The afterglow of the blockbuster trade that sent Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Athletics continues apace. Now, Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander has weighed in on what he sees as the tacit implications of said blockbuster. Here are the relevant tweets from MLB.com's Jason Beck ...
Verlander on A's trade: "When I saw that trade, I thought that they made that trade for us. No doubt about it in my mind."— Jason Beck (@beckjason) July 5, 2014
More Verlander: "If they want to win a World Series, they're envisioning they're going to have to go through us."— Jason Beck (@beckjason) July 5, 2014
To be sure, the A's in each of the last two seasons have been eliminated by the Tigers in the ALDS. As well, the Tigers swept the A's in the 2006 ALCS, when Verlander was the 23-year-old AL Rookie of the Year. Since Oakland and Detroit are both in playoff position at the moment, yet another postseason encounter is indeed a possibility.
All that said, the guess here is that GM Billy Beane made this move with the Angels and Mariners in mind. First things first, and all that. No doubt, though, he's acutely aware of the A's recent history of early playoff exits.
On another yet similar level, Verlander and the Tigers of course need to take of AL Central business before they start worrying about potential playoff encounters.