Deadline could be Cubs' best ally

July, 27, 2012
7/27/12
6:20
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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Matt Garza and Ryan DempsterGetty Images, US PresswireThe closer the deadline gets, the more pressure there will be on L.A. to make a deal.

CHICAGO -- With the non-waiver trade deadline just four days away, the Cubs continue to be in wait mode.

With it now known -- thanks to Braves GM Frank Wren -- that the Dodgers are Ryan Dempster's preferred landing spot in a trade, the Cubs' leverage with Los Angeles general manager Ned Colletti dwindled. Not only have the Dodgers balked on parting with top pitching prospect Zach Lee in a deal but reports now say they won't even part with Allen Webster, another highly regarded pitching prospect.

On Friday came the news that Matt Garza won't pitch before the trade deadline, depriving potential suitors the chance of making sure his sore right arm has improved. There still stands a chance Garza will be pitching in Los Angeles late next week, but he could be doing so with the Cubs when they take a trip to the West Coast.

As of now, the chain of events that has stymied the Cubs trade opportunities hasn't quite been the worst-case scenario, just close. Dempster and Garza could have injuries worthy of the disabled list, which would completely eliminate chances to make deals.

The Cubs' best ally at this juncture would seem to be the Tuesday 3 p.m. CT deadline itself.

The closer the deadline comes, the less leverage the Dodgers have if they truly want to make a deal to bolster their starting staff. The question is this: Is the Cubs' front office bold enough to wait until the last minute?

Also helping the Cubs on the Garza front is a new MRI on his right arm that shows no serious damage and some small fluid buildup that remains from the cramp he suffered on the mound last week.

Missing out on acquiring pitcher Randall Delgado from the Braves for Dempster was a tough pill to swallow. Ultimately, though, time still remains before the deadline and the only objective the Cubs definitely have whiffed on was getting at least one of their starters dealt well before the deadline.

With less than 100 hours to go before that deadline arrives, time will tell whether they missed other deadline objectives.

Doug Padilla

Chicago White Sox beat reporter
Doug joined ESPN Chicago in July 2010 and covers the Chicago White Sox for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Anthony Rizzo
BA HR RBI R
.283 25 58 71
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Rizzo 25
RBIA. Rizzo 58
RA. Rizzo 71
OPSA. Rizzo .912
WJ. Hammel 8
ERAJ. Samardzija 2.83
SOJ. Hammel 104