Countdown to the Deadline: Nationals Enter Dempster Derby

Lot’s of news to sift through today on the rumor front, so here goes..

The Nationals are the latest team to get involved with the Cubs and Ryan Dempster.  The thought here is that the Nationals want a veteran arm to help them down the stretch given the innings limit for Strasburg.  Assuming they adhere to that 160 inning limit they will have a hole in their rotation and instead of plugging a system guy into the rotation they want a legit top of the rotation guy, hence Dempster.  Ken Rosenthal wrote about the Nationals interest in Dempster earlier today.

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There is a reason that most of the rumors I report are about Ryan Dempster, Joel Sherman thinks it’s because Dempster is the first domino of the trade season.  For that reason, among others, the Cubs do not want to delay the trading of Ryan Dempster and would like to deal the right hander “this week” according to a MLB executive.

Ken Rosenthal speaks to that rumor about the Cubs wanting to move Dempster immediately as he says that the Cubs have started exchanging names with other teams.  He lists the “finalists” as the Dodgers, Tigers, Braves, Red Sox, and the Nationals.

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The Cubs other big trade arm, Matt Garza is also being asked about quite often.  Danny Knobler is reporting that the Kansas City Royals have asked about Garza as they want to add a big FA arm for the 2013 season.  Because Garza has one more year of control after this year he would fit the criteria of being that big arm for the 2013 Royals rotation.  The best news yet for the Royals is they wouldn’t have to convince Garza to sign as a FA, they just need to acquire him in a deal, not exactly an easy task but might be easier than obtaining a big arm on an open market.

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There have been a few reports that the Tampa Bay Rays are willing to move James Shields, and the Marlins might be interested in moving Josh Johnson.  The reason this is news to the Cubs is that it could add arms to the trade market, thus lowering the value of a Matt Garza.  I haven’t seen anything concrete about Shields or Johnson but there are whispers about them being available.

Thanks for reading,
- George

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