CHICAGO -- Ryan Dempster threw on the side Friday, hit with the Cubs pitchers, and then joined his teammates in the outfield during batting practice. It was a normal day for the right-hander, who has had anything but normal days leading up to Tuesday's Trade Deadline.
Dempster (5-5, 2.25 ERA) is on track to make his next start on Tuesday, which would be just a few hours after the Trade Deadline. He's been one of the top targets this season.
"I think there's no question it's going to weigh on you a little bit," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of the distractions created by the rumors. "Everybody's human."
Whether Dempster goes is his call. He has 10 years in the big leagues and five with the same team, which allows him veto power over any deal. That may sound selfish, but it's the players' rights.
"Fortunately for Dempster, he's got the 10-and-5 rights, and for whatever reason, people don't know what's going on behind the scenes and all the reasons why you accept and why you don't," Sveum said. "It's an unfortunate thing that [people] jump to conclusions. He's one of the most class guys you'll ever be around and [a good] teammate, and obviously [he's] very productive when he goes out there every five days, too. It's one of those things where you're good if you do, good if you don't, and it's a tough situation to be in."
Sveum isn't pushing for a trade.
"We're only going to be a better team with him on the field all year," Sveum said.
Dempster and Sveum didn't agree on Wednesday, which was Dempster's last start. He was pulled after 93 pitches over six innings, and trailing, 3-2, against the Pirates. Dempster threw a cooler lid, then slammed the cooler and threw a water bottle in the dugout.
The two talked later.
"Players have the right to do things and snap, and those things happen," Sveum said. "It's not all just because of one thing or because he got taken out of a game. It's a very competitive sport and there's a lot of reasons why some guys all of a sudden don't have a good day. We had a good talk, and everything's good."
Tuesday's Trade Deadline can't come soon enough for Sveum.
"It's something that's there and we know it's part of the game," he said. "I don't care who you are, you want to move on to other questions, there's no question about it."
Sveum has been in touch with Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer.
"We talk, and we talk about a lot of things and it's basically kind of, 'I don't really want to know until it's a sealed deal,'" Sveum said.
Garza not in line to start until after Deadline
CHICAGO -- Any teams interested in Cubs pitcher Matt Garza will not be able to see him pitch before Tuesday's Trade Deadline, unless they watch his side sessions.
Garza, who came out of last Saturday's game with cramping in his right elbow, will not start until late next week, Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Friday.
The right-hander underwent an MRI on his elbow this week, which showed evidence of the cramping but was otherwise clean.
"We'll just wait and see what happens with his throwing program, and [he could start], possibly, maybe late next week," Sveum said.
Even though he's sidelined now, Garza could still be traded. It's up to the other team as to whether they want to take that risk. Did Sveum expect Garza to be dealt?
"I don't expect anybody to be gone until it happens anyways," Sveum said. "I'm not dwelling on that. We have to get him back on the mound."
The Cubs have yet to name a starter for Monday in the upcoming series against the Pirates, although Justin Germano could get the call if he's not needed this weekend. Ryan Dempster will start Tuesday and Travis Wood on Wednesday.
Cubs celebrate Hall of Famer Santo at Wrigley
CHICAGO -- Longtime Cubs third baseman and radio analyst Ron Santo, inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame last Sunday, was celebrated on Friday at Wrigley Field.
There were No. 10 flags on top of the ballpark and a "10" imprinted in center field in honor of Santo, who passed away in December 2010, one year before the Golden Era Committee voted him into the Hall of Fame.
Santo's wife, Vicki, and Santo's sons, Ron Jr. and Jeff, and daughter Linda and her two children, Sam and Spencer, received a photo from the ceremonies in Cooperstown in which the family posed with the plaque. The family then shook hands with Cubs manager Dale Sveum, the coaches and all the players lined along the dugout.
Santo's grandson, Spencer Brown, threw a perfect strike to recently retired Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood for the ceremonial first pitch.
As they took the field, the Cubs players clicked their heels as they did last Sunday in St. Louis in honor of Santo, who first did the celebration in 1969.
The Cubs, who went 2-4 on their six-game road trip against the Cardinals and Pirates, struggled offensively, batting a collective .169 in the six games, with three home runs and 10 RBIs.
"Right now, we have to get some production out of [Bryan] LaHair and [Luis] Valbuena, who looks like he's in a mini slump, too," Sveum said. "We have a lot of guys right now not on all cylinders. [Starlin] Castro is getting his hits here and there. [Alfonso Soriano] has been fine. [Geovany Soto] has had great at-bats and is swinging OK. We've got to get a little bit better production out of some spots."
Entering Friday, LaHair was batting .231 in 17 games in July, with one home run and three RBIs, while Valbuena was hitting .190 in 20 games this month.
Double-A Tennessee outfielder Jae-Hoon Ha suffered a concussion when he crashed into an outfield wall Thursday night against Jacksonville, and he will be sidelined seven to 14 days, the Cubs said.
Ha, who played for the World team in the All-Star Futures Game, was taken off the field on a stretcher, then taken by ambulance to a Jacksonville hospital. According to the Smokies Radio Network, Ha was responsive and talking before he left the field.
Blake Parker, on the disabled list since June 6 with a stress reaction in his right elbow, threw off the mound for the first time since he was injured. Parker threw 30 pitches on Friday. There's no timetable for his return.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.