Players do not often reveal their motivations these days. It can hurt their contract negotiations when working on an extension. Justin Verlander is not concerned with that, though. At the Detroit Tigers' annual luncheon, Verlander made no secret of his desire to spend the rest of his career in Detroit.
Jason Beck of MLB.com says the question about what Verlander wants to do as his career continues came up because of Verlander's contract status. He still has two years left on his deal, but when someone is as good as Verlander, questions about contract status start a little earlier. Verlander may have put some minds at ease with his answers.
"I've made this point before, that the ultimate goal for me is the Hall of Fame, and I would like nothing better than to go into the Hall of Fame with the Old English 'D' on my chest. That doesn't happen too often nowadays, for somebody to play with a team through their whole career. You see Chipper Jones, what he did, that's something special."
Verlander can pretty much call his own shots at this point. He is not an injury concern (although, an injury can happen at anytime and change things), and he constantly eats up innings for the Tigers. He does so while pitching in a dominant fashion.
Verlander has six-straight seasons of 200+ innings-pitched. He is of the mindset that setting pitch counts and limiting pitchers does not actually help a pitcher stay healthy. Maybe he has a point, or maybe he has been lucky health-wise. It doesn't matter as long as he stays on the field. He has a 124-65 record to go along with a 3.40 ERA and over 1400 strikeouts. His ultimate goal of the Hall of Fame is within reach, but will he actually finish his career in Detroit?
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