million a year.

    As for the Felix comparison, I think people just need to realize that this is how these things work. If Verlander signed this deal a month ago before Felix, Felix would have gotten a couple million more. Felix set the bar, and Verlander was going to want to top it. It’s just how it works. I think people that get crazy about comparing them are missing the boat on that. Also, the only way Felix’s advantage in a lot of the stats mentioned in a previous response are relevant at all is if you think Verlander’s huge spike in K rate last year was a fluke. If he continues to strike out hitters at a similar rate to his 09 season moving forward, the pre-09 numbers on him are pretty irrelevant because he’s a completely different guy. If he goes back to pre-09 K rates, he’s not in Felix’s league moving forward and the Tigers are going to regret this deal.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Gary says:

      You’re right on with the market setting. Pitchers don’t think about their rank in the pecking order, they look at themselves in tiers. Verlander doesn’t think he’s 95% as good as Felix, he thinks of himself as a young ace, and Felix is a young ace that just signed for X, so I want a little more than that.

      Likewise Lackey and Burnett are not similar pitchers, but they’re ultimately compared because they’re roughly in the post-arbitration ace grouping.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Mike Rogers says:

      It does affect the 2010 payroll because even if you give Verlander something like 12/12/16/20/20 breakdown on the deal, you’re adding around $4 extra million to a team that was pretty close to the max after adding (foolishly) Valverde a couple weeks ago. Mike Ilitch evidentally signed off on increasing the budget just a bit, but there can’t be much room left in the budget. Their payroll is pushing $120 mil which is more than it was last year ($115) and almost $20 mil less than 2008.

      The economy isn’t turning around in Michigan and given that they dealt away probably the most loved Tiger in Granderson, coupled with a team that probably isn’t much more than a 78-82 win team at the moment, attendance has the potential to be less than it was in 09.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • MattC says:

        While the economy isn’t turning around yet in Michigan I don’t think has effected Illitch greatly. The guys main source of income is selling $5 pizzas, which obviously are going to sell in any economic environment. Plus he has made it known he is getting old and he wants to bring a World Series to the city that he loves so much. He’s already brought multiple Stanley Cups now he wants a World Series. If it means him losing a little money in the process so be it. He knows if he fields a competitive team fans will show up despite the economy, last year I think they were 3rd in the AL in attendance and in 2008 they basically sold out for the entire season despite because people were so excited about the previous offseason(when they acquired Cabrera, Willis and Renteria) and thought that they would be really good.

        So all in all I’m not too worried about the economic situation. He’s shown that he isn’t a cheap owner by evidence of the current Tigers payroll and the Red Wings payroll and despite Michigan’s economy, the fans still attend the games if you put a good team out there.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • I just love how they couldnt afford a great player like granderson, who plays good offense and defense for 150+ games per season, but that they could afford valverde, who will pitch a max of 70-something innings.

        The highest WAR RP last year, Broxton, did not even crack +3 WAR. Granderson’s lowest WAR for a season since he became a fulltime player is +3.4

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Scottwood says:

        That implies that they couldn’t afford Granderson and his $5.5 million salary for 2010. Considering they signed Valverde to a yearly salary more than the one Granderson was going to earn in 2010, shouldn’t that imply that they could have kept Granderson if they really wanted to? Why is the talk of that deal always around finances and about how the Tigers “had” to deal Granderson? It implies they were forced into a deal b/c they couldn’t stomach an extra $5 million on the payroll for 2010. Considering they locked Verlander into a long term extension, let Magglio Ordonez hit his contract incentives for 2010, and signed an expensive closer… why is this still assumed? They are doing a very bad job of clearing payroll if that is really their intended purpose. Ordonez and Valverde, alone, added an extra $22 million on their payroll that they could have avoided having. More than likely, they traded Granderson and Jackson because they wanted to and liked the returning players in the deal. The “fire sale” talk is old and has no factual evidence to support it and a lot of contradictory actions by the Tigers.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Pompous but earnest grammar guy says:

    My friend Matthew, every time I read one of your pieces I have the same response: please learn to use apostrophes correctly.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. Phil says:

    I never realized how good Verlander really was until I looked at some of his stats. His WAR the last 3 years is 8th in MLB and a notch above Felix Hernandez. And, he’s 6th in WPA/LI over the last 3 years. I would need to look at more stats to form a clearer opinion, but one could definitely make the argument that he is one of the 10 best pitchers in MLB. Just going off CHONE’s projections, he is projected to have the 6th highest pitcher WAR next season at 4.9 WAR. Wow.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. Steve says:

    There is noway the Tigers trade Cabrera… The owner specifically wanted him on the team and had the team trade for him. The owner wants to win a W.S. above all else and is over 80 years old, so trading his best hitter isnt in his best interest…

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. AInquisition says:

    I wouldn’t be shocked if Verlander burned out in the next few years. in the last 3 years he’s ranked 9th, 4th, and 1st in Pitcher abuse points. I’m not saying I expect it, some guys manage to survive their arms being overworked, but it is something to look for.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • MattC says:

      It’s a possibility, and he’s definitely threw a lot of pitches the past few years but the thing he has going for him is that he has near perfect mechanics and he doesn’t throw a whole lot of sliders which is what puts the most stress on the arm. A good junk of his pitchers are 4 seam fastballs which probably put the least amount of stress on your arm, especially when you have the mechanics that he does.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • mattymatty says:

        That near perfect mechanics line was something they said about Mark Prior too.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • CircleChange11 says:

        Actually, some were saying that Prior was an injury risk because he raises both elbows above his shoulders after hand separation (inverted W), but Prior was a “Tom House Student” and broadcasters just repeated what House was saying about Prior.

        Prior’s “smoothness” of delivery was also a major contributing factor the idea that he had perfect mechanics.

        We learned a lot about mechanics from the Prior situation.

        Verlander’s only “flaw” is that he lands on his heel (softly, though) as a result of slightly opening his hips early. This is not really that big of a deal because it does not create timing problems where he drags his arm (like Harden does). Ironically, opening your hips early is supposed to lead to reduced velocity … Verlander averaged 95.5 mph last year on his FB.

        Verlander also features a curve instead of a slider. Good for his elbow.

        I am not convinced that taller, longer pitchers like Verlander can land as closed as more robust guys like Schilling and Clemens from a simple leverage standpoint. So, i don;t view his slight heel landing as a major thing.

        There was a video study done of Verlander’s 2-seamer which is outstanding. Pitchers accomplish this with finger pressure on their index finger or pronated their hand at release. Verlander’s thumb points “straight down” on this pitch instead of “toward 3rd base” like some other RHPs do. Again, good for his elbow.

        Just because “some” said that Prior had perfect mechanics does not mean that the label cannot generally apply to some pitcher. Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Jeff Suppan, etc.

        Of the modern crop … Verlander and Hernandez are both viewed as having very good mechanics. I think the negatives of Velrander have more to do with his height as he is copmpared to pitchers with different body types (bottom heavy) allowing them to pitch more with their legs. Tall, long guys generally do not hold a very good and balanced position when “compact”. It’s a leverage thing.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. Joe R says:

    I don’t think the owners would’ve looked to lock up Verlander if they didn’t think they could hang on to that salary for one more year.

    Like Matt said, $12MM of Dontrelle, $15MM of Maggs (I think), and $10MM of Nate Robertson. From there, things should at least be manageable.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Steve says:

      also, $6MM inge, $10 or $12MM Bonderman all next year…

      That is a total of $62- $65 MILLION coming off the books next year, assuming Magglio’s option doesnt vest…

      Plus Laird will be eligible for free agency so thats another $3 – $4 million..

      AND Guillen’s $13 Million comes of the season after that…

      I think the Tigers will be far from having to dump Cabrera during the year…

      I can’t wait for the Tigers getting to have a Yankee style offseason next year…

      Hopefully D.D. spends wisely… I would like to see Crawford or Werth, and a good SP, like Webb…

      They will need to fill SS and 3B though… I see the, resigning Inge for a lower salary since for some reason the people here in Detroit love him…

      Should be set at C with Avila… we have sutible Of’s to fill in one of the corner spots and can get a big bat for the other.. SS will be tricky though…

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Steve says:

        The only Salaries they will have commited for next season will be Cabrera’s $20M, Valverde’s $7, Verlanders $18 or so, and Guillen’s $13M….

        there will also be noone up for any significant money through arbitration…

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Joe R says:

        Personally, I don’t understand the sentiment that the Tigers burdened themselves w/ Cabrera. Sure, he earns a lot. I think a lot of guys would earn a lot when their similar batters through age 26 look like this:

        Ken Griffey (940)
        Hank Aaron (934) *
        Orlando Cepeda (934) *
        Frank Robinson (924) *
        Hal Trosky (890)
        Mickey Mantle (882) *
        Al Kaline (880) *
        Andruw Jones (879)
        Joe Medwick (869) *
        Albert Pujols (865)

        And I think you’d be able to keep Inge on the cheap; with all that money coming off the books (he’s an awesome 3rd baseman, horrible underrated defensively). Of course, they’ll be plenty of options in the FA market in 2011, too.

        They’ll just have to be better w/ their money this time around and not give massive contracts out like candy (looking at you Jose Valverde).

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. mattymatty says:

    Every time someone signs a new contract all that team’s fans come out and say “in X years we’ll have [insert crazy amount of money] coming off the payroll.” News to you people: this is true of just about every team. Most players aren’t signed for anything longer than a few years, so of course the Tigers have lots of money coming off the payroll in two years. So do the Red Sox. So do the Mets. So does just about any team that spends any money.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Scottwood says:

      Ok. So, saying that the Tigers will be clearing $50+ million off of their payroll this off season and won’t be in a dire financial situation does not have any bearing on whether or not they can keep Miguel Cabrera? No one is saying they will turn around and spend away all that money in FA. But, there is a constant rumor floating around about the Tigers needing to dump Cabrera to clear salary, and there is little evidence that they need to do this. For a team who was supposedly in fire sale mode, they sure are not acting like it. They let Magglio Ordonez hit his incentives and added an extra $15 million on their payroll b/c of that, they gave Jose Valverde $7 million a year and have now signed Verlander to a long term extension. There seems to be a perception that the Tigers traded Granderson and Jackson b/c they had to financially. Why that is accepted as the truth when there is plenty of contradictory behavior on their part is puzzling to me. Maybe the Tigers traded them b/c they liked the haul they were getting in return and felt that both players would have a decline in performance in the future?

      I would expect the Tigers payroll to regress in the coming years and to settle in around $100 million or so. So, Verlander and Cabrera will combine to take up over a third of the payroll. Given that they have Scherzer and Porcello at cost controlled rates for the next 5 years and a handful of top pitching prospects coming up through the minors (like Jacob Turner and Casey Crosby), they won’t really have a need to spend much on their rotation for the next few years. The remaining money left over can then be used to fill in gaps with position players. The Tigers will be fine financially and will not need to trade Miguel Cabrera.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • In addition, you imply people are talking way down the line with the Tigers. If Magglio does not reach his incentives, literally 40% of their payroll is coming off of the books NEXT OFF SEASON. Not 2 years, not 3 years. The very next off season. That is why it is germane to the discussion when the topic is the ability to keep an expensive (and productive) player due to an alleged dire financial situation and bloated payroll.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Linuxit says:

        Even the Twins are nearing $100 Million payroll and they don’t have nearly the same resources as the Tigers.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • MattC says:

      Yeah but how many of those teams can say that majority of their contracts that are coming up are basically useless players, so they have no worries about resigning them or re-filling their positions. Willis, Robertson, Bonderman and Guillen have basically contributed absolutely nothing to the Tigers the past 2 seasons so they won’t be missed. Then there is Ordonez and Inge, who are coming off the books too. Inge is really the only guy out of all that money coming off that needs to be replaced. The rest have no future with the team or are easily replaced with some spare part.

      Most teams that have 50 or 60 million coming off are either filled with some valuable pieces or at the very least a solid contributor so they have to spend some or alot of that money to resign them. The Tigers have gotten very little with those guys so it’s basically like $50 million of excess money to improve the team that they have without losing anybody.(Assuming of course they spend all of it)

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Steve says:

      Yeah but like the 2 people above me said, the guys coming off the payroll on the Mets and Red Sox ACTUALLY CONTRIBUTE.

      The Guys coming off the Tigers payroll dont even play… Thier rolls are already filled with cheap players… If even half of those cheap players turn out to be valuable, they will be able to fill thier other holes with FA since they do have alot of money coming off the books..

      BUT it should be pointed out that my post about Crawford and Webb is just a fan speaking…

      It would not be smart to add many more FA’s making large amounts of money because Cabrera and Verlander will be making about $40 mil combined in 2012-2014… But i could see the Tigers signing another big bat, like Dunn or Crawford…

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. CircleChange11 says:

    2 dominant aces. 2 good/fair contracts.

    No need to nitpick whether Verlander is better than Hernandez or vice versa.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current day month ye@r *