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Tigers Sign Pitcher Justin Verlander to Five-Year Extension

The Detroit Tigers signed pitcher Justin Verlander to a five-year contact extension, keeping the 2011 Cy Young Award winner from becoming a free agent in 2014.

Verlander’s extension is worth as much as $202 million, which would make him the highest-paid pitcher in Major League Baseball, ESPN reported without citing the source of its information. The Tigers didn’t disclose terms of the extension on its website.

Verlander, a 30-year-old right-hander, had two years and $40 million remaining on a four-year contract. The extension increases the contract to seven years and $180 million with an option for the 2020 season, pushing it to $202 million, ESPN reported.

The deal surpasses a seven-year, $175 million contract Felix Hernandez signed with the Seattle Mariners in February.

Verlander was runner-up to Tampa Bay’s David Price in voting for last season’s American League Cy Young Award, given to the league’s best pitcher.

He finished the regular season with a 17-8 record and a 2.64 earned-run average. Verlander won the Cy Young and the AL’s Most Valuable Player award in 2011, going 24-5 with a 2.40 ERA and 250 strikeouts.

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