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Verlander Wants To Be First $200M Pitcher

Feb 22, 2013 5:33 PM EST

Justin Verlander wants to win, but also wants to be baseball's first $200 million pitcher.

"Of course," he told Yahoo! Sports. "I don't play this game to make the most money. But I do feel like it would be nice to be compensated for what I feel like I've been: one of the best, if not the best, the last few years. In my career, I feel like I've been one of the top. But the last two years, I've kind of separated myself, me and a handful of other guys.

"It's not a thing where I'm like, 'Hey, I want to be the highest-paid player,' where that's the chief goal. It innately comes with my competitiveness. That's just me. That's not why I play the game. I'm good at the game because of that side of me, because I'm competitive at everything I do."

Verlander noted that "free agency is really cool," though he made certain to note: "I don't think you have to be a free agent to get [$200 million]," an indication that his preference is to stay with the Tigers.

"I think free agency is really cool and would be a great experience," he said. "I would like to experience it, to be honest with you. But if Detroit comes along and says, 'Hey, here's an offer you can't turn down,' I'm not going to turn it down."

Via Jeff Passan/Yahoo! Sports