Ryan Dempster pitched very well on Friday, shutting the Red Sox offense out over seven innings. It was the third straight start in which he tossed at least seven shutout innings, reducing his ERA to 2.11 in the process. With his typically strong peripherals, Dempster has already tallied 1.9 WAR in 81 innings, putting him on pace for his highest total since posting 5.2 WAR with the 2008 Cubs. However, given his contractual status and the Cubs futility this season, Dempster is likely to find himself finishing the season in another uniform.
While a few contenders — the Yankees and Dodgers, mostly — have already inquired on his availability, the team Dempster just recently blanked could and should have interest. The Red Sox interest in Cubs pitching doesn’t have to stop there, either, as Matt Garza is conceivably available as well. Both righties would help solidify the Red Sox starting rotation and help them get back into the running for a very obtainable playoff berth.
Neither pitcher would come cheap, but the Red Sox have a solid system and the front office familiarity — Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer run the Cubs now after having served together with the Red Sox for many years — could certainly help matters. The Red Sox might not instantly appear to be natural trade partners for the Cubs pitchers, but they stand to make up some ground as offensive contributors regress to the mean and return from injuries. Adding a 4-5 WAR pitcher to the mix could take them even farther.
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