MILWAUKEE Ryan Dempster says he hasnt spoken to Theo Epstein in depth about the future, and hasnt really thought about the list of teams hed approve a trade to this summer.
Dempster doesnt necessarily want to leave. Hes a good citizen who loves pitching here and may be the most respected player in the clubhouse.
But the last-place Cubs fell to 19-37 after Wednesdays 8-0 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Zack Greinke shut down a lineup that struck out 15 times, and with the draft now over the focus will shift to the trade deadline.
Im sure that Theo and (general manager Jed Hoyer) and the Chicago Cubs are going to do whats best for the Chicago Cubs, Dempster said. If that means that they want to trade me and try and better the ballclub, then Ill have to listen to what they have to say.
I realize that its a possibility right now, but Im just worried about trying to get ready for Sunday. Id be doing everybody in here everybody thats a part of this organization a huge disservice if I wasnt just preparing to do my job.
Epstein operates under the philosophy that no one is untouchable. Hoyer will be trying to leverage the extra wild card that was added to each league this season, and the parity that has revealed only a few obvious sellers right now.
Weve already started talking to teams, Hoyer said. Teams work on somewhat dual tracks this time of year, but even the next couple days those calls will pick up. Its such a jumbled race right now.
In both leagues, theres like a mass of teams (just) hovering. Thatll shake out a little bit over the next six, eight weeks. And as it does, teams are going to be more active. Right now, a lot of teams are in a little bit of a wait-and-see mode.
Besides Dempster and Matt Garza (who could just as easily be seen as a building block at Clark and Addison), the Cubs dont have many big pieces that will interest contenders before the July 31 deadline.
Manager Dale Sveum doesnt want to think about what the 2012 Cubs would become if you strip away those parts.
That the farthest thing from my mind, Sveum said, the trade deadline or what my rosters going to look like in a month or two from now.
Its part of the game. You know thats a possibility, (but) its definitely not something that I think about every day. Youll obviously have a roster and youll do the best with what you got. But you cross those bridges when you get to em.
Dempster is what Sveum calls the whole package, a professional who mentors young pitchers and still performs at a high level (2.59 ERA through 10 starts). The Opening Day starter isnt necessarily asking to end the season somewhere else.
But there is the inevitable sense that changes are coming to the Cubs.
Any time youre on a team thats not doing as well as youd like, Dempster said, and youre in the last year of a contract, things like that, any one of us is susceptible to being traded. For me, its a little bit different because I have the right to say no, to say yeah.
(But) obviously I want to do whats best for this organization. Theyve done nothing but right by me.