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Braves, Nationals, Cardinals current leaders in Dempster hunt

Ryan Dempster is having fun in Chicago but could soon be packing his bags. (US Presswire)

The Ryan Dempster Derby currently is a battle between the Braves, Nationals and Cardinals, people familiar with the talks suggest.

Th Cubs seek pitching prospects in all deals, especially some close to the big leagues. The Braves have among baseball's best supply of pitching prospects, but the Cardinals and Nationals should have enough for a deal, as well.

The Dodgers, seen as the the early favorite here and elsewhere, appear to be concentrating elsewhere. Matt Garza is another Cubs pitcher that's interested the Dodgers, who are in greater need of offense, anyway.

The Dodgers are appearing out on Dempster, at least for the moment. Ken Rosenthal reported Saturday that the Dodgers were "very unlikely.''

The Tigers were seen as an earlier possibility for Dempster, who is 5-4 with a 2.11 ERA after having his 33-inning scoreless streak snapped Friday.

The Cubs should have baseball's most interesting sale, with Garza, Alfonso Soriano, Bryan LaHair, Geovany Soto, Reed Johnson, Paul Maholm and Jeff Baker also available.

Dempster has veto power over trades.

The Cardinals were first mentioned as a possibility here on Friday.

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