According to Jon Morosi, the Chicago Cubs are still interested in Justin Verlander and Alex Avila of the Detroit Tigers. According to Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs have the financial flexibility moving forward to be able to afford Verlander moving forward. The Cubs have been looking for another starter moving forward and a backup catcher.

Two birds, one stone

The Cubs only have Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, and Jose Quintana moving forward as starting pitchers. The Cubs have been linked to Sonny Gray, but the asking price for Verlander might be lower than it will for Gray. Verlander has an earned run average over five this season, even though he finished second in the Cy Young voting last season.

Gray has pitched stellar baseball in his last six starts with an earned run average under two.

The Cubs need a backup catcher as well. The Cubs designated Miguel Montero for assignment last month. Montero is now with the Toronto Blue Jays. The Cubs have brought up Victor Caratini, but the rookie does not have postseason experience. Avila has a .290 batting average this season and veteran experience.

Luxury tax implications

The match seems possible for both teams now that Rosenthal has reported that the Cubs can have Verlander on the team in the future without paying luxury tax. Verlander is set to make $28 million the next two seasons. However, he is 35 years old.

It is unclear for what the Cubs would have to give up. The Cubs do not have any players in the top 100 prospects in Baseball America.

Jeimer Candelario is ranked in the top 100 according to MLB.com. The Cubs would likely have to take on most of Verlander's contract with a few sub-par prospects. However, the Tigers have said they would throw in some cash

The future if Verlander comes

If Verlander were to come to Chicago, it would show the end of Jake Arrieta. The former Cy Young winner is a free agent at the end of the season, and is likely to command a large contract due to his recent success.

The Cubs would not be able to afford a massive contract of Verlander, Lester, and Arrieta on the team. There has been a long rumor that Arrieta is likely to leave at the end of the season, so it would not be new news for fans.

The Cubs would have a rotation set for the next three years. Lester has two more seasons after this year, which matcher Verlander's contract.

Quintana has three more years on his contract. Mike Montgomery could be the Cubs fifth starter, unless the team signs a veteran to a one-year deal to keep Montgomery in the long relief role.

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