Tigers invest $80 million in ace Justin Verlander

The Detroit Tigers have invested in their future. The Tigers signed ace Justin Verlander to an $80 million, five-year contract on Thursday. Verlander's deal includes a $500,000 signing bonus, $6.75 million for this season, $12.75 million for next year and $20 million in each of the following three seasons when he could've been a free agent. The 2006 AL Rookie of the Year won 19 games last season, matching baseball's highest total. He led the majors with 269 strikeouts, 240 innings pitched and 35 starts in 2009 and had a career-best 3.45 ERA. Signing him made a splash for Detroit, which began the offseason in a cost-cutting mode by trading All-Stars Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson and choosing not to re-sign relievers Fernando Rodney and Brandon Lyon. (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)