7/24 Trade rumors

Ryan Dempster will likely make a decision today regarding whether he’ll accept a deal to the Braves. The Cubs and Braves were believed to be finalizing a deal, which requires Dempster’s approval because of his status as a 10-and-5 player (10 years in the big leagues, five with the same team). The Braves were reportedly offering right-handed pitcher Randall Delgado.

Dempster isn’t the only Cubs player drawing attention leading up to the July 31 Trade Deadline. The Dodgers, who still could be pursuing Dempster, also are inquiring about Matt Garza. One report said the Dodgers would deal top pitching prospect Zach Lee to the Cubs for Garza, but a baseball source told MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick that was premature. Lee was reportedly the player the Cubs asked for in the Dempster talks, but the Dodgers didn’t want to move him for a two-month rental player. Garza, on the other hand, would be under club control through arbitration for one more season.

However, the Dodgers also need a run-producing corner infielder at least as badly as a starting pitcher. Lee apparently still has significant trade value, even though he has struggled to a 9.45 ERA since being promoted to Double-A last month.

And it’s not just the Cubs pitching that’s drawing interest. The Orioles are reportedly asking about first baseman/outfielder Bryan LaHair.

Dempster’s departure would not just impact the Cubs rotation, but the players. Jeff Samardzija gives the veteran credit for helping him get on track this year.

“He’s easy to watch how he attacks hitters and it relates to me very well,” Samardzija said. “The list goes on — I could sit here all day and tell you what Demp’s done for me. It’s good to have that veteran mind and those veteran eyes around me at any point in the game — ‘Hey, I’m seeing this, and I’m seeing that.’ He’s been that guy for a long time.”

— Carrie Muskat

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