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Cubs Vs. Cardinals Preview: Will Ryan Dempster Be Traded Before His Friday Start?

Ryan Dempster is scheduled to start against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday, but the Chicago Cubs could deal him before game time.

MESA, AZ - FEBRUARY 27:  Pitcher Ryan Dempster #46 of the Chicago Cubs poses during spring training photo day on February 27, 2012 in Mesa, Arizona.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
MESA, AZ - FEBRUARY 27: Pitcher Ryan Dempster #46 of the Chicago Cubs poses during spring training photo day on February 27, 2012 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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The Chicago Cubs are expected to trade veteran pitcher Ryan Dempster before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, but could they deal him before his scheduled start on Friday against the St. Louis Cardinals? The Cubs reportedly have a Triple-A pitcher ready to step in if Dempster is dealt before game time, so there is a real possibility a swap could happen for the first pitch (7:10 p.m. CT).

The Cardinals will start Kyle Lohse (9-2, 2.80 ERA) opposite whomever takes the mound for the Cubs, but Chicago fans will likely be more fixated on the rumor mill and trade chatter than the actual game on Friday.

TV: WGN

Game Time: 7:10 p.m. CT

Location: Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more comprehensive coverage, visit Cubs blog Bleed Cubbie Blue. For more MLB coverage, check out Baseball Nation as well as MLB Daily Dish. Cardinals coverage is available at SB Nation St. Louis and Viva El Birdos.