Justin Verlander, Alex Avila Reportedly Receiving Trade Interest from Cubs

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 4, 2017

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) pitches against the Cleveland Indians in the first inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Sunday, July 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)
Rick Osentoski/Associated Press

The Chicago Cubs are looking for help before the trade deadline with a pair of Detroit Tigers stars currently being targeted.

According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the Cubs have asked about both pitcher Justin Verlander and catcher Alex Avila, although negotiations haven't yet begun.

Morosi also noted the Cubs had scouts in attendance Sunday when Verlander got rocked by the Cleveland Indians, allowing seven earned runs in 3.1 innings.

Consistency has been a problem this year for the 34-year-old pitcher, who has a 5-5 record and 4.96 ERA in 17 starts. However, he showed he can still pitch at a high level last year while finishing second in the Cy Young voting thanks to his 3.04 ERA and league-leading 254 strikeouts.

With Kyle Hendricks injured and John Lackey struggling, the 41-41 Cubs could use some more pitching help if they want to try to defend their World Series title.

Meanwhile, adding a catcher is also a significant priority after trading Miguel Montero, per Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.

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Avlia, who entered Monday with 11 home runs and a career-high .310 batting average, could be a perfect fit to replace him as a boost to the lineup. The left-handed hitter could also successfully platoon with the right-handed Willson Contreras.

Considering Avila has also thrown out 36 percent of potential base stealers (10-of-28), he represents a huge upgrade over Montero.

Detroit currently has a 36-45 record this season, which means it might be time to start selling the veterans to a team that could use them.

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