It was another up-and-down day for Ryan Dempster as the Chicago Cubs tried to fulfil the right-hander's wish for a trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
After the Cubs turned down the Dodgers' offer of two pitching prospects, the teams broadened the scope of the talks to include Chicago's Alfonso Soriano or Bryan LaHair, CBSSports.com reported.
They also looked at bringing a third team into negotiations. Talks cooled when the Cubs insisted on getting right-handed pitching prospect Allen Webster from Los Angeles.
The Dodgers now are said to be targeting James Shields of the Tampa Bay Rays or Josh Johnson of the Miami Marlins as alternatives.
They also are said to be interested in Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins. The Dodgers could use help at first base, given how James Loney has struggled at the plate all season.
WACKY WALLY-WHIRL FOR SOX
During a season in which they have been hard hit by injuries and have battled to get out of the AL East basement, the Boston Red Sox could hardly afford another setback.
But Red Sox security reported at 2:24 p.m. Friday that the costume for their mascot, Wally the Green Monster, had been stolen and a suspect was seen about two kilometres from Fenway Park. Fortunately, the mystery was solved one hour later, when Boston Police tweeted: "Update: Wally the Green Monster has been found."
The team then tweeted: "Never fear Red Sox Nation: Wally is safe and on his way back to Fenway Park."
Police said no charges would be filed. Turns out a Sox employee took the costume without letting the team know.
Cubs pitcher Matt Garza won't start again until after Tuesday's trade deadline because of cramping in his triceps. Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Friday that an MRI exam showed slight fluid buildup in the triceps area. There has been much trade speculation surrounding Garza ... The Houston Astros have claimed pitcher Chuckie Fick off waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals. Fick, 26, appeared in two games for the Cardinals this season and allowed a run in 1 2/3 innings ... The Philadelphia Phillies purchased the contract of infielder Kevin Frandsen from triple-A Lehigh Valley to replaced third baseman Placido Polanco on the roster. Polanco went on the 15-day disabled list with lower back inflammation ... Well-travelled right-handed pitcher Miguel Batista has signed a minor-league contract with the Atlanta Braves. The 41-year-old right-hander was dropped recently by the New York Mets after posting a 1.80 WHIP in 30 appearances this season. Batista had 31 saves for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2005. The Braves are his 12th major-league organization.