Report: Dodgers moving closer to landing Ryan Dempster

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The Cubs and Dodgers are working on potential three-team scenarios to get Ryan Dempster to Los Angeles, sources tell CSNChicago’s David Kaplan.

It’s believed the Cubs asked for right-hander Zach Lee and then right-hander Allen Webster in negotiations with the Dodgers, but that the Dodgers thus far have been unwilling to budge. By involving a third term, perhaps the Dodgers could still get a young starter that would suit the Cubs’ needs while holding on to the organization’s top two prospects.

With Dempster, Matt Garza and Paul Maholm all involved in trade rumors, the Cubs’ priority is landing major league-ready starting pitching in deals. They had an agreement to get right-hander Randall Delgado from the Braves for Dempster, only to have that fall through with Dempster making Los Angeles his destination of choice.

9:00 p.m. EDT update: Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the Dodgers rejected the Cubs’ offer of Dempster for Webster. I think that was already assumed, but Heyman is the first to report it as fact.

The Red Sox to designate Hanley Ramirez for assignment

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The Boston Red Sox plan to activate Dustin Pedroia from the disabled list today. That’s a big deal. The move they’re making to make room for him on the roster is a big one too: they plan to designate Hanley Ramirez for assignment.

The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier first reported the impending transaction. He was told by a major league source that Ramirez was informed this morning he’ll be moved off the roster. A designation for assignment, of course, means that the Sox have seven days to either trade or release Ramirez.

Ramirez, 34, is experiencing his worst season as a major leaguer thus far, hitting .254/.313/.395 (88 OPS+) in 195 plate appearances as he split time between first base and designated hitter. Given how well Mitch Moreland has hit at first and J.D. Martinez has hit at DH, there is simply no room for Ramirez in the lineup.

Ramirez, a 14-year big league veteran, won the 2006 Rookie of the Year Award and won the NL batting title in 2009. He has been a below average hitter in three of his last four seasons, however, and long removed from his days as a middle infielder, he has little defensive value these days. That said, his fame and the possibility that he could put together a decent run if used wisely will likely get him some looks from other clubs.