The Cubs reportedly have interest in Tigers ace Justin Verlander and catcher Alex Avila.

By Jeremy Woo
July 04, 2017

The Chicago Cubs have reached out to express interest in Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander and catcher Alex Avlia, MLB.com’s Jon Morosi reports.

The Tigers are reportedly willing to move either of the veteran players, but no formal negotiations have begun. 

The defending champion Cubs have had major struggles throughout their rotation this season and could bolster their pitching with the addition of Verlander as they try and make a postseason push. Chicago is 41–41 and 2 1/2 games out of first in the NL Central.

Verlander has struggled this season, with a 4.96 ERA and having just thrown perhaps his worst start of the year (he allowed seven earned runs in 3 1/3 innings with no strikeouts in a game the Cubs reportedly sent a scout to watch). But he finished second in AL Cy Young voting last season and has a proven history of postseason success.

Avila, 30, is hitting .310 with 10 home runs and a .431 on-base percentage in what’s been a resurgent season. The Cubs have not gotten consistent production out of the catcher spot, with Willson Contreras hitting .254. After designating Miguel Montero for assignment, adding Avila’s bat and experience into the mix behind the plate could provide a boost.

The Tigers are 36–45 and eight games out in the AL Central.

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