Boston Stepping Up Pursuit of Dempster?

With the non-waiver trade deadline still two weeks away, more rumors surfaced Monday on possible destinations for Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza.

Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza were high on several team’s wish lists before their outings against the Diamondbacks. Coupled with Cole Hamels’ uncertain future with the Phillies and the Brewers skipping Zack Greinke for at least a turn in the rotation, the interest in both Dempster and Garza seemed to increase Monday.

Buster Olney reported Monday afternoon that the Red Sox have become “aggressive in the pursuit of Ryan Dempster”. According to Olney, the Cubs are going through the process with Dempster but Boston is concerned about what it could end up costing them because of the Cubs’ ties with the Red Sox farm system. Multiple reports have suggested that Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer would like to trade Dempster before his next outing. Dempster is penciled in to start the opener in St. Louis on Friday night.

Ryan Dempster
Teams are calling about Ryan Dempster, now it is up to Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer to maximize his value. Dempster is in the middle of his best stretch in a Cubs’ uniform and reportedly the Cubs would like to move him before his next start. The Cubs do not want to risk Dempster re-injuring himself and landing back on the DL.

A report last weekend suggested that the Cubs had deals from the Tigers and Dodgers on the table for Ryan Dempster but if the reports from Buster Olney and Jon Paul Morosi are correct, the Red Sox are also in the mix for Ryan Dempster. Morosi reported late Monday night at this point the Dodgers, Red Sox and Tigers remain in discussions for Ryan Dempster.

Buster Olney thinks ten teams could be a fit for Ryan Dempster: The Indians, Orioles, Cardinals, White Sox, Nationals, Red Sox, Tigers, Yankees, Dodgers, Angels, Blue Jays, Pirates and Braves.

Ryan Dempster is reportedly working with the Cubs’ front office to find the best fit for him and the organization. Dempster must approve any trade and controls where he finishes the season.

Matt Garza
According to several reports, the Cubs will try to move Ryan Dempster before Matt Garza. The Cubs have two pitchers that several teams are interested in trading for and the team that does not land Dempster could turn their attention to Garza as the deadline approaches.

The Blue Jays are enamored with Matt Garza due to his experience in the AL East. While Garza would be a fit for the Blue Jays, the injury to Jose Bautista during Monday night’s game could change their thinking. Several reports have suggested that Alex Anthropolous would like to add players this year that would remain under team control for next season.

According to Jon Paul Morosi, the Tigers and Dodgers could get in the mix for Garza if they do not land Ryan Dempster but Toronto remains “perhaps the most plausible destination, because of the richness of their farm system and desire to have Garza in their rotation next year.”

The Rangers and Angels cannot be dismissed as possibilities for Matt Garza … and the Yankees, Blue Jays, Rangers, Tigers, Dodgers and Pirates all had scouts at Garza’s start Sunday afternoon. While multiple reports have Detroit in the mix for Garza, the Tigers could be taking themselves out of hunt due to their unwillingness to include Nick Castellanos in any deals. The Cubs are looking for a big return for Garza and rumors suggested they asked for Nick Castellanos last off-season as part of a package for him. According to Bob Nightengale, the Tigers are telling teams, right now, that Castellanos is unavailable.

Following his outing Sunday, Garza said that trade rumors are the last thing on his mind because his wife is pregnant and she is “ready to pop”.

The Cubs have not ruled out signing Matt Garza to a contract extension.

News, Notes and More Rumors
Two prospects in the Cubs’ organization received player of the week awards Monday. Trey Martin was named Northwest League Player of the Week after hitting .545 with two home runs. Javier Baez was named Midwest League Player of the Week. Baez hit .478/.500/1.130/1.630 with three home runs and seven extra basehits (11-for-23, two doubles, two triples, six RBI, five runs and two stolen bases). Baez has hit safely in 12 straight games.

Ian Stewart told ESPN Chicago that he will not know if the surgery on his wrist fixed the problem until he starts swinging a bat again. Stewart rejoined the team Sunday after having two areas of wrist operated on last Tuesday. According to ESPN Chicago, one part of the surgery was “to fix two wrist bones that were overlapping and likely rubbing against each other.” Stewart is expected to be out six weeks and is likely done for the season. Stewart’s time with the Cubs might be over as well and he has admitted as much on his Twitter account. Stewart is arbitration eligible next season and will likely be non-tendered.

Kerry Wood told the Daily Herald that he would be back around the team more in August to help out … and he admitted that he made the right decision to retire.

Anthony Rizzo’s new teammates are crediting him with the team’s turnaround.

According to a report from Bruce Levine, the Tigers remain interested in Darwin Barney and speculation has been made that Barney could be part of a larger deal that would include either Ryan Dempster or Matt Garza.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life." – Arthur Ashe