Here's the thing about the MLB rumor mill: It spins for a while, on multiple wheels like a Mayan calendar, until two of them catch and a team is connected to one Perfect Trade Target almost exclusively for a while. That's happened to the St. Louis Cardinals, and the player, in this particularly odd case, is in division: The Chicago Cubs' Ryan Dempster, who's gotten attention from nearly every playoff-aimed team in baseball.
And for good reason: Dempster, in the midst of a 33-inning scoreless streak, is more affordable than the top rentals on the market, but he's having a great year and has been, as a Cub, a startlingly consistent member of the rotation.
It was a surprise, initially, coming from the 35-year-old, who began his career as an injury-prone superprospect and spent some time as a closer, but it's been four-and-a-half years, now, since he ruturned to the rotation, during which he's posted a 3.61 ERA over more than 900 innings.
The Cardinals definitely have the young pitching the Cubs want in return--the question is whether they want to give up enough of it to make the trade happen. For now, at least, the rumor-driven press seems to like the possibility.