7/30 Countdown to Deadline

Will Ryan Dempster make his start Tuesday night for the Cubs? Or will he be in another uniform? Will a team take a chance on Matt Garza, who has not pitched in one week?

The Trade Deadline is a little more than 24 hours away, and the Cubs’ roster is still intact. Dempster has drawn interest from the Braves and Dodgers, and although the Braves have said they’ve moved on, the Cubs may come back to them if they can’t work out a deal with the Dodgers. FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal points out that under the new CBA, there is no longer a required 24-hour waiting period for 10-and-5 players to approve a trade. That would mean any deals can go right to the deadline as long as the player gives consent. That applies to Dempster, who has 10 years in the big leagues and five with the same team.

Garza is in a different situation in that he would be under team control through 2013. But Garza’s elbow cramp came at a bad time for the Cubs. He had to leave his July 21 start after three innings. An MRI confirmed the cramping, and a little fluid in the elbow, but it’s not serious. The Cubs have X-rays to prove it. He’s scheduled to throw a bullpen on Monday at Wrigley Field. Expect a few early bird scouts there to watch.

Paul Maholm may draw interest from teams, too. He’s 5-0 with a 1.02 ERA in his last six starts.

“As a manager, you’d be upset if anybody is gone as far as starting pitchers,” Dale Sveum said Sunday. “But that’s part of the game. Whatever happens, that’s part of what happens with organizations trying to do things different and trying to build for the future.”

The Cubs pitchers aren’t the only ones drawing interest. Teams looking for another bat for the bench are focusing on Reed Johnson, David DeJesus and Jeff Baker. Johnson and Baker are well suited to their roles as bench players; DeJesus has been a starter. The Pirates were believed to be keeping an eye on Johnson and DeJesus.

Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, and general manager Jed Hoyer have been working the phones rather than talking to the media in the last few days. The deadline is Tuesday at 3 p.m. CT.

– Carrie Muskat

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