Justin Verlander Detroit Tigers
Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, pictured in the first inning of a game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Aug. 4, 2017 in Baltimore, is still being mentioned in trade rumors after the trade deadline. Getty Images

Justin Verlander’s days with the Detroit Tigers appear to be numbered. According to the latest MLB trade rumors, Detroit is looking to deal their ace by the end of Thursday.

According to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports and MLB Network, the Houston Astros have been in contact with the Tigers about Verlander over the last four 48 hours. Bruce Levine of 670 The Score has reported that Detroit and the Chicago Cubs have had conversations about Verlander since July.

After deciding to hold onto Verlander at the July 31 trade deadline, the Tigers have decided to rebuild for the future. It began Thursday afternoon when the team sent outfielder Justin Upton to the Los Angeles Angels, and Shane Greene and Alex Wilson, along with Verlander, are all reportedly available.

Verlander made it through waivers without being claimed, meaning he can be still be dealt after the deadline. But Detroit is looking to trade him before Friday because teams can’t use players on their postseason roster that were added after Aug. 31.

As one of the American League’s best pitchers for more than a decade, Verlander is being pursued by multiple teams that believe they can win the 2017 World Series. He finished in the top five in the AL Cy Young voting for the fifth time last year, and he’s bounced back nicely after struggling in the first half of the season.

Since the All-Star Break, Verlander has gone 5-2 with a 2.41 ERA, striking out 78 batters in 67.1 innings. He’s limited hitters to a .186 batting average, walking 2.4 batters per nine innings.

Those numbers haven’t done much for the Tigers, who are 18 games out of first place in the AL Central. Even with the final AL Wild-Card spot seemingly up for grabs for mediocre teams, Detroit is 11 games behind with just one month left.

Detroit won’t simply give away their best pitcher, but it appears that they are more than willing to send Verlander to a team that will give up young players and pay the right-hander’s contract. Verlander is owed $28 million in each of the next two seasons, and his option for $22 million vests in 2020 if he finishes in the top five of AL Cy Young voting in 2019.

Acquiring Verlander could be what eventually puts the Astros over the hump and gets them into the World Series. They have the AL’s best record, led by the No.1 offense in baseball. Their starting pitching, however, is questionable, and they didn’t make any major upgrades at the trade deadline.

The same goes for the Cubs, who might have to upgrade their starting rotation if they want a chance at defending their championship. Jon Lester and John Lackey have taken major steps back after impressive 2016 seasons, and Kyle Hendricks has seen his ERA jump up nearly one and a half runs.

The Los Angeles Dodgers were a possible destination for Verlander at the trade deadline, but they instead dealt for Yu Darvish.