Cubs starter Ryan Dempster, who allowed no runs in his three June starts, should be one of the most coveted pitchers on the trade market this July. And to make him even more enticing as a trade target, the Cubs are willing to pay part of his $14-million salary, depending on the prospect return.
The Cubs' goal is to get players and not worry about money. The Cubs' new regime wants to re-stock a weak farm system with top prospects.
Slugging first-base prospect Anthony Rizzo has brought some hope for the future, and the Cubs also have top outfield prospect Brett Jackson and, assuming they sign him, young outfielder Albert Almora, who was the No. 6 overall pick in the recent draft. The Cubs are very weak on pitching prospects, so that is their main area of interest.
The Dodgers are one of many teams said to have interest in Dempster.
The Cubs will be shopping several big-name veteran players. They are willing to pay a vast portion of the $45-million plus remaining on Alfonso Soriano's contract. Carlos Marmol's control issues probably make him untradeable for now. They also are expected to consider trade offers for Matt Garza, who will be highly sought after, among many others (Bryan LaHair, Reed Johnson, Geovany Soto, Paul Maholm, etc.)
Dempster is currently on the disabled list with a lat issue but it's been reported he could return just before the All-Star break.
He's second in the majors with a 2.13 ERA, only trailing the Braves' Brandon Beachy who is out for the year after Tommy John surgery. So he should be one of the prime pitchers of interest on the trade market. His 3-3 record does not reflect how brilliantly he's pitched. He pitched 22 scoreless innings in July over three starts.