The Dodgers are viewed as a favorite to land Cubs star starter Ryan Dempster once he returns from the disabled list, sources suggest to CBSSports.com.
While the sides haven't talked since the week before Dempster went on the disabled list, a person familiar with the situation suggested the Dodgers have a very good chance to land the veteran right-hander.
Dempster isn't expected back until shortly after the All-Star break, but there's considerable interest. Dempster has allowed zero runs in June (three starts, 22 innings) and dropped his ERA to 2.11, which is second best in baseball to the Braves' Brandon Beachy, who's out for the year with an elbow injury.
The Dodgers are said to be at or near the top of the list of those interested. Dempster, who has a lat injury behind his right shoulder, has been throwing. But Friday the Cubs said he wouldn't pitch before the break.
Dempster, only 3-3 due to the Cubs' offensive struggles, would fit nicely into the Dodgers' rotation. L.A. is looking for one starter plus offensive reinforcements and promises to be a big player at the trade deadline.
The Dodgers have lost five straight and fallen out of first place in the N.L. West, due mostly to their limp offense in the absence of superstar outfielder Matt Kemp. The Dodgers, 22nd in baseball in scoring runs, are not completely satisfied with the production they are getting at first base or third base.
The Dodgers' pitching has been very good. But they are looking for one veteran starter to bolster their rotation. That could well be Dempster.