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Ryan Dempster remains the primary focus of not only the Cubs’ trade radar, but arguably baseball as a whole…

  • Ken Rosenthal reports that the Cubs are exchanging names with a number of teams about Dempster, which squares with what we’ve heard over the last few days. He lists the Dodgers, Tigers, Red Sox, and Braves, specifically. A friend of Dempster says he’d probably accept a trade to the Red Sox (who are also still interested in Matt Garza), but the Dodgers are a “better fit.”
  • On those Red Sox, though, a day after we heard that they were “aggressively” pursuing Dempster, WEEI reports that’s not so. Instead, WEEI says the Red Sox haven’t been actively pursuing Dempster, and prefer to see if Franklin Morales (3.16 ERA) and Aaron Cook (3.34 ERA) are legit. That could very well be true, but, given the flukiness of their success, and the Red Sox’s anticipated improvement in the second half (with the returns of Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia and Carl Crawford, particularly), I have a hard time believing they’re going to leave their rotation to chance. The report feels a bit like spin, if I’m being completely honest.
  • Speaking of interest in Dempster, you can add yet another team to the mix: the Nationals. Although they have a full rotation, and a couple of options in the minors, the Nats are reportedly still exploring the possibility of adding a rental pitcher, who could help them in the second half when Stephen Strasburg reaches his much-discussed innings limit. The Nationals have a solid farm system, even after promoting some of their top young talent, and trading a bunch of kids to the A’s for Gio Gonzalez.
  • Ken Rosenthal separately talks about the possibility of a team trading for Ryan Dempster wanting to sign him to an extension, commensurate with the trade. It’s not uncommon for teams to want that – or for players with no-trade rights to want it – but Dempster is an interesting case. Everyone suggests the same thing when they talk about a Dempster trade: get some prospects, and then bring him back next year! It’s obviously the dream scenario that fans propose about all of their favorite players who are traded in the year before free agency. Except it almost never happens. Guys just don’t come back to teams that dumped them, and teams that dump guys just don’t want them back (for more money). Dempster, however, really could be the exception. He loves Chicago and the Cubs more than most, and he’s so on board with this trade idea that he’s suggested he wants to make sure the Cubs get the most possible out of him in trade. Indeed, Dempster even told Bob Nightengale explicitly that he’d welcome a return to the Cubs in 2013 after being traded this year. (Query whether the Cubs are going to want Dempster back, given the direction of the Cubs. But that’s a separate discussion, one probably best left for, say, November.)
  • No surprise, but Jayson Stark and Joel Sherman say they’ve heard the Cubs are working hard to deal Dempster by the end of this week (i.e., before his scheduled start on Friday).
  • If you want to learn a bit more about the possible prospect returns in a Ryan Dempster deal, there’s a good thread going on over at the Message Board, with a particular focus on Tigers’ prospects not named Castellanos or Turner.
  • Phil Rogers guesses that the Cubs are in the “final stages” of putting a Dempster deal together, and lists the finalists as the Red Sox, Dodgers, Tigers, and Braves (the same as Rosenthal’s list). If it’s to be the Tigers, Rogers could see it becoming a Dempster/Darwin Barney package for a huge haul, probably not including Nick Castellanos or Jacob Turner.
  • In the offseason, consistent with what we heard at the time, the Cubs were asking for a huge return on Matt Garza. Ken Rosenthal says the Cubs wanted something similar to what the A’s got for Gio Gonzalez, a pitcher who offered one more year of team control. A fair approach, all things considered, but it makes you wonder how flexible the Cubs will be in order to make a deal happen before the deadline.
  • We’ve heard this before, but here’s another report (from Danny Knobler) discussing the Royals’ interest in Matt Garza, among other starting pitchers.
  • Keep an eye on injuries like those to Jose Bautista and David Ortiz. While your initial reaction might be that it will force the Blue Jays and Red Sox to try and pick up a bat, it could, instead, have the opposite effect: they could decide the uphill climb they already face just got a little too uphilly.
  • This is completely meaningless in any real sense, but the Cubs are one of four teams on Justin Upton’s no-trade list. Together with the Yankees and Red Sox, the Cubs make sense – players often list the biggest market teams who might actually try to acquire them on their lists, thinking that they can wield their no-trade clause to squeeze an extension out of a trade to one of those teams. The fourth team, though, is the Indians. That one is pretty much just a straight up dear-God-no-I-don’t-want-to-live-in-Cleveland kind of thing. How could anyone not want to live in Cleveland? (And again.)
  • UPDATE: Joel Sherman just added some bits on Twitter that he’s hearing from execs: (1) Dempster is likely to be the first big piece to be traded, which will set into motion other trades; (2) the Cubs have many reasons to trade Dempster, and they’re making strong efforts to do so; and (3) Garza is more of a 50/50 proposition to be dealt by the deadline, and his value could be hurt if the Rays decide to start unloading pitching.
  • The Show

    Garza, W. Castillo, Szczur/B.Jax and/or Vitters to Toronto for d’Arnaud, Syndergaard, McGuire and Sweeny.
    Then Dempster and/or Barney to Detroit for Crosby.

    • AB

      I don’t think you’ve posted this in enough threads yet

    • Jeremy

      That’s a terrible deal for the Cubs.

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    I had a feeling the Nat’s would jump into the Dempster race eventually. They seem like a perfect team to deal with if they are serious about ripping the ball out of Strasburgs hand.

    • hansman1982

      ya, similar to the Byrd trade at the beginning of the season, the Nats are a team that needs and wants a rental player. Add in a deep farm system and a young team: perfect storm.

      • http://calebshreves.blogspot.com Caleb

        I’m not so sure. The Nats have, I think, surprised even themselves. They’re basking in the glow of being a successful and popular team, with sights on next year and the year after that (Cubs style). Despite what the skipper said about “fire me if we don’t make the playoffs this year” (paraphrase) I think the FO and fans are willing to test a few of their own arms out and call this year gravy rather than offer up too much for a rental.

        However, maybe they think that Werth’s return in August (hopefully), combined with guys like Zimmerman and Desmond and LaRoche, can make them a near-lock for a playoff spot this year. Especially when you take a look at their division. If so, maybe they want to leave no doubt and pick up a big arm, but if I was them I probably still wouldn’t offer an arm and a leg for a rental. With the picture I just painted though, a Dempster rental plus a triumphant return next year could actually make sense.

        Hmm.

        • Dob2812

          Thing is though that now they look like they could be legitimate World Series contenders and that feeling only increases if they add another arm. It’s all and good having a deep farm system but you never know, injuries to the wrong players could put this kind of position out of their reach over the next few years. They’re not parting with any of their top guys though but they have the depth to move something of interest all the same.

          • hansman1982

            Agree, I don’t have any delusions that we could get a king’s ransom but I think they are one team that would be highly interested in Dempster and even if they overpay, I don’t think they would feel like they are trading their future for this year.

    • Mick

      Hmmmm, the Nats come-a-calling…I wonder if they’re about to swoop in and offer up Anthony Rendon???

      • LWeb23

        i doubt it, but im going to salivate over this thought anyways :)

  • willis

    Who’s most likely to fill Demp’s void? The options are, well, terrible:

    Rusin, Raley, Volstad (God please no), Wells (please baby Jesus no)?? Who else? Would they jump someone like Struck from AA and give him a shot? Probably not.

    Demp hopefully will bring back something nice…trading him is going to be sad.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Rusin, Frankie De La Cruz, and Raley are probably the first three candidates depending on where they fall with days of rest and what not.

      • willis

        That does not excite me, Luke.

      • EQ76

        I assume if the return for Demp is a near ready pitching prospect, maybe he could be the one that gets the nod.

      • North Side Irish

        Trade Dempster, trade Garza, trade Maholm and start all three of these guys.

        In case you can’t tell, I’m all for drafting 1.1 next season and having the biggest pool of money for both the draft and international FAs. It makes no sense to be just kind of bad this season…go all the way.

        • scorecardpaul

          i agree with North ide Irish This year is over lets look to the future!!!

  • cjdubbya

    Good Lord, those are two of my favorite videos in the history of Youtube. Went to look them up for grins a few weeks ago and they weren’t available, and it made me sad. So happy they’re back.

  • Dumpgobbler

    Would bet the nats are more interested in Garza then Dempster? Rendon anyone?

    • Assman22

      Cubs had talks with Nats about Rendon for Garza and Nats denied. Nats will only be able to offer quantity outside of Rendon, Cubs need to get quality for Garza….

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        Rendon’s injuries concern me some.

        • Assman22

          Same here. Not high on my list of 3B prospects I’d want to pursue, if it were me.

  • DaveS

    I am anxiously checking this site every few hours hoping for some news and then sad for a minute that nothing happened yet but then happy hoping it goes to the deadline so Brett has somethingexciting to report during his long night. :)

  • cubsin

    I’d be very surprised if the Rays (or Cardinals) would crap on their fans by selling with more than two months left in the season after their miracle runs to the playoffs last year.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Tampa is one game out of the Wild Card. I’d be really surprised if they started selling off in any kind of a big way. I could see them unloading James Shields as part of a reloading while still competing philosophy, but that’s about it.

      • http://bpeachernation.com someday…2015?

        What’s James Shields value compared to Garza’s value?

      • Chris S

        James Shields would be the Cat’s Pajamas

    • Quintz

      The Rays have fans?

      • calicubsfan007

        @Quintz: Yep, all two of them!(=

        • Dob2812

          Chicago’s own Bradley Woodrum (he of Cubs Stats and FanGraphs) is one of them. I don’t know who the other one is!

        • MaxM1908

          Both my sisters (they live in Tampa and are fanatics). They even brought Rays shirts to my wedding in London so they could get pictures in front of Big Ben and Parliament for some Rays promotion deal.

      • Carew

        You got some here in NC cuz of the Durham Bulls. The Rays are so home-grown

      • dreese

        I was in tampa in 2010 when they were in the playoffs, and I saw nothing. If I wasnt a baseball fan you would have never know there was even a baseball team in tampa.

        In chicago when the hawks are in the playoffs, there are banners on every lightpole!

  • kubphan82

    Looks like the Nats could also be motivated by the Braves interest…

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    Fair trade?… Garza to the Padres for Chase Headley and Casey Kelly? If I were the Cubs I would pull the trigger on that trade in less then a heartbeat.

    • andrew

      ya that trade is highway robbery for the cubs if it were just headley for garza straight up not to mention throwing in a top ten pitcher in their organization. If the Cubs made this deal I would assume theo and jed have some blackmail on the Padres because there is no way the Pads would be interested in a pitcher with only a year of control left

    • andrew

      in fact as a general rule of thumb, any deal you would pull the trigger on in less than a heartbeat isnt going to happen.

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      Why would the Padres want Garza?

  • Cheryl

    The Red Sox designated Germano for assignment. Possibility for the cubs?

  • AD

    Would love to see the Cubs trade Garza to the Royals.

    • bbmoney

      Agreed, as I think they have some high level talent, and I think the Royals want to be competing for a WC spot next year, so Garza might make sense. My only concern, and I’m no expert on their farm system, but I think they’re more loaded with position prospects than the kind of SP arms the cubs would want back. Still talent is talent and the Cubs system just needs talent, period, especially at the upper levels.

      Someone correct me if I’m wrong about their prospects.

      • Dob2812

        They have a lot of once highly regarded pitching prospects who have taken a step back in the last 18 months. Well, quite a few steps back in some cases. There might be scope there for some reclamation projects with high upside.

      • djriz

        but if they wanted to give us wil myers for garza, that would be okay, i guess.

        • stillmisskennyhubbs

          Wil Myers is as close as untouchable as they come. It would have to be an incredible offer for them to move him.
          Broxton may be moved; same with lesser lights Dyson, Getz, Giavotella, Betancourt, Francoeur, Brayan Pena, or many of the power pitchers in the bullpen. They need starters above all.

          • Njriv

            Odorizzi?

            • rcleven

              Great choice. Would be on my list along with Ventura.

              • Njriv

                Royals seems to have a few stud LHP’s that have flamed out over the years.

              • EB

                I love Ventura. Boy does he have a live arm

  • Dustin S

    Kudos to Theo, Hoyer, and Dempster for turning this into what looks like a bidding frenzy. Not that we’ll get the world back, but it has made things more interesting.

    • Dob2812

      Those guys do very much know how to manage the media. Their future is in politics. Which now I think of it is actually quite a sad thought.

  • Njriv

    I was actually thinking about the Nationals being a destination for Dempster a couple months ago, because of the whole Strasburg situation, but Brett said at the time Nationals were not showing interest.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yeah, this is the first indication that they’ve had interest in picking up a pitcher like Dempster.

  • Steve

    You say bidding fenzy….yet, until we see blodd, nothing is really happening. Tired of waiting…….

    • Cyranojoe

      Dude, the deadline is July 31. If not for the Garza wrinkle, I would prefer to wait until the last minute — let the iron get hotter and hotter before we strike!

  • Gcheezpuff

    Wow… The Demp stock continues to rise. Weird Grenkie situation looks to make him less desirable or possibly off the market and now the Phillies might extend Hamels… Awesome. My only fair is that everyone expects Demp to be cheap so I wonder how many teams are still serious once they find out the price. I hope someone throws out a massive overpay. How much sense does Garza make for the Rangers? I saw a report saying they had interest. With it unlikely for the Tigers to trade Castallenos, Mike Olt might be the best possibly available close to MLB 3rd base prospect available.

    • hansman1982

      eh, I’d rather compete against Hamels for trade partners than not be able to sign him (or see the Dodgers get stupid) this winter.

    • rcleven

      Rangers don’t need a middle of the rotation starter (Garza would be a mid rotation starter on Texas staff). Texas is looking for ace quality pitching. Heard Olt is off limits.

      • Gcheezpuff

        I am hopeful on Olt, but you are probably right. Garza is not a big upgrade to that rotation, even though the Tigers have sniffed around a little. I do think Olt is available because of Beltran being locking up 3rd and the all star isn’t going anywhere, but not sure what the cubs have, outside of Garza that would make sense in an Olt deal.

  • http://www.sportsdanny.com Dan

    Why would Tampa start trading pitching when they are 1 game back of the WC – that makes little sense – Tampa is going to go for it, why wouldn’t they being in the race for the last playoff spot -

  • Cyranojoe

    Tom Verducci made mention of David DeJesus to the Reds to help bolster their left-handed bats, particularly while Votto is sidelined with his knee surgery for the next month:
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/tom_verducci/07/17/joey-votto-cincinnati-reds/index.html?eref=sihp&sct=hp_t12_a0

    What do you think? Any chance that happens?

    • Njriv

      IMO LaHair would make some sense also.

  • kubphan82

    The best fit for the Cubs to send Dempster is the Dodgers. Simply to keep the bidding open for Garza to the Tigers/RedSox… You deal Dempster to one of them and your bidding war for Garza dwindles…

    With Dempster to the Dodgers the Cubs should be able to set the pitching standard in trades this season. Without trying to be a Chicago fanboy and attempting to keep things in perspective, I wonder if it’s realistic that the Cubs would be able to land both

    Ethan Martin: Former first rounder, stuggled/rebounding, current success at AA.
    Aaron Miller: LH fireballer, AA, 77k/82 innings this year…

    Like that’s the type of deal some would say is not enough and others would say is way too much. If not those players, players of that type.

    And then I would expect Dempster back as a Cub, with mutual interest, next year.

    • LWeb23

      im not very familiar with the dodgers farm, but that first guy you mentioned makes me think of vitters as far as where he is in his development. can anyone verify that/debunk it?

    • Jeff1969

      I agree that I don’t think the Cubs are going to haul in two or even one Top 10 prospects for Dempster. I love the guy & I trust in our front office, but the new rules are just screwing with everybody, imo. I also feel the Dodgers are the place Dempster will land, and that there will be someone else in the deal from the Cubs side. Eovaldi & a lower level high ceiling guy for Demp. That would be the most I could imagine. Also, the White Sox have to be sniffing around a guy like Russell. They have to do something more.

      • Ryan G

        I’d love to get Eovaldi.

  • calicubsfan007

    I want at least two good prospects in return for Demp, unless it is a Turner or someone like that is traded to us. Otherwise, it seems stupid to trade one of our guys for one minor league guy, unless he is near or is ML ready.

  • calicubsfan007

    According to the Chicago Tribune, a woman was stalking Theo and was arrested today. Wow…

    • rcleven

      Good Christan woman just wanted to invite Theo to church. Came all the way from Boston to extend the invite.

    • Quintz

      I gotta be honest, if this is my wife, she gets a pass on this one. I mean, if she’s determined to stalk someone…..

    • Whiteflag

      I should have thought of this…

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      It was in the Bullets this morning… :(

      • calicubsfan007

        @Brett: Sorry, I am not always able to read all the articles you put in.)=

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Just playin’.

    • art

      can she pitch?

  • PRcajun

    Heard Jayson Stark this morning on Mike and Mike saying the RedSox will likely trade for one Cub (referring to Garza or Dempster…more likely Demp), Tim Kurkjian said the same in the SVP show this afternoon.

    Just curious – what do the RedSox have to offer in prospects? Any names being linked to potential trades other than Ryan Sweeney?

    • kubphan82

      I know the Cubs seemingly have plenty of catchers but if the Cubs are looking for talent, Lavarnway is as good as MLB ready as any player in the RSox system, last I read about the guy was he played 58/60 games as a backstop in AAA this year with an impressive slash line. Obviously a glut at that position would enable the Cubs to use current catchers as pieces in trades to improve return on other acquisitions. Just a thought. Maybe the Cubs target Cecchini in a deal with Garza, but he’d be untouchable using Dempster. I like Jackie Bradley, saw him play in person, I think he’s a real Theo guy… Think he has the same amount of walks as k’s this year 60/60 in 300 AB’s, in high A and AA I believe, OF with speed not necessarily power yet.

      All their top tier pitchers, according to scouting, are struggling this year, which may mean any one of them are available depending on faith of Boston in them and if Theo still believes in them: Pimentel, Ranaudo, Henry Owens (I wouldn’t mind if part of a Lavarnway haul)… I don’t think they’d part with Matt Barnes for Dempster…

      I’d think that the Cubs couldn’t do better than a Lavarnway or Bradley/Owens or Workman for Dempster… And that’s not bad at all. Lavarnway is on their 40 man, Owens/Workman/Bradley are not.

  • nkniacc13

    Id be shocked if the return for Dempster or Garza didn’t get atleast 1 pitcher that could step into the rotation

  • http://bleachernation.com RicoSanto

    The tigers have hardly any impact minor league player. Turner is 5 stars Castellanos 4 stars. The board that said Crosby and Brian Flynn wouild be too much for Demp.He is crazy Flynn is number 11 prospect and even Crosby is 3 stars. He added you might have to add Barney.I dont think Theo will wreck his defensive infield unless it is a huge haul for the Cubs. I still want Nate Evoladi and Chris Reed from LA.Evoladi has been starting , not doing too bad,He could go into Demp’s spot.

  • Patrick G

    Rosenthal on MLBN said Dempster prefers to be in the NL, saying LA is his first choice and ATL would be his 2nd. I’m hoping for ATL, they have better pitching prospects.

  • TakingWrigleyToSaoPaulo

    Hoping Turber lays an egg tonight so the perceived value by the Tigers won’t be as high. If he throws a gem against the Angels, one of the most potent offenses in the AL, it will be very difficult to pry him away.

  • ColoCubFan

    I don’t think the Cubs will get out of Garza what they’re hoping for. Most columnists are saying Garza isn’t an elite pitcher, and probably rightfully so. I’d be surprised if he’s traded without more from the Cub’s than just him.

    • nkniacc13

      but remember he was the main piece in the cubs deal but wasn’t the only player the Cubs got in that deal and he wasn’t the only player the Rays got in that deal either

  • CBP

    Maholm for Minor. I mean pieces would still be added but Maholm would be good at Turner. And a good #4. Minor has #3 potential stuff

  • Cheryl

    Brett, What’s your best guess about when we will hear on Dempster?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Best guess is by his start on Friday (at least 51% chance he’s traded before then, hence that’s my “best” guess…).

  • Cheryl

    That’s better odds than flipping a coin You may be right on the money.

  • Jeremy

    Perez and Olt + Fillers for Garza

    Mike Minor + for Dempster

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