Cubs Among Teams Justin Verlander Could Approve for a Trade

Justin Verlander

Getty Justin Verlander could potentially approve a trade to the Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs are shaping up to be buyers rather than sellers at the trade deadline. At 25-20 the Cubs are just one game back of the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central. The Cubs rotation, led by Shōta Imanaga and Justin Steele, has been a strong suit so far. However, the Cubs were named on a short list of teams Justin Verlander could approve a trade to, according to the New York Post’s Jon Heyman.

“Confidants suggest Verlander might be amenable to Detroit. The Dodgers, Orioles (he’s from Virginia) and Cubs are thought three more teams Verlander might approve,” wrote Heyman.

The 41-year-old is in his 19th season as a major leaguer. The Houston Astros could start moving pieces if things do not improve soon. However, the Astros “aren’t ones to surrender easily,” wrote Heyman.

Cubs Rotation

The Cubs signed Imanaga to a four-year, $53 million deal out of Japan in free agency. The 30-year-old is 5-0 with a 0.96 ERA in eight starts. He has struck out 51 hitters across his 46 2/3 innings.

Justin Steele was named the opening-day starter for the Cubs. However, unfortunately, he exited the game on opening day with a “Grade 1 strain” in his left hamstring, according to’s Jordan Bastian. Steele returned on May 6 but has struggled since. He went 4 2/3 scoreless innings in his first game back but has allowed 11 earned runs across his next two starts.

The Cubs have the No. 12 ranked team ERA despite having the third-worst bullpen ERA. Javier Assad and Jameson Taillon stepped up for the Cubs rotation behind Imanaga while Steele was injured. Assad has a 1.49 ERA in nine starts. Taillon has a 1.61 ERA in five starts.

Adding Verlander would significantly boost the Cubs rotation. However, it would also allow them to move Kyle Hendricks, who has been struggling, to the bullpen. Hendricks went to the injured list after his first five starts. He has a 10.04 ERA on the season.

Verlander Could Bolster the Cubs’ Rotation

Verlander began the season on the injured list after a shoulder injury forced him to shut down his offseason throwing program.

The three-time Cy Young Award Winner and 2011 American League Most Valuable Player could bring a veteran to the young Cubs rotation. Verlander has a 3.38 ERA through five starts. However, his ERA is slightly inflated due to a seven-earned run outing against the New York Yankees. Three of Verlander’s five outings have been quality starts.

Heyman listed the Los Angeles Dodgers, Baltimore Orioles and the Detroit Tigers as other potential teams Verlander could waive his no-trade clause for. The Astros have not indicated they intend to sell at the deadline, but if they do Verlander would be “a prime candidate for trade,” wrote Heyman.

Verlander signed a two-year, $86 million deal with the New York Mets in 2023 before he was traded back to the Astros in the middle of the season. His deal has a $35 million option in 2025, vesting on him throwing 140 innings this season.

The nine-time All-Star could be a major addition to any starting rotation looking to make a deep postseason run. Verlander is already a two-time World Series champion and could win another if traded to a contender.

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