A major league source denied a report  that the Red Sox are "aggressive in the pursuit of Ryan Dempster." To the contrary, the source suggested, the Sox have not been pursuing the right-hander actively.
Dempster is 5-3 with a 1.86 ERA in 14 starts this year for the Cubs, and he currently has a scoreless innings streak of 33 innings. For now, however, the Red Sox -- whose starters have produced a 4.71 ERA, a mark that ranks 26th among the 30 big league teams -- are taking more of a wait-and-see approach to the trade market for starting pitching, at a time when they are trying to determine whether the excellent performances by Franklin Morales and Aaron Cook in short samples as rotation members are sustainable.
The Cubs right-hander represents a pure rental, as he will be eligible for free agency following the season. Under the new rules of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, a team that acquires a player mid-year cannot receive draft picks if he leaves as a free agent, so while Dempster's acquisition cost could be high, a team would have to be willing to make a gamble that his contributions in 2012 were worth the cost in prospects of acquiring a pitcher who has been one of the best in baseball when on the mound thus far this year.
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