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Rumor Central: Limited interest in Justin Verlander?

Justin Verlander reached the All-Star break with a 4.73 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP. Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire

A high price with lower-than-expected returns might have translated into lukewarm interest in Detroit Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander.

Rumor CentralESPN's Buster Olney reported last week that the Tigers do not seem to be lowering their asking price for Verlander, a six-time All-Star who is just 5-6 with a 4.73 ERA this season.

Verlander is owed as much as $78 million over the next three years of his contract and has a full no-trade clause.

Given the high price tag, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported over the weekend that most teams view Verlander "as a diminishing asset" and will not consider giving up top prospects unless the Tigers pay a sizeable portion of his remaining salary.

The struggling Cubs have been mentioned as a possible suitor for Verlander, but Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press says Chicago's interest "is more smoke than fire."

Though the 34-year-old Verlander might be scuffling now, he did enjoy a Cy Young-caliber 2016 season with a 3.04 ERA and AL-leading 254 strikeouts.

- Doug Mittler