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Ryan Dempster Trade Rumors: Nationals Interested In Dempster, Marlins Unlikely To Move Josh Johnson

The latest update from EPSN's Jayson Stark suggests not only are the Washington Nationals in the market for SP Ryan Dempster, but that the Chicago Cubs should have one less seller to compete with on the market. The Miami Marlins are reportedly pulling SP Josh Johnson from the trade deadline talks:

After all that Josh Johnson talk, the Marlins were telling teams Monday they're just going to keep their ace unless something unforeseen happens. ... So the Marlins are informing clubs they see more value in keeping Johnson, heading into his free-agent year, than trading him just to say they did.

The MLB trade market currently has three veteran starting pitchers left -- Dempster, Johnson and the Tampa Bay Rays' SP James Shields. With Johnson leaving the market, the Cubs should gain leverage in their discussions with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Nationals.

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.