In the race to become the first $200 million arm, Justin Verlander has made it clear: Much like everything else he does, he wants to win.

"Of course," he told Yahoo! Sports on Friday morning. "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 said "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 Detroit Tigers, with whom the 30-year-old has spent his entire career.

"I think free agency is really cool and would be a great experience," Verlander 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."