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Ryan Dempster Rumors: Yankees Denying Interest In Cubs Pitcher, According To Report

Early on Tuesday morning -- the day where the non-waiver trade deadline will pass -- David Kaplan of CSN-Chicago posted reported that the Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers and New York Yankees are the leading suitors for Chicago Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster. Shortly after Kaplan claimed the "New York Yankees have stepped up their pursuit over the last 48 hours," Jason Stark of ESPN tweeted a message that cast doubt on that assertion.

Here is what Stark had to say:

The Yankees telling teams they aren't in on a Dempster trade is still different than not actually being in trade talks (this is smoke screen season, after all), but it does appear the market is shrinking as the deadline approaches. In other news, the Dodgers are reportedly close to acquiring outfielder Shane Victorino, which would all but eliminate the possibility of a package deal for Alfonso Soriano and Dempster.

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.