Tigers’ Justin Verlander: Oakland Made Samardzija Trade ‘Because Of Us’

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Houston AstrosThe Oakland Athletics lost the 2012 and 2013 American League Division Series to the Detroit Tigers. Both years, it came down to Game 5, and both years they lost at the hands of Tigers ace Justin Verlander.

On Friday, the A’s acquired starting pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Chicago Cubs in a blockbuster trade, and Verlander believes it had something to do with the past two years.

“They made that trade because of us,” Verlander told the Detroit Free Press. “If they want to win a World Series, they are envisioning that they have to go through us.”

The Tigers and A’s have both been sitting pretty at the top of their respective divisions, so it’s not entirely unbelievable that 2014 could bring us yet another A’s-Tigers ALDS. But Oakland general manager Billy Beane isn’t looking that far ahead.

“I think it’s a bit arrogant and presumptuous to think this is a postseason move,” Beane said, as reported by CNS Bay Area. “We’ve got two teams behind us that are not going away. Our priority is try to win the division first, then worry about the postseason. … I’m not real comfortable talking about October in July, especially with Mike Trout hitting game-winning homers every night.”

Photo via Troy Taormina-USA Today Sports

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