Though Tigers ace Justin Verlander hasn't made a final decision, there is said to be new optimism that Verlander will join the Team USA for the WBC, baseball sources said.

Verlander will decide by February 20 whether he can take a final pitching spot on the USA team. Verlander's inclusion would be a major boost to a rotation that won't have Clayton Kershaw, David Price or CC Sabathia, and now won't have Andy Pettitte and Kris Medlen, who both have bowed out.

People familiar with the situation say Verlander would love to be on the team but caution that it still depends on how his early training goes. Tigers people say Verlander's program had him still strong at the end of last season (which is obvious from his October performance save the World Series game), but he ran out of gas late in 2011.

White Sox star pitcher Jake Peavy is also thought to be a possible candidate for Team USA.