Chicago Cubs Trade Rumors: The Hottest Trade Chatter Heading into the Deadline
July 31 marks the World Series of the year for the Chicago Cubs and its front office.
The trade deadline will come and go with the opportunity to restock a farm system that has underachieved for so long.
Now's the time for Theo Epstein to earn his paycheck.
Who stays and who goes?
Here's the latest news and rumors for the Chicago Cubs as we approach Tuesday's 4 p.m. trade deadline.
Ryan Dempster Traded to Texas Rangers
Update 3:05 CST: Ryan Dempster has been traded to the Texas Rangers, according to Buster Olney. The Cubs get minor league pitcher Kyle Hendricks and minor league third baseman Christian Villanueva, according to Evan Grant.
Update 1:05 CST: Bob Nightengale tweets that the Yankees are heavily emerged in discussions for Dempster; Dodgers talks on hold.
It will be interesting to see if the Dodgers bite and pony up Allen Webster in a deal knowing they aren't the only ones in on Dempster.
Update: Jim Bowden tweets that Dempster-to-LA is close.
This alone will help increase the offer for Dempster, especially with the Rangers getting involved. They have the prospects to offer, as well as the desire to improve after finishing as the runner-up in the past two World Series.
Without Soriano, a deal would be unlikely for the Dodgers, as they aren't willing to fork over the prospects that the Cubs are looking for. But with Texas and New York now involved, they may have to up the ante to get Dempster's services.
Don't expect Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer to hand Dempster to the Dodgers. They know they have to keep a reputation that they won't be walked over in a deal to accommodate a player's wants. But at the same time, keeping Dempster could create a major rift between him and the fans, as well as in the clubhouse.
Matt Garza Still Available; Justin Upton Headed to Chicago?
A triceps injury appeared to surely derail any chance of Matt Garza being moved before the offseason, but it now seems like there's a very good chance Garza is on his way out.
The Cubs are pushing for the Rangers to include stud third base prospect Mike Olt, but don't expect that to happen.
Bruce Levine also writes that the Cubs are targeting three young starting pitchers from the Blue Jays, who've been in contact about Garza since last year's winter meetings.
Rosenthal writes that the Reds are looking for Garza to bolster it's pitching staff for a postseason run.
The Cubs hold the upper hand in all negotiations for Garza because he's under team control. There isn't a huge need to quickly move Garza, and the Cubs brass will be more than comfortable keeping him into the offseason or even as the Opening Day starter in 2013.
Alfonso Soriano to Dodgers and Giants Unlikely; Tigers in Play?
Soriano appeared to be a piece included with Ryan Dempster in a trade to the Dodgers, but since the Dodgers have acquired Shane Victorino from Philadelphia, that scenario seems unlikely.
Geovany Soto Traded to Texas
Geovany Soto was traded to the Rangers for minor league pitcher Jake Brigham, who's been pitching in Double-A for Texas.
The trade opens up the starting job to Welington Castillo most likely, although Steve Clevenger will likely see time there for the rest of the season.
For Texas, it provides an upgrade over Yorvit Torrealba.
Brigham brings a big arm who misses bats, although it's likely he needs to develop a consistent third pitch to be a quality starter.
Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson Traded to Atlanta
They didn't get Randall Delgado, but the consolation prize was even better
The trade means even more because the Cubs didn't have to part with one of its greatest trade assets in Ryan Dempster.
Vizcaino is coming off Tommy John surgery, but is expected to be ready in time for spring training.