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Ryan Dempster Rumors: Braves, Nationals Still In On Cubs Starter

While the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers continue to negotiate, the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals have maintained interest in acquiring starting pitcher Ryan Dempster, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The Dodgers are considered the front-runner to complete a deal, but Heyman cautions that nothing is close on that end.

That lack of progress has left the door open for teams like the Nationals and Braves, among others, to try to sneak in and pry the MLB ERA leader away from L.A. Many still expect a deal to be completed before Dempster's scheduled start for Chicago against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night.

The Braves have only had general discussions with the Cubs about Dempster, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, but things could move quickly if a deal with the Dodgers falls through. Reports claim that Dempster would prefer to join the Dodgers, so the Cubs may be prioritizing talks with them.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more comprehensive coverage, visitCubs blog Bleed Cubbie Blue. For more MLB coverage, check out Baseball Nationas well as MLB Daily Dish.