Ryan Dempster technically is still a member of the Chicago Cubs.
How much longer remains to be seen. A whirlwind Monday featured reports that Dempster had been traded to the Atlanta Braves. However, Dempster was in uniform for the evening's 2-0 victory at Pittsburgh, and the Cubs said there was "no news."
Dempster himself did not wish to comment, but he did send out a tweet saying there was "no trade." Instead, he told reporters he had to get ready for Wednesday's start -- for the Cubs -- in the series finale against the Pirates.
Realistically, one has to figure Dempster will be traded by the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. He is 35 and can become a free agent at the end of the season. He also has the best ERA in the major leagues (2.11) among qualifiers.
No trade of Dempster can happen without his approval because he has "10-and-5" rights, meaning he has at least 10 years of major league service and five with one team.
Dempster was in uniform for Monday's game and could be spotted talking with manager Dale Sveum in the dugout from time to time. For his part, Sveum was blaming social media even though he isn't a big devotee.
"The Twitter, the Facebook, the things that get produced and published that aren't true is just off the charts," he said. "Unfortunately, it's going to happen, and it's not going to go away because of all the avenues. But it's just unfortunate people do stuff like that and there's no merit to it."