Ryan Dempster remains on the market, and it appears the Dodgers are the only viable trade partner. The blame has fallen on Dempster, who has given the Cubs a narrow field to work with in this trade season.
That doesn't mean he is to blame, but the Dodgers' lack of strong prospects makes them hesitant to deal any of their good ones for the 35-year-old veteran—a veteran who has the second-best ERA in baseball behind Ryan Vogelsong.
The deal that was in place with the Braves was the best deal for the Cubs, but that scenario has been covered, and everyone has moved on (via ESPN). That is, unless Dempster decides he will accept a deal to Atlanta for Randall Delgado.
I've already written about how I think Dempster to the Dodgers is a bad move for the Cubs, and since the Braves are out of the question, it would be worth the Cubs' while to approach the prospect-rich Oakland Athletics, who happen to be in the midst of a playoff spot.
The Athletics are in the market for a shortstop, but a veteran pitcher would be a lift to a strong rotation that will need to rally if they have any hope of making the playoffs.
Dempster could be that guy, and the A's have young pitching that could entice the Cubs.
Twenty-three-year-old Dan Straily is having an unbelievable season between Double-A and Triple-A and will likely earn a call-up to the majors very soon.
He owns a combined 8-6 record with a 2.60 ERA in 22 games with 175 strikeouts to 37 walks. He's actually pitched better in Triple-A, owning a 1.36 ERA with 67 strikeouts in eight starts.
Straily was a virtual unknown coming into the season but has emerged as dominant pitcher who projects as a solid middle-of-the-rotation starter in the majors.
Whether the A's would deal him for Dempster, or even consider this year as the year they have a legitimate shot at making the postseason, is up for debate.
But a deal for Straily would help both clubs and would not deplete the A's of pitching depth like it would the Dodgers, who are seemingly holding up a trade.