Cash flies in MLB as Buster Posey, Justin Verlander agree to huge contracts
Verlander signed a seven-year, $180 million deal with Detroit while Posey reached a 9-year, $167 million deal with San Francisco.
The Associated Press
NEW YORK — After leading their teams to last year's World Series, Justin Verlander and Buster Posey cashed in just hours apart Friday.
Verlander, an All-Star pitcher, and Posey, the MVP catcher, were guaranteed nearly $350 million in contracts by the Tigers and Giants, a sure sign of the baseball times: Teams are awash with revenue from television and high-priced tickets.
Verlander, an AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner for Detroit, agreed to a $180 million, seven-year deal with the Tigers that is the richest for a pitcher and prevents him from becoming a free agent after the 2014 season.
Verlander's deal broke the standard for pitchers set just a month earlier when the Mariners' Felix Hernandez agreed to a $175 million, seven-year contract."I wondered what it would be like to test free agency, but the pull of Detroit was too much," Verlander said.
Posey, the batting champion who led San Francisco to a pair of World Series titles in the last three years, received a $167 million, nine-year deal from the Giants. The catcher could not have gone on the market until after the 2016 season.
Posey's deal includes a club option for 2022 that could raise the value to $186 million over a decade.
"Contracts like that that you're seeing are a product of really strong revenue growth in the industry," said Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball's executive vice president of economics and league affairs.
And the spending might not be done yet.
Clayton Kershaw, who can go free after the 2014 season, could get a new deal from the Los Angeles Dodgers. The 2011 National League Cy Young winner said he won't talk contract during the season; the Dodgers would want to hold off announcing any agreement until after opening day so that it would not add to their 2013 luxury-tax bill.
Where is all the money coming from?
Well, MLB commissioner Bud Selig expects revenue to top $8 billion for the first time this year.
"It's quite a story when you think back in 1992 it was $1.2 billion," he said this week. "We've come a long way. It's a manifestation of how popular this sport is in every way."
MLB last year agreed to eight-year contracts with News Corp's Fox and with Turner Sports that run from 2014-21 and increase average annual revenue from about $500 million to roughly $800 million. ESPN and MLB reached a deal covering 2014-21 that hikes the average yearly payment from about $360 million to approximately $700 million.
• First baseman Paul Goldschmidt and the Arizona Diamondbacks are close to agreement on a $32 million, five-year contract that would run from 2014-18, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. As a rookie last year, Goldschmidt hit .286 with 43 doubles, 20 home runs and 82 runs batted in.
• Former AL MVP Miguel Tejada, 39, made the Kansas City Royals' opening-day roster as a utility infielder, manager Ned Yost announced.
• Atlanta Braves reliever Jonny Venters will have his ailing left elbow examined by Dr. James Andrews, team officials said. Venters will see the noted orthopedic surgeon Wednesday after the pitcher felt tightness in the elbow during his last spring training appearance.
• New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira hopes to get the protective brace on his injured right wrist removed Monday. Teixeira said his goal is to rejoin the Yankees as soon as May 1.
• The Baltimore Orioles completed their starting rotation by picking right-hander Jake Arrieta to start their home opener on April 5. Arrieta joins Jason Hammel, Wei-Yin Chen, Miguel Gonzalez and Chris Tillman.
• The Oakland A's designated for assignment infielder Daric Barton and left-handed pitcher Travis Blackley. Barton was the longest-tenured player on the A's.
• Pitcher Freddy Garcia agreed to a minor-league contract with the Baltimore Orioles, five days after he was released by the San Diego Padres.
• The Colorado Rockies designated Ramon Hernandez for assignment, and they could be responsible for paying the catcher $3.2 million this year if they are unable to trade him.