- Bruce Levine, Chicago baseball beat reporter
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The Cubs have been clear their top priority on the trade market is adding young pitching. It is unclear whether Zach Lee, the top-rated arm in Los Angeles' farm system, is included in the offer.
The Cubs appear to be making contingency plans in case a Dempster trade is completed. A major league source told ESPNChicago.com that talks are fluid and the team is preparing to have replacements in St. Louis this weekend in case a deal is completed for the veteran starter.
In a corresponding transaction, right-hander Jairo Asencio was designated for assignment.
Germano, who turns 30 on Aug. 6, is 8-20 with a 4.91 ERA in 80 major league games. He is expected to be with the club on Friday in St. Louis. Right-hander Casey Coleman also reportedly will be on hand to pitch in case Dempster is traded or Germano has any travel issues.
Dempster represents a valuable trade chip for the Cubs. The 35-year-old has not allowed a run in his past 33 innings, spanning five starts. His 1.86 ERA is the lowest in the majors.
Dempster has 10-5 trade protection rights, meaning he must approve any trade before it can be executed. He is making a prorated amount of the $14 million he is owed in the last year of a four-year contract.
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