Justin Verlander tips cap to fans in what could be last Tigers start

— -- With the trade deadline a day away, Justin Verlander considers himself in a win-win situation, as he wouldn't mind staying with the Detroit Tigers and has control over which teams can acquire him.

Verlander pitched six scoreless innings Sunday against the Houston Astros in what could be his last start for the Tigers.

Asked afterward if he considers himself in a win-win situation, he said "that's probably a good assessment."

"I guess that makes it easier on my personally. I definitely would not be upset about staying here in Detroit, and again, because I control my own destiny, it wouldn't be somewhere I don't want to go [if a trade happens]," he said.

Verlander has a full no-trade clause in his contract, which runs through 2020. His salary is $28 million this season and for each of the next two seasons. In 2020, his salary is $22 million.

Verlander got the win, improving to 6-7, as the Tigers defeated the Astros 13-1. Verlander gave up five singles and three walks while striking out six. When he left the mound, he tipped his cap to the fans in the stands, who gave him a long standing ovation.

He also received a standing ovation when he left the mound in his previous start Monday against the Kansas City Royals. He didn't tip his cap that time, and he said he wanted to make up for that on Sunday.

"I was a little remiss. I didn't do it last time, just in case because you never know. This time, I wanted to make sure I acknowledged them," he said. "I appreciate what these fans ... they've always had my back, and I appreciate it."

Verlander, 34, said he will approach the next day as "business as usual, unless I hear different."

Verlander, who has won Rookie of the Year (2006), Cy Young and MVP awards (both in 2011) with the Tigers, was asked by reporters if he thought about what it would be like to play for a team that can win a World Series.

"I've felt like that for 12 years here with this team and had a couple of opportunities at it but didn't quite win it all," he said. "I know what it feels like to play for a team that can win the World Series. It's winning it that's evaded me."