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Tigers would like to have Verlander ‘for a long time’

Whether you buy the rumors ofa possible Curtis Granderson trade or not, their most valuable asset is ace Justin Verlander. The 26-year-old workhorse was 19-9 with a 3.45 ERA in 2009, leading the majors with 35 starts, 240 innings pitched and 269 strikeouts.

Whilestopping short of deeming any player “untouchable,”general manager Dave Dombrowskiacknowledged that he would like to keep him around for a while:

“I won’t get into that because that is best kept internal,” he said. “But it is safe to say that we would like to have Justin in the organization for a long time.”

Verlander is under team control for two more seasons. He earned $3.75 million in 2009, and should see a huge raise this winter. If he stays healthy, he’ll surely sign a contract that will top the $100 million threshold. Fortunately for the Tigers, they have Dontrelle Willis, Nate Robertson, Jeremy Bonderman and possibly Magglio Ordonez coming off the books after 2010.