Tigers, Verlander finalize contract
-- The Detroit Tigers have invested in their future.
Ace Justin Verlander and the Tigers finalized an $80 million, five-year contract on Thursday, a deal that avoids a salary arbitration heading.
Verlander's deal includes a $500,000 signing bonus, $6.75 million this season, $12.75 million next year and $20 million in each of the following three seasons. Verlander would have been eligible for free agency after the 2011 World Series.
The 2006 AL Rookie of the Year tied for the major league lead with 19 wins last season. He led the majors with 269 strikeouts, 240 innings and 35 starts and had a career-best 3.45 ERA.