The Cubs have the worst record in baseball (15-30) and they've lost their last ten games, the franchise's longest losing streak in 15 years. Manager Dale Sveum told Gordon Wittenmyer of The Chicago Sun-Times that the next few weeks will be important as they try to shape their roster going forward.
"You get to that point in the year where decisions, roster moves, a lot of things like that [have to be made]," he said. “You get to the point where if you’re not playing well things start changing a lot."
With extension talks between the team and Matt Garza reportedly going "very well," the Cubs' most marketable piece of trade bait is right-hander Ryan Dempster. The 35-year-old owns a 2.14 ERA in 54 2/3 innings spread across eight starts, and his walk (2.5 BB/9), home run (0.5 HR/9), and hit (7.1 H/9) rates are the best they've been in years.
"I’m not an idiot. I know how things go," he said. "I know how it goes with players in contract years and the team not necessarily doing like they’re supposed to be doing, there’s always a possibility of things. There’s a possibility of being traded anytime."
Dempster has full no-trade protection as a five-and-ten player, though he seems open to waiving it under the right circumstances.
"If it’s something they want to approach me with, then I’ll have to cross that bridge when I get to it," he said.
Dempster exercised his $14MM player option this past winter and is still owed approximately $10.1MM the rest of the season. The Cubs would have to offer Dempster a qualifying offer to receive draft pick compensation after the season, but if traded, his new club will not be eligible to receive picks under the new collective bargaining agreement.