Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/20/14

Justin Verlander is set to become a free agent at the end of the 2014 season if the Detroit Tigers do not sign him to an extension before then. Earlier this week, the Seattle Mariners signed ace Felix Hernandez to a seven-year, $175 million deal. Hernandez is only 26 and already one of the best pitchers in the game, so the deal can be considered somewhat of a hometown discount for the Mariners. What does it mean for Verlander? Verlander won the American League Cy Young and MVP awards in 2011. He has led the AL in strikeouts in three of the past four seasons and has been incredibly durable, pitching more than 200 innings in every season since 2007. The right-hander will be 31 in 2014, and speculation has already begun that he could be the first pitcher ever to ink a $200 million contract. On Tuesday, John Paul Morosi of FOX Sports asked Verlander if he is curious about the open market. “Absolutely,” he said. “I think that’d be a blast. If I have two more years like I just had, it would be pretty interesting. You know how competitive I am. It’s kind of fun thinking about having teams battle for you.” That’s easy for Verlander to say at the moment, since the Tigers have not opened any type of discussion about a potential extension. However, he did add that he would love to stay in Detroit if the team had him in their long-term plans. “If they were to start talking about an extension and say, ‘We only have a two-year window to win a World Series,’ that’s not exactly what I want to hear — and I don’t think that’s the case whatsoever,” he said. “You look at Mr. Ilitch. He’s been — in my opinion — the best owner in baseball. A year ago he signed a guy [Fielder] to a 9-year, $200-million-something dollar deal. That shows you it’s not just a ‘window’ plan. It’s a ‘future’ plan. “If they did want to extend (my contract), obviously that would take quite a commitment on their part. That shows a sign, too, that they’re planning for the future.” No matter how loyal a player is to his team, the concept of teams fighting it out for the right to spend $200 million on you is fun to think about. The Tigers are one of a handful of teams who can afford someone like Verlander. If they’re wise, they won’t let him hit the open market. Photo credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE The post Justin Verlander sounds interested in exploring free agency appeared first on Larry Brown Sports. Related posts: Justin Verlander’s ‘Bringing it’ License Plate, Cocky Much? Justin Verlander has his own ‘Fastball Flakes’ cereal (Picture) Erick Aybar Bunted During Justin Verlander’s No-Hitter … So What

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Ray Rice wins appeal, can sign with any team

Athletics deal Josh Donaldson to Blue Jays for Brett Lawrie

Ohio governor decrees playoff committee honorary Ohioans

Lance Stephenson becoming a problem with the Hornets?

Tony Romo: I promise I'll be better next week

Seahawks could wait to address Russell Wilson's contract

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: SMU football to hire Clemson offensive coordinator

Dez Bryant: Eagles were ‘kinda cheap’

Hockey goalie rushes into stands to perform CPR on fan

49ers CEO Jed York apologizes for unacceptable performance

Family searching for missing Ohio State football player

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE, says he'll never return

Mavs' Aminu knocks padding off backboard with dunk

What if the Chargers refused to trade Eli Manning?

Why is there a red seat hanging in the Mall of America?

WATCH: Mickey Rourke TKO’d a man half his age in Moscow

What's next for the 49ers?

The most tone-deaf tweet ever?

Five bold predictions for Week 13 in the NFL

Brady Quinn pens 'note' to Jets quarterback Geno Smith

Bills center Eric Wood gained 7.4 pounds at Thanksgiving

Cubs reliever somehow OK after being involved in awful accident

Seahawks players throw shade at 49ers after victory

Five takeaways from NFL's Thanksgiving Day action

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.

What if the Chargers didn't trade Eli?

Dez Bryant: Eagles were ‘kinda cheap’

Ray Rice wins appeal, can sign with any team

What's next for the 49ers?

The most tone-deaf tweet ever?

Is Lance a problem for the Hornets?

5 NFL takeaways from Thanksgiving

WATCH: Ronda Rousey talks Eminem

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE

Wrigley renovation may be delayed

Steelers could have been America's Team

John Beilein upset with ESPN

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.