The trading deadline is mere hours away and Ryan Dempster has yet to be traded.
Many thought the veteran right-hander would be one of the first chips to fall given his expiring contract, stellar numbers and the fact the Cubs were essentially out of the playoff race in May.
But the baseball world woke up Monday morning with Dempster still in a Cubs uniform, a full week after a deal to the Braves was first reported...and then eventually nixed. In the week since, the Dodgers have still expressed interest, but they hold all the leverage in the deal and have not offered what Cubs brass deems as a fair return for Dempster's services.
So where will the 35-year-old wind up?
L.A. still seems as the most logical landing spot for Dempster, but former GM and current XM Radio analyst Jim Bowden wonders if the Braves would accept the same deal agreed to in principle last week...if they have a signed document from Dempster approving it.
Peter Gammons feels differently, saying on MLBNetwork Monday he still sees the veteran winding up with the Dodgers and believes the Braves won't come back to that deal anymore.
Tim Brown of YahooSports says the Cubs and Dodgers are still talking, while FOXSports' Ken Rosenthal is hearing Alfonso Soriano is being discussed as part of the package sending west.
Meanwhile, in what can only be described as a curveball, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com believes the Washington Nationals have positioned themselves as the perfect fallback option for the Cubs if nothing works out with the Dodgers or Braves. The Nats are looking to add a veteran starter to their rotation, but have remained quiet on the trade front. Dempster could be a perfect fit for them, but it's currently unknown whether he would approve a trade to D.C. or not.
No matter what way it ends up, Dempster probably won't be in a Cubs uniform come Wednesday morning, despite all the drama that has gone on over the past few weeks.