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Cubs’ Ryan Dempster May Be Back Before the Break

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ESPN Chicago’s Doug Padilla says Ryan Dempster may return on Sunday rather than after the All-Star

break as everyone expected.  Dempster has been on the disabled list since June 18th with a strained right lat.  Prior to the injury, he was having perhaps his best season ever, and he was the source of almost constant trade rumors.

So far this season Dempster is 3-3 with a 2.11 ERA in 12 starts.  He is a free agent at the end of the year, so the Cubs are likely going to trade him before the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline.  Teams like the Yankees, Dodgers, and Tigers may still be interested, but the hot stove surrounding Dempster cooled considerably since his injury.

Because of the potential trade interest, the Cubs may still hold off on allowing Dempster to start Sunday.  They don’t want to rush him back even if the Dempster feels ready to go.

"“There’s always risk when you’re talking about a guy with injury but we’ll kind of evaluate it and we’ll go from there,” Sveum said. “You have to get all the parties involved and (we) will make an announcement on that. I have been watching him throw and he looks good but we’re talking about a guy who has been on the DL for a little bit so there’s always risk and concern, especially with a guy that has thrown the ball so well this year.”"

Dempster is making $14 million this year and could likely be traded without the Cubs absorbing any of that contract.  Because of his successful 2012 campaign, teams are going to be more willing to make a straight trade and pay the remainder of Dempster’s contract.  However, Dempster doesn’t figure to be the type of player that a competitor trades for and signs to an extension.  In his career, he’s never shown himself to be as talented as he seems this year.  He’s also 35 years old and makes more than most teams would be willing to pay long-term.

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