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PITTSBURGH -- Standing in front of his locker in the Chicago Cubs' clubhouse Tuesday, Ryan Dempster said he is aware of the interest by teams in acquiring his services, but he has yet to make a decision on his future.
One day after reports surfaced that Dempster was on his way to the Atlanta Braves, Dempster said he wouldn't rush into a decision as a veteran player who has the right to veto any deal.
"I want to look everything over first before I make any decisions and I have time to do that," Dempster said. "There's a week before the trading deadline. That's where I stand on it."
Multiple reports have said the Cubs and Braves have a deal in place where Dempster goes to Atlanta and pitcher Randall Delgado would be headed to Chicago. All that was needed for the trade to go down is Dempster's approval, which has not been given, a source told ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine.
Dempster did not mention the Braves by name and avoided saying he has vetoed a deal. He did admit he was less than thrilled that news of a pending deal was leaked to reporters which suddenly put him on the spot to make a deal work.
Dempster said he definitely has his preference on where he would want to pitch but wasn't going to reveal any teams.
"I don't want to start saying who I'm down to because that's how rumors start and things start to fly around and things fly all around and things get out that isn't supposed to get out," Dempster said. "Something that is supposed to be a private matter doesn't stay private. I think if I just keep that close to me, that's the easiest way."
Dempster is in the lineup for his turn in Chicago's rotation on Wednesday against the Pirates at PNC Park.
"I just have to worry about going out to pitch and beat the Pirates (Wednesday)," Dempster said. "That's kind of where that stands. I have to slow my mind down a little bit and focus on what I need to focus on and that's going out and pitching and winning a ballgame and not worry about the other stuff."
Dempster understands that an unfortunate side effect of waiting to approve a deal means he will alienate a segment of the Cubs' fan base.
"That's fine; people can say what they want to say," Dempster said. "All I know is that when I put my uniform on, I give 100 percent to the Cubs, and I think that's all you can really ask whether you are a player, a coach, in the front office or a fan of the team. If all the players did that you'd be pretty happy."