MLB.com's Mark Bowman reports that the Chicago Cubs will trade starting pitcher Ryan Dempster to the Atlanta Braves. It's not clear what the Braves will receive, although it looks like there's a good chance fellow pitcher Randall Delgado will be involved.
For the Pirates, this is significant for a couple reasons. First, Dempster, the Cubs' best player this season, had been scheduled to start against the Bucs on Wednesday. Now they'll apparently get to face a much lesser pitcher.
Second, the Pirates have been connected to just about every starting pitcher and outfielder on the market. This deal, once it's completed, will help set the market for starting pitchers, potentially greasing the wheels for the Pirates to make a move of their own.
There's no guarantee of that, of course, and there's still a very good chance that the Pirates will wait until right before the July 31 deadline to make a move, if they make a significant trade at all. But once this deal is official, there will be a lot more clarity in the trading market.