CHICAGO -- Ryan Dempster, the subject of trade talks, had a long chat with Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, in the stands at Wrigley Field before Wednesday's game.
The topic? Dempster told MLB.com they were talking about an upcoming fundraiser in which Epstein is involved.
But the two could have discussed Dempster's future as the Trade Deadline approaches. The right-hander ranks third in the National League with a 2.31 ERA, but is just 2-3 in his 11 starts. He has said he's willing to waive his no-trade rights if the Cubs want to trade him to better the ballclub.
Cubs manager Dale Sveum said he knows talks will intensify as the July 31 Trade Deadline approaches.
"It's going to come up -- that's the way it is," Sveum said. "The players know that. You talk to them individually and some guys maybe haven't had their name out there before and all of a sudden, it's out there. Sometimes it's a distraction to players, some understand it happens every year."