Justin Verlander have discussed a five-year, $75 million contract extension, one source confirmed to FOXSports.com.
If the team adds a sixth year at a mutually acceptable price, the sides will probably have a deal, the source indicated.
Verlander has expressed a distaste for team options in the past, making that an unlikely provision in any agreement.
Felix Hernandez’s recent contract extension with the Mariners -- five years, $78 million -- is being used as a reference point in the negotiations.
When asked if he has become more optimistic that the team will reach an agreement with Verlander, Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski declined comment, other than to say, “Our desires remain the same.” That is an apparent reference to Dombrowski’s past comments about wanting to keep Verlander in Detroit for years to come.
Verlander turns 27 next month, and retaining him is vital to the Tigers' future. He is coming off a sensational 2009 season in which he established new career highs in wins, ERA and innings. At present, he is on track to become a free agent after the 2011 season.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports first reported that the teams had discussed such a deal with Verlander.