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Tigers not affected by Trade Deadline talk

Ausmus says chatter doesn't change approach on the field
MLB.com @beckjason

SEATTLE -- There is no panic at Safeco, from what Tigers manager Brad Ausmus can see. There shouldn't be any pressing, either, at least not about the Trade Deadline.

Though Detroit entered Wednesday's game against the Mariners having lost nine of 12 to fall six games under .500, with the Trade Deadline about six weeks away, Ausmus said it's not a factor for them right now. In that sense, he echoed comments made by his left fielder, Justin Upton, after Tuesday's walk-off loss.

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SEATTLE -- There is no panic at Safeco, from what Tigers manager Brad Ausmus can see. There shouldn't be any pressing, either, at least not about the Trade Deadline.

Though Detroit entered Wednesday's game against the Mariners having lost nine of 12 to fall six games under .500, with the Trade Deadline about six weeks away, Ausmus said it's not a factor for them right now. In that sense, he echoed comments made by his left fielder, Justin Upton, after Tuesday's walk-off loss.

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Yet as the Tigers sat in the clubhouse at Safeco Field and prepared for batting practice, it was right in their face. MLB Network entertained the question of whether the Tigers should sell at the Deadline, given their situation, and who should be on the trade block.

"They know it's there," Ausmus acknowledged, "but when you're in the game, that's not on your mind. I think if there's pressing, it's because they want to contribute, they want to win, they want to help the team score or make the big pitch. But they're not out in the field worrying about the Trade Deadline."

Whether they worry about it off the field is a trickier matter.

"It's hard to [ignore]," Ausmus said. "That's why, even as a player, I never really read the paper. I might have watched ESPN. MLB Network was just getting started when I was a player. But it's hard. You can't un-read something. You can't un-see something.

"I do think a lot of these guys now come up with social media a part of their lives and they're much more adept at tuning out the crap than maybe I would be. My way of dealing with it was not to listen to it, not worry about it. Doesn't mean anything. They're just trying to fill their time. MLB Network has 24 hours to fill with just baseball."

The Tigers forced extra innings Tuesday with help from two players who could potentially be available in the trade market. Ian Kinsler manufactured an eighth-inning run with a walk and two stolen bases before scoring on a wild pitch. Closer Justin Wilson entered in the ninth inning to retire Robinson Cano and force extra innings.

That's part of the daily duty of playing to win a baseball game, Upton said, not part of a larger effort to prove this team has enough to contend and shouldn't be broken up at next month's Deadline. Still, Jordan Zimmermann acknowledged they have enough time to put together a good stretch and stay close enough in contention to at least keep the team together.

Even when they're trying to ignore it, they're acknowledging it.

After Wednesday's 7-5 loss, Justin Verlander -- potentially a trade target if the Tigers look to overhaul the roster -- downplayed the pressure of the Trade Deadline.

"Most of these guys have been around long enough to not add pressure to themselves for unnecessary things that are out of your control," Verlander said. "Is there pressure to play good baseball? Yeah, but I don't think there's any added pressure to say, 'Hey, Trade Deadline's looming.' I think everybody's aware, but not handcuffed by it."

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Detroit Tigers