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Justin Verlander on trade talk: ‘Where there’s smoke, there’s fire’

Justin Verlander acknowledged and was realistic about the trade rumors swirling around him, saying Wednesday, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”

The Detroit Tigers are 37-46, seven games back in the AL Central and 6.5 games out in the Wild Card. A rebuild arguably may be in order for the Tigers, and if so, Verlander obviously would be among the longtime stars who could be dealt.

With the July 31 MLB trade deadline looming, Verlander understands rumors of his possible exodus out of Detroit is something he’ll have to accept. He added it is “all speculation” when it comes to a preference about remaining with the Tigers. This comment falls in line with his comments during the offseason about not wanting to go through a rebuild, saying  in January he’s “too old” to be part of such a restart.

Verlander, 34, does have the ability to veto any trade and acknowledged the chance to play for a contender could help sway him. He also added that Tigers GM Al Avila has been “very forthcoming” about any developments. But in the end, Verlander knows  baseball is a business first and foremost.

“It’s just the way sports are now. It’s the aberration the other way around, to stay with one organization your entire career, the (Derek) Jeters, the Chipper Jones of the world,” Verlander said, via CBS Detroit. “Ideally, you’d like that to happen. Fortunately, I can control my own destiny, but it’s one of those things — if the organization thinks it’s best for them, if I think it’s best for me, there’s a lot of variables that go into it.

“But obviously where there’s smoke, there’s fire. It’s not completely out of the realm of possibility, obviously.”

In the end, Verlander will do his best to ignore the noise and stay focused on the task at hand leading up to the trade deadline.

“Just worry about what you can control, while you can control it — my bullpen today, which went great, my start Saturday, All-Star break vacation. That’s what’s in the forefront of my mind now,” Verlander said. “Just trying to keep it business as usual.”