LAKELAND, Fla. -- Justin Verlander was asked about the $200 million pitcher comment that appeared on Yahoo Sports. He owned the comment, but his point was this: If you're answering honestly, isn't there an obvious answer?
"Wouldn't you like to be the first $200 million writer?" Verlander asked.
He wasn't trying to say he'd be hitting the open market looking for every last dollar, he explained. He was just stating the obvious answer to an obvious question.
"When people ask me questions, you guys you know me, I'm honest and I talk about things," Verlander said. "The question was posed to me: 'Do you want to be the first $200 million pitcher?' Well, yeah. What kind of question is that? Of course I do. …
"I don't want to be seen as the greedy guy that wants to get paid the best because, whatever. But, like I said, if the question's posed to me, I'm honest."
As for his on-field matters, Verlander said he liked his mix of pitches in his first Spring Training start. Though he hung a changeup or two early on, he used his offspeed pitch for a strikeout of Darin Ruf after Ryan Howard's leadoff double in the second. He also threw his first sliders of the spring, though he didn't get the results on them he would've liked.
Verlander doesn't throw the slider in early spring workouts, or even in his side sessions between starts, because he doesn't want to tax his arm.
There was at least one question, though, that he answered mysteriously. When asked if he had any new pitches or new approaches going this spring that he was open to discuss, he shook his head.
"No. Not yet," he said. "I've got some ideas."