NEW YORK — After leading their teams to last year’s World Series, Justin Verlander and Buster Posey cashed in hours apart Friday.
The All-Star pitcher and MVP catcher were guaranteed nearly $350 million in contracts by the Tigers and Giants, a sign of the baseball times: Teams are awash with revenue from television and high-priced tickets.
Verlander, an AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner for Detroit, agreed to a $180 million, seven-year deal with the Tigers that is the richest for a pitcher and prevents him from becoming a free agent after the 2014 season.
Posey, the batting champion who led San Francisco to a pair of World Series titles in the past three years, received a $167 million, nine-year deal from the Giants. The catcher could not have gone on the market until after the 2016 season.
“Contracts like that that you’re seeing are a product of really strong revenue growth in the industry,” said Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball’s executive vice president of economics and league affairs.
And the spending might not be done yet.
Clayton Kershaw, who can go free after the 2014 season, could get a new deal from the Los Angeles Dodgers. The 2011 NL Cy Young winner said he won’t talk contract during the season; the Dodgers would want to hold off announcing an agreement until after opening day so that it would not add to their 2013 luxury tax bill.
Where is all the money coming from?
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig expects revenue to top $8 billion for the first time this year.
MLB last year agreed to eight-year contracts with News Corp’s Fox and with Turner Sports that run from 2014-21 and increase average annual revenue from about $500 million to roughly $800 million. ESPN and MLB reached a deal covering 2014-21 that hikes the average yearly payment from about $360 million to approximately $700 million.
And then there are big-money local deals. The Dodgers are creating a cable network with Time Warner Cable that assures the team more than $7 billion over 25 years. News Corp. is paying the Yankees’ owners $500 million as part of a deal that could allow it up to 80 percent ownership of the YES Network.
Venters to visit Andrews
Braves reliever Jonny Venters will have his ailing left elbow examined by Dr. James Andrews.
Team officials say Venters will see the noted orthopedic surgeon Wednesday after the pitcher felt tightness in the elbow during his last spring training appearance.
Venters had to come out of Tuesday’s game against Detroit and likely will start the season on the disabled list, clearing the way for the Braves to keep Cristhian Martinez and Anthony Varvaro on the 25-man roster. Both are out of minor league options.
Teixeira losing brace
New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira hopes to get the protective brace on his injured right wrist removed Monday.
Speaking before New York’s 4-2 exhibition game victory against Washington on Friday, Teixeira said his goal is to rejoin the Yankees as soon as May 1.
Tejada makes Royals’ roster
Former AL MVP Miguel Tejada has made the Kansas City Royals’ opening-day roster as a utility infielder.
The 38-year-old is a six-time All-Star who last played in the major leagues in 2011 with the San Francisco Giants. He hit .239 with four homers and 26 RBIs in 322 at-bats.