Ryan Dempster's agent, Cubs talk

Updated: December 5, 2012, 10:54 PM ET
By Bruce Levine | ESPNChicago.com

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The agent for free-agent pitcher Ryan Dempster has had conversations with the Cubs about a possible return to Chicago, according to major league sources.

A source said that the Cubs had not made an offer as of Wednesday, but money and length of contract have been discussed.

Dempster, 35, was traded by the Cubs to the Texas Rangers on July 31 for two minor league players. He went a combined 12-8 for the teams.

Dempster has offers on the table for two- and three-year deals, according to a source. The Kansas City Royals and Milwaukee Brewers are said to be two teams showing the most interest in Dempster, according to another source with knowledge of the negotiations.

Although the Cubs and Dempster had their moments with each other before the right-hander was dealt at the July 31 deadline, the relationship appears unaffected by the pre-trade drama. Dempster was caught off-guard by an attempt to trade him to the Atlanta Braves for pitcher Randall Delgado a week before he was moved to Texas. He hesitated to waive his no-trade rights, and the trade to the Braves fell apart.

A sticking point for a return to the Cubs may be no-trade language in a contract for Dempster. The Cubs certainly would hesitate to give a no-trade clause to a veteran pitcher. Dempster and his agent probably would want some assurances he will stay in a market that he commits to in a multiyear deal.

Dempster has also pitched for the Marlins and Reds and owns a 124-124 career record and a 4.33 ERA. He earned $14 million in 2012, the last season of a four-year deal.

The Cubs signed starters Scott Baker and Scott Feldman earlier this offseason.

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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