Cubs more likely to trade Ryan Dempster if they extend Matt Garza?

Cubs right-hander Ryan Dempster, an obvious trade candidate, would be even more likely to be moved if the team signed righty Matt Garza to a contract extension. – Ken Rosenthal

Does anybody understand this? I don't see what extending Garza has to do with whether or not the Cubs try to trade Ryan Dempster. Matt Garza is under club control through 2013 so Garza is around even after Dempster's contract is up. That's the other thing, Dempster's contract expires at the end of the season. In order for him to continue playing with the Cubs he'd have to re-sign.

What Rosenthal is saying is that if the Cubs don't extend Matt Garza then they probably don't trade Ryan Dempster. Does that make any sense at all? Of course not.

Whether or not the Cubs try to trade Ryan Dempster has nothing to do with Garza and everything to do with Dempster's contract ending after this season.

I think it's been awhile since we've talked about Dempster's trade value, if we have done so at all. ZiPS projects a 3.79 FIP and 135 innings the rest of the way. That's 2 WAR. If he were to be traded at the deadline he'd be worth about 1 WAR the rest of the way. A win is worth $5 million and Dempster would be owed $4.8 million the final two months of the season. That leaves a surplus trade value of only $0.2 million.

If the Cubs agreed to pay Dempster's remaining $4.8 million they'd expect $5 million back in prospects. According to this research, that's a Grade B hitter. Maybe they could get a little lucky and get a Grade B pitcher back. Or maybe they want a couple players and go for 2 to 3 Grade C pitchers 22 and younger.

Javier Baez is a Grade B prospect so that's about what the Cubs could expect at the most. You can take a look at the Cubs top 20 if you want to get a better idea of the possibilities in terms of similar players they could expect.