Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez, left, shares a laugh with team owner Mike Ilitch, Friday, Nov. 14, 2014 in Detroit, after agreeing to terms on a four-year contract through the 2018 season. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio
November 16, 2014

DETROIT (AP) It's not often a general manager has to defend bringing back the runner-up in the MVP race, but Detroit's Dave Dombrowski faced an obvious question after signing Victor Martinez to another four-year deal.

Even though Martinez had perhaps his best season in 2014 at age 35, it's fair to wonder how he'll hold up as he approaches the end of his career.

Dombrowski says there's always some risk with a long-term contract, but Martinez is a very unusual hitter.

The Tigers signed Martinez to a $68 million, four-year contract that said plenty about their commitment to keeping the AL Central champions largely intact.

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