With 10 days to settle on a contract before going to arbitration, the Detroit Tigers and Justin Verlander took care of the most concerning item of business remaining before Spring Training was to begin in Lakeland. Verlander agreed to a one-year, $3.675 million deal this afternoon, thus keeping Dave Dombrowski's streak of not going to arbitration with a player intact.
Verlander was seeking $4.15 million, while the Tigers countered with a $3.2 million offer. Meeting somewhere in the middle seemed like a reasonable assumption, if the two sides were to reach a settlement. But Verlander's request was already pretty fair, considering what Cole Hamels and Zack Greinke recently signed for, so Detroit got him at a good price.
Interestingly, the Tigers and Verlander did not discuss a long-term contract during these negotiations, and won't do so until after the 2009 season. Over the last couple of years, one-year contracts with Fernando Rodney and Miguel Cabrera were precursors to longer deals signed weeks later. Verlander is eligible for free agency after the 2011 season.
[Thanks once again to MSU4LIF for the headline suggestion. He's becoming the go-to guy for catchiness.]