Tigers Notes: Verlander, Sanchez, Leyland

Right-hander Phil Hughes has one tough assignment tonight: defeat Justin Verlander and the Tigers in an immensely important game at a time that the Yankees' offense is scuffling. Here are some notes on the Tigers, who will look to take a 3-0 lead in the ALCS when they host the Yankees tonight…

  • The Tigers can't be sure they'll get another equally good opportunity to win the World Series, so they must take advantage of their current position, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports writes. Though Verlander has said he loves playing in Detroit, the right-hander knows he's just two seasons away from free agency. The Tigers could look to extend Verlander this coming offseason, but they’d have to pay him a salary commensurate with his status as baseball’s best pitcher.
  • Tigers executives believe there’s a good chance Anibal Sanchez will want to re-sign in Detroit if they make him a competitive offer when he hits free agency after the season, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports.
  • The Red Sox would be crazy not to make a serious run at Tigers manager Jim Leyland if he becomes available, John Tomase of the Boston Herald writes. Leyland's contract expires at the end of the 2012 season at which point he could discuss a new deal with the Tigers.