The Detroit Tigers are not performing like many MLB experts believed they would so far in 2017, but does that mean they should throw out the anchor on the season before the 4th of July or the 2017 MLB All-Star game? Rumor has it that several key players on the Tigers are reportedly being shopped around, including long-time ace Justin Verlander.

According to several sports media outlets and websites, many MLB executives believe that the Tigers will start listening to offers for their long-time ace as the trade deadline nears. This MLB rumor has many Tigers fans scratching their heads somewhat in disbelief.

Next 7 days could sway Tigers thinking

Justin Verlander has easily been one of the Tigers best pitchers since he joined the team over a decade ago. While he has lost a bit of his fastball and isn’t as intimidating as he once was, he is still one of the top competitors in the league and has a few years left in the tank.

With the huge contract that Verlander is currently under in Detroit, trading him wouldn’t be as easy as it sounds. If the Tigers did find a suitor, what would they get in return? Prospects? The Tigers are built to win now and have the talent to do so, but trading away stars like Verlander because of a slow start could backfire on them in a hurry.

In sports, winning solves all problems.

Right now the Detroit Tigers seem like they are in a fog, but with a four-game series scheduled this weekend against the Cleveland Indians, Detroit could right the entire ship by winning three out of four against the first place Indians. The AL Central division is so log-jammed that a series sweep of Cleveland could take Detroit from last place to nearly first.

Verlander the next best closer?

For those who think JV is washed up and the Tigers should trade him, consider this. Maybe, just maybe, if the Tigers could actually put together a winning streak you would see a better Verlander, as well as a more lively team.

Winning breeds winning, and losing is contagious. If Detroit traded Verlander and he ended up like Randy Johnson or Roger Clemens, fans would be even more devastated.

When former all-star left-hander Randy Johnson was 34, Seattle Mariners fans were ready to see him leave. Johnson had compiled a high ERA (4.33) and Seattle management thought his best days were behind him. After a late deadline deal saw Johnson traded to the Houston Astros, he went 10-1 in the second half of the season and posted an incredible 1.28 ERA. In 2001 Johnson finished with a 21-6 record at the age of 37. While Verlander isn’t Randy Johnson, he has many of the same qualities.

Instead of dealing JV, like the Mariners did with Johnson, why not make Verlander the Tigers new closer?

The Tigers don't have a real stopper on this team, and JV has the stuff to be one of the best. Former greats like John Smoltz and Dennis Eckersley made the transition to closer and took their career to a whole new level. Verlander has that type of ability.

The only problem with making him the closer now is that outside of Michael Fulmer and Jordan Zimmermann, the Tigers starters have not been all that great. Moving JV to the bullpen this season may not work, but could be a great move in a year or two.

While sports is a business, and fans know that more than ever in this day and age, sometimes trading a guy who is a good player, and even a better person in the community, can come back to haunt a team for years to come. JV should be a Tiger for life, and unless some team offers an incredible deal that seems too good to pass up, trading Justin Verlander should not be an option.