6:05pm: According to Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs are willing to offer Dempster a four-year contract. This helps their chances, though Dempster’s agent said today "there’s very little possibility he’s going to sign soon with the Cubs."
9:36am: Chris De Luca of the Chicago Sun-Times has fresh Cubs rumors this morning.
- De Luca’s sources describe the Cubs’ interest in Jake Peavy as "limited." Instead, the Cubs have "deep interest" in C.C. Sabathia. De Luca also wonders if the Cubs will entertain A.J. Burnett. Dave van Dyck suggested Derek Lowe could fit. The Cubs’ payroll room will depend on free agents Ryan Dempster and Kerry Wood, plus their ability to move Jason Marquis.
- Rich Hill’s lost 2008 season killed his trade value. He’ll be out of options next spring.
- De Luca’s sources say the Cubs continue to pursue Brian Roberts and Raul Ibanez. Ibanez would play right field for the Cubs, even though he allowed 18 more bases than the average left fielder this year.