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By The Sports Xchange March 29, 2013 1:30 PM
Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander is about to become a $200 million man. ESPN reported Friday that Verlander and the Detroit Tigers have reached agreement on a new contract that could surpass $202 million, making him the highest-paid pitcher in baseball. The reported seven-year deal is for $180 million with an option for an eighth year. The Tigers announced that a new deal was in place with Verlander, but the team didn't disclose financial terms. The hard-throwing right-hander had two years left on an $80 million contract and was not eligible for arbitration until the end of the 2014 season. On Friday morning, Verlander tweeted, "I love this city & the fans -- couldn't be more excited to spend my career here! We're going to bring a World Series to Detroit!!!" The 30-year-old Verlander is considered the top starter in baseball. He won the American League Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards in 2011 after posting a 24-5 record with a 2.40 ERA and 250 strikeouts. He followed in 2012 with a 17-8 record and 2.64 ERA while leading the Tigers to the World Series and finishing second in the AL Cy Young voting. The new deal would surpass the seven-year, $175 million contract signed by Seattle's Felix Hernandez in February.