Want to make $200 million? Sure he does.

Interested in free agency? Yes to that, too.

Justin Verlander answered the questions honestly. When interviewed about his future by Yahoo! Sports last Friday, he said what he felt because he's not one to mince words.

After his first outing of the spring Sunday — he allowed one run in two innings of a 5-5 tie in 10 innings against the Phillies — the Tigers ace said he hopes the fans understood what he meant.

"I was asked if I wanted to be the first $200 million pitcher," Verlander said. "What kind of question is that? Of course I do. I don't think it came across bad, but not quite the way I envisioned. I don't want to be seen as the greedy guy who wants to be paid the best because of … whatever. But the question was posed to me and I'm honest."

Verlander also is honest about what his first outing of any spring always means.

"Just loosening everything up and trying to hit my spots," the right-hander said.

But it wasn't close to the feeling of a regular-season game. That doesn't kick in, Verlander said, "until you start going five or six innings."

Looking like he's completely back from the knee injury that cost him all of 2012, DH Victor Martinez was the hitting hero for the Tigers with a home run and two singles Sunday.

"Sometimes guys coming off a knee injury look like they don't trust the knee," Verlander said. "But I've seen Victor all spring and he's trusting it

'That's fantastic news for this ballclub."

The subject of Verlander's next contract is pertinent, though, because he can be a free agent after 2014 — and a premier player's second-to-last year before free agency, without the clock ticking loudly, often is when mega-contracts get done.



From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130224/SPORTS0104/302240338#ixzz2LvCTZIvk