The trade rumors surrounding Chicago Cubs right-hander Ryan Dempster are really starting to pick up, but unlike some of the other key players being sought after right now, Dempster has a no-trade clause which keeps things more or less in his control.
Right now, the Los Angeles Dodgers are the preferred target for Dempster, with the Atlanta Braves being second on his list. Dempster has a close friendship with Dodgers pitcher Ted Lilly, which may be one reason the Dodgers are at the top of his list.
The Braves have been seeking to add a strong top-of-the-rotation veteran arm to help make a second-half push in the National League East, and have already been linked to trade rumors involving Cubs right-hander Matt Garza, and Milwaukee Brewers ace Zack Greinke.
Dempster also has previous relationships with Detroit Tigers brass Jim Leyland and Dave Dombrowski from his playing time with the then Florida Marlins, which also could add the Tigers to the mix of possible teams.
This season Dempster is 5-3 with a major league leading 1.86 ERA, and WHIP of 1.02. He currently has a 33-inning scoreless streak, having not given up a run since May 30 against the San Diego Padres. This ties the Cubs club shutout streak set by Ken Holtzman in 1969.
Dempster was on the disabled list from June 15 to July 8 due to a sore right lat muscle.
The Cubs are reportedly looking to move Dempster by the end of the week, so there may be a trade made at any time.