The inclusion of Soriano or LaHair is still viewed as a longshot, perhaps even a "massive longshot," as one person briefed on the discussions described it.
But the Cubs are desperate to rid themselves of Soriano, and they found little or no interest from other teams, even when they offered to pay almost all of the remaining $48 million on Soriano's contract.
The Cubs are also trying hard to find a way to construct a Dempster deal with the Dodgers, who may be the only team that the right-hander would agree to go to. A proposed deal with the Braves hit a roadblock when Dempster wouldn't say yes, and talks with the Dodgers have been difficult because the Cubs feel that the Dodgers won't part with prospects who have any value.
Adding money isn't a big issue for the newly-rich Dodgers, who already this month picked up the entire $38 million remaining on Hanley Ramirez's contract. And Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti is on record saying that he still wants to add another hitter, as well as a starting pitcher.
The Dodgers have talked about quite a few other hitters, including both Justin Morneau and Josh Willingham of the Twins. The Twins have said it's a longshot that they trade Willingham, however.
Soriano has actually had a good year, if not an $18 million year (that's what he's being paid), with 19 home runs and an .827 OPS. He would seem to be a better fit for an American League team that could use him as a designated hitter, but the Dodgers aren't getting much production out of left field, which is where Soriano has played regularly for the Cubs.
LaHair was the Cubs first baseman until Anthony Rizzo was promoted, and has since been playing regularly in the outfield. LaHair was a surprising All-Star based on his early-season success, but he has tailed off badly, with just a .214 batting average and a .600 OPS since the middle of May.
Still, the Dodgers could possibly use him as a left-handed bat off the bench.