Verlander, Tigers nearing long-term talks

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Tigers ace Justin Verlander told MLB.com’s Jason Beck on Thursday that he expects to engage in long-term contract talks with the club soon after his 2010 salary is decided. 

Verlander requested $9.5 million and was offered $6.9 million from the Tigers when arbitration figures were exchanged on Tuesday.  The two sides obviously disagree on his current value, but perhaps the arbitration-related discussions will help establish some sort of common ground moving forward.

“I think Dave [Dombrowski’s] quote is that they want me around for a
long time. I want to be here for a long time,” Verlander said Thursday
afternoon. “I know I love it here, and I know I’d like to be here for a long time,
but that has not been discussed yet. We’ll see. We’ll cross that bridge
when that comes.”

The right-hander, who turns 27 in February, went 19-9 last season with a 3.45 ERA and led all American League pitchers with 269 strikeouts in 240 innings.