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Brad Ausmus says Justin Verlander will start for Tigers on Opening Day

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It’s a little early for this sort of thing, but Tigers manager Brad Ausmus was asked the question and gave the obvious answer Tuesday at spring training in Lakeland, Florida.

Justin Verlander will take the mound for the Tigers on Opening Day, April 5 against the Marlins. Ausmus only qualified his selection of Verlander with a “barring something unforeseen.”

Verlander got off to a late start in 2015, but he registered a cool 3.38 ERA and 1.09 WHIP across 133 1/3 innings after debuting in mid-June. It was the first time since 2006 that the veteran right-hander had not reached the 200-inning plateau.

Verlander, 33 next week, is owed $28 million per year over the next four years.

Report: Momentum in talks between Mariners, Jon Jay

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that there is some momentum in talks between the Mariners and free agent outfielder Jon Jay.

Jay, 32, hit .296/.374/.375 in 433 plate appearances with the Cubs last season, which is adequate. He’s heralded more for his defense and his ability to play all three outfield spots.

The Mariners are losing center fielder Jarrod Dyson to free agency and likely don’t want to rely on Guillermo Heredia next season, hence the interest in Jay. The free agent class for center fielders is otherwise relatively weak.