Verlander: Trade rumors 'on my mind, that's for sure'

The Detroit Tigers are on pace to miss the postseason for a third straight year, and as the front office attempts to clear salary, veteran players have spent the bulk of the season hearing their names involved in trade rumors.

No player has faced more speculation than right-hander Justin Verlander, who was once again linked to the Houston Astros on Tuesday.

While Verlander has the ability to block any trade due to owning 10-and-5 rights, he admits the constant reports regarding a potential deal have been weighing on his mind.

"I have the ultimate say-so, so I guess that makes it a little bit easier," Verlander told Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press. "There is no kind of like, questioning everyday if I'm going to be coming in and going somewhere else because they have to approach me first. So I guess that makes it a little bit easier.

"I'd be lying if I said it wasn't on my mind, my dreams tell me otherwise. I think I do a pretty good job when I come here to the ballpark of kind of putting everything in the back of my mind and going about my business and trying to prepare to pitch every fifth game but there's been some nights where I wake up and remember dreams of whatever. I mean, who knows what team I'm going to or whatever. It's on my mind, that's for sure. But it's not going to limit or prohibit me from doing my job here."

Selected with the Tigers' second overall pick in the 2004 draft, Verlander has spent his entire career in Detroit. He's a six-time All-Star as well as a Cy Young and MVP winner, and has thrown a pair of no-hitters. He'll go down as one of the best pitchers in franchise history.

Verlander is under contract through the next two seasons, with a vesting option in 2020 that could see him with the Tigers through his age-37 season. He's said he'd like to stay and win in Detroit, but has acknowledged playing out the year without the thought of the postseason is challenging.

"It sucks but that's part of the game," Verlander told Fenech. "I've been pretty fortunate here to be in the hunt for 10 out of my 12 years at this point in the season. I've been very fortunate and hopefully that can continue but for right now, I think you gotta go out there and do your job. We're still professionals."

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