With potentially two starting pitchers on the block this month, ESPN's Buster Olney suggests that the Cubs should look to trade Ryan Dempster now so that he doesn't interfere with their efforts to trade Matt Garza closer to the deadline.
It makes sense in that Dempster's value is probably at his highest right now, having thrown 11 scoreless innings since coming off the DL and 33 straight scoreless overall.
For his part, Dempster is saying all the right things. Despite his 10 and 5 rights, which allow him to veto any trade, Dempster has come out and said that he would consider going to any contender, according to Ken Rosenthal.
Better still, Dempster told Bob Nightengale of USA Today that he would be willing to re-sign with the Cubs this offseason, even if he's traded. So the Cubs could acquire young talent and still have a quality arm to rely on next season.
Today, things started heating up as Buster Olney tweated that the Red Sox are "aggressive" in their pursuit of Dempster.
Since I didn't include the Red Sox in my analysis of what the Cubs could fetch for Dempster a couple day ago, here's a quick look at what the Sox have to offer:
The Red Sox are flush with third baseman with top ranked prospect Will Middlebrooks already in the majors and second ranked Xander Bogaerts doing well in high A ball. However, its unlikely the Cubs could pry either of them away for Dempster. However, another third base prospect, Garin Cecchini, who ranked 7th on the Red Sox prospect list, could be had.
Cecchini is currently hitting .309/.389/.441 at low A Greenville with 31 steals. Baseball America rated him as the best pure hitter in the Red Sox system. If the Cubs pick up most of Dempster's salary, Cecchini could be considered expendable by the Sox.
Another possibility could be the Red Sox 2010 first round pick Anthony Ranaudo. Ranaudo has struggled this year in AA, posting an unsightly 6.69 ERA and 27/27 K/BB ratio in just 37.2 IP. However, despite his struggles, I don't think the Sox are ready to give up on him yet.
Chances are the Cubs will target Cecchini and a low level prospect or two.
Stay tuned as things could happen quickly.