When the detroit tigers traded Justin Verlander to the Houston Astros, I said this could be one of the worst trades in Tigers history. Every start that JV makes for Houston, it looks more and more like this trade may go down as not just one of the worst deals the Tigers ever agreed to, but one of the worst by any of the four major sports teams in Detroit.

Addition by subtraction?

I'm sticking by my prediction that the Tigers will contend for the AL Central Crown this year. Yes, I was laughed at when I said they will be relevant in late July and early August this season, and I still am by my friends who love sports as much as I do.

However, the difference in attitude that Ron Gardenhire has struck under this team is incredible. These guys believe they can win every game, and anyone who has played sports knows that believing is half of the battle.

Forget the Tigers' record at the moment, which is 12-16, and that the AL Central is the weakest division in the American League. It is May 2, and the Tigers, who were supposed to lose 110 games this season according to most MLB experts and possibly be the worst team to ever hit the diamond, are just three games out of first place.

Now just imagine if Justin Verlander was still the number one starter on the Tigers' roster.

Youth excelling

Trading Alex Avila and Justin Wilson to the Chicago Cubs for Jeimer Candelario looks like it's going to be a winning proposition for Detroit.

Not re-signing JD Martinez also doesn't look so bad as Nick Castellanos is improving every day in right field -- not to mention he is tearing the cover off the ball.

Candelario, along with former Cubs outfielder Leonys Martín have made baseball interesting at Comerica so far in 2018. Both are playing very well and should be part of the Tigers organization for many years to come.

While Martin is 30, he still has plenty left in the tank. Candelario, on the other hand, is just 24 and should own the Tigers' hot corner for as long as he continues to perform well.

Another bright spot has been starting pitcher Matthew Boyd. The lefty has been miles better than his 1-2 record, and looks to have cemented his spot in the rotation for seasons to come.

With an ERA of 2.48, 21 K's in 29 innings and a WHIP of 1.09, the 27-year-old has been mighty impressive in the early stages of the season.

So the future is not as bad as it seems -- yet the Justin Verlander trade still sticks in my craw.

Maybe it’s because the guy has yet to lose in the regular season for the Houston Astros -- he is a perfect 9-0 since trading in the old English D for a Houston Star. Or perhaps it's because he was named the 2017 ALCS MVP after beating the Yankees twice and having an ERA under 1.00. Or maybe it is just the fact that he can still perform at a high level and could be helping the Tigers shock the baseball world in 2018.

If I were the Tigers' GM, JV would have spent two or three more years as a starter, then I would have moved him into the Tigers' bullpen as the closer for the next three seasons or so.

John Smoltz did it. So did Dennis Eckersley. Justin Verlander could do it too. Well, one can dream, right?

Some players you just shouldn’t trade. Steve Yzerman, Isiah Thomas, Al Kaline, Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker, and Justin Verlander.

Don’t get me wrong, in the end, JV chose to leave, proving once again that unlike 20-30 years ago, loyalty is a thing of the past. Winning a World Series ring had to be sweet for Verlander, but winning one with the Tigers would have been sweeter.

Okay, no more Verlander talk -- until the Tigers organization admits I was right and they were wrong.

Since they haven't sought my counsel, it is time for me to move on.

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