The Chicago Cubs are rumored to be looking for one more pitcher to add to the rotation before the July 31 trade deadline. For weeks now, the most obvious choices for Theo Epstein and company have been Justin Verlander and Sonny Gray. Verlander, with the Tigers is the pitcher that appeared to be along shot. Sonny Gray, with the Oakland Athletics, has clearly been made available by his team, but it wasn't clear if the Cubs had the pieces to offer.

It's still not clear if the Chicago Cubs are going to land either player but there has at least been movement in the rumor mill.

Whether the new rumors are going to end up being good news or bad for the team's fan, will be found out in short order.

Chicago Cubs would need a 'miracle' to get Verlander according to new reports

While the Chicago Cubs and Verlander have been tied to one another for most of the Hot Stove League fun, it appears the Tigers aren't going to be making a deal. The problem, very simply, is that Verlander's contract is too big. The Cubs and any other suitors have been chased away by the money he's owed. His age (34) is a big factor as well.

While Verlander might be having a better season than his record indicates, it does not appear as though he's having a good enough season for teams to mortgage their future and their wallets.

That means as Jon Heyman puts it, that it would take "a miracle" for the starting pitcher to get moved by the deadline especially to someone like the Chicago Cubs.

That doesn't mean things can't change once the trade deadline is truly bearing down. The Cubs might decide what they desperately need is another staff ace. John Lackey starts on Sunday afternoon.

If he has another bad start, as has been the case almost all season, the club might change its mind.

Sonny Gray still an option for the Chicago Cubs

While Verlander is almost assuredly not being moved before the deadline, Sonny Gray is all but gone. The Oakland Athletics have officially scratched the starter from Sunday's game.

This isn't because the pitcher is injured but because other teams have asked the A's to do so. The Chicago Cubs are still considered one of the suitors though they have quite a bit of competition.

The New York Yankees were one team looking at Gray, but they made a trade for a starter with the Minnesota Twins. The Brewers are also considered someone going after Gray. Reports say they have all but bowed out of any acquisitions. That could mean the Chicago Cubs will have a new starter by the end of the day.