Ryan Dempster of the Chicago Cubs throws to the Arizona Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis /Getty Images)
Ryan Dempster, currently leading the NL in ERA, could soon be a former Cub.
The Cubs' Ryan Dempster has been one of the best starting pitchers in the major leagues in 2012, despite two stints on the disabled list. With the Cubs floundering, and Dempster in the final year of his contract, that's gotten multiple teams interested in acquiring him before the non-waiver deadline July 31. How many teams? Quite a few, says Bruce Levine:
With a little more than two weeks until baseball's trade deadline, 10 teams have shown legitimate interest in acquiring Dempster's services for the remainder of the season, according to industry sources. Those clubs include the Los Angeles Dodgers, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox and Atlanta Braves.
The Cubs have started, in earnest, to look at minor league players at the lower levels of almost every farm system. The organization is looking for young pitching in return for its veteran players, but according to a baseball source who has inquired about trading with the Cubs, a well regarded third-base prospect is also very high on their wish list.
Dempster threw six shutout innings against the Diamondbacks on Saturday and now has 33 consecutive scoreless innings, the longest such streak for a Cubs pitcher since Ken Holtzman in 1969. Many thought Saturday's start might be the final one for Dempster in a Cubs uniform, but Levine's article seems to indicate the Cubs are still in the process of doing their due diligence. With 16 days till the deadline, it could still be a while before Dempster is a former Cub.