Justin Verlander and Buster Posey just got a whole lot richer.
The best players at their respective positions (and former MVPs) became the most recent additions to baseball's ever-growing $100 million contract club. Following a winter in which David Wright, Evan Longoria, Zack Greinke, Josh Hamilton, and Felix Hernandez signed nine-figure contracts, Posey and Verlander secured massive paydays for themselves.
Posey inked a nine-year, $164 million contract extension with the San Francisco Giants to rival Joe Mauer's $184 million dollar deal for most money ever given to a backstop. Like Mauer, Posey is a fan favorite expected to be the face of his franchise. His deal includes a full no-trade clause as well as a club option for 2022, so it seems safe to say he'll stick around in San Francisco for the next decade at least.
Posey just turned 26 but has already accomplished more than many players do in their entire careers. He's been named Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Player, and Comeback Player of the Year. He owns a pair of World Series rings, a batting title and a Silver Slugger award. He's started an All-Star Game and won a batting title. Better yet, he's just coming into his prime and should be a superstar for years to come.
Justin Verlander's extension makes his contract the richest for a pitcher in the history of the sport, topping the $175 million Seattle gave to Felix Hernandez in February. Verlander was already signed through 2014 and will rake in $20 million in both of the next two seasons before his five-year, $140 million contract kicks in. His deal also includes a $22 million vesting option for 2020.
Though the Tiger ace just turned 30, he's one of the sport's most durable hurlers, not to mention most dominant. I can't argue against paying top dollar for elite starting pitching because if there's any workhorse worth breaking the bank for, it's Verlander. The reigning AL champs can only hope that Verlander's career doesn't fizzle out in his 30s like Johan Santana's or Pedro Martinez's.
The real question is: which baseball star is next in line to re-up with his team for big money? Will the Yankees keep Robinson Cano? Can Boston afford Jacoby Ellsbury? Will the Giants invest in Tim Lincecum, too?
Only time will tell.