Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/16/14

11 APR 2009: Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) during the Detroit Tigers 4-3 win over the Texas Rangers at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. Verlander would not get a decision pitching 5 innings while allowing 2 hits and 1 earned run. Photo via Newscom Photo via Newscom

Getty Images

The Tigers and Giants each made a significant investment on Friday. Each deal was monumental, and each was necessary. The Tigers signed Justin Verlander to a five-year contract extension that will take him through the 2019 season. The right-hander reportedly will earn $180 million over the next seven seasons, and a $22 million vesting option for the 2020 season could bring the total value of the deal to $202 million. Hours later, the Giants inked their franchise cornerstone, Buster Posey, to an eight-year extension that will take him through the 2021 season. The catcher reportedly will earn $167 million over the next nine seasons, and a $22 million option for the 2022 season could bring the total value of the deal to $189 million. That’s a whole lot of cheddar. And when it comes to such enormous contracts, teams inherently run the risk of setting themselves up to fail. In other words, they’re taking a leap of faith based on calculated risk. Considering some of the costly failures we’ve seen in the past, each deal seems dangerous. Signing a pitcher to a monster contract borders insanity based on recent history, and throwing an excessive amount of cash at a catcher who has already had ankle surgery also seems like a rather foolish investment on the surface. Given the value of each player right now, though, both teams were wise to pull the trigger, as delaying a deal would only create an unnecessary headache when free agency began to rear its head. Verlander is hands-down the best pitcher in baseball, and thus he deserved to be paid as such. There are a few others who might make a push to stake claim to that honor in a given year — including Felix Hernandez and Clayton Kershaw — but Verlander’s consistency, durability and overall dominance is unmatched. Plus, his impact on the Tigers is obvious. Sure, there are concerns. Verlander has logged over 1,500 innings in his eight-year career, including more than 200 in six straight seasons, and he’s a pitcher whose bread and butter is his ability to overpower hitters. That’s something some skeptics might look at as a sign that Verlander will be unable to keep up his current pace. Verlander is entering just his age 30 season, though, and there haven’t been any signs of regression in terms of his fastball velocity. Having him under control for the next seven seasons seems like an ideal scenario, even if Verlander isn’t quite the same pitcher come Year 6 or Year 7. By that point, the Tigers will likely have gotten plenty of mileage out of the hard-throwing righty, and therefore the deal will have already been worthwhile. It’s reasonable to think Verlander will continue to be dominant for another five years or so, which in turn should help make the Tigers contenders in each of those seasons. The additional money the Tigers will make during that span as a result of the success, and the high-profile players they could potentially lure to Detroit, means Verlander doesn’t have to be a $28 million pitcher in 2018 or 2019 for the deal to be worth it. Posey, on the other hand, comes with even more risk. While many pitchers have failed to live up to their contracts, catchers earning such hefty paydays is a relatively new concept. One could say the case of Joe Mauer, who is in the midst of transitioning to first base (where his value will become a lot lower), should serve as a cautionary tale, there’s no denying the success that Posey has had in his young big league career. Two World Series rings and a batting title is enough to earn you respect and financial security, so the Giants were wise to lock up what they consider to be their franchise cornerstone. Will Posey lose some of his value if he’s eventually forced to go the Mauer route and transition to first base? Absolutely. But with Posey being only 26, it’s safe to assume those days won’t be arriving any time soon — perhaps not until the very end of the deal. So yes, both the Tigers and the Giants rolled the dice on Friday, but they took a risk on guys who have gotten it done for them in the past. Teams should never pay solely for past performance, and instead should take a forward-looking approach when it comes to all investments. But even looking through that lens, it’s easy to see why these two teams made the decisions that they did. Verlander is the best pitcher in baseball right now. Posey is the best catcher in baseball right now. If you’re lucky enough to have those guys, you not only make sure they don’t go anywhere, but you also make sure they don’t even have a chance to consider leaving. Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here. Buster Posey photo (right) via Facebook/Buster Posey
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Aaron Hernandez jurors allowed to watch Super Bowl

Tiger misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Roger Goodell grilled on Deflategate during presser

Rex Ryan: Seahawks need to ‘take the air out of the football’

J.J. Watt buys cabin in the middle of nowhere to train

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Six teams have done background work on Peterson

NBA set to earn $700M through streaming deal in China

Wade Phillips is the best coordinator hire this offseason

Bill Belichick gives understated scouting report of Tom Brady

Five teams that failed to improve this offseason

Steelers fans were more profane on social media

Most unexpected MLB free agent signings of past 10 years

Five most villainous Super Bowls of all time

Super Bowl ad focuses on acceptance of gay athletes

Foster says UT boosters paid him $40-50K while in college

Ranking the repeat Super Bowl champions

Eric Decker to Sherman: Time your conception a little better

Could Katy Perry and Russell Wilson be dating?

The Media isn't the villain we deserve, but it's the one we need

Are LeBron and the Cavs ready to make a run?

The Super Bowl and the things that can't be controlled

DeMarcus Cousins calls out writer for five-year-old tweet

What if Drew Bledsoe didn't get injured in 2001?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 13 things we want to see in Super Bowl XLIX

Tiger Woods, misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Ranking the repeat SB champions

Roger Goodell grilled on Deflategate

Katy Perry, Russell Wilson dating?

Rex Ryan has advice for Seahawks

Super Bowl: Things you can't control

LeBron and the Cavs are ready to make a run

Cousins calls out writer's old tweet

Seahawks praise Brady's trash-talk

Who should be in 2015 HOF class

Rex Ryan downplays Deflategate

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.