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Dale Sveum says trade talk is no distraction for Cubs

Carlos Marol Cubs right looks down aclogged dradugout during radelay  Wrigley Field Friday July 13 2012 Chicago. | John

Carlos Marol of the Cubs, right, looks down at aclogged drain in the dugout during a rain delay at Wrigley Field Friday, July 13, 2012, in Chicago. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times

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The facts: 12:05 p.m., Ch. 9, 720-AM.

The starters: Joe Saunders (4-5, 3.44 ERA) vs. Ryan Dempster (4-3, 1.99).

Updated: August 15, 2012 6:10AM

The next two weeks might be more about trade rumors than the Cubs’ performance on the field. But manager Dale Sveum said trade talk shouldn’t detract from the team’s play.

“I don’t think it impacts wins and losses,” he said Friday. “This time of year, it’s inevitable to be in the media, whether it’s about all 25 guys or whoever. It’s just part of the game.

“On the field, I think guys focus on the game. Off the field, it’s something that’s there, and it’s been that way a long time.’’

The non-waiver deadline is
July 31, and the Cubs are expected to be a primary seller.

Sveum acknowledged that with more teams in the running for postseason play, the trade talk could be more intense.

“You have 20-plus teams that are capable of getting in the playoffs with that extra [wild-card] team,” he said. “They’ll think, ‘If we put this piece of the puzzle here ...’ There definitely are more teams involved.”

Pitchers Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza continue to be at the center of trade speculation, but Sveum said the art of the deal could effect what might seem inevitable.

The Cubs will expect a lot in return for either.

“I’ve been on teams where there was a lot of [talk] and a little, and then at the deadline, nothing happens,” Sveum said. “It’s what you want to get back [in a deal], too. You can have a garage sale, or no one gets traded.”

Stewart has surgery

After months of dealing with a painful left wrist, third baseman Ian Stewart had surgery Tuesday. It’s still unknown if he can return later this season.

Stewart had two procedures, an arthroscopic exam and a procedure to remove a bone impingement and clean up debris.

The wrist will be immobile for two weeks, then require four to six weeks of recovery.

The rotation

Travis Wood will start Tuesday in the series opener against the Miami Marlins. Jeff Samardzija will start Wednesday, giving him extra rest after the All-Star break and the day off Monday.

“With Samardzija, we’re in uncharted waters,” Sveum said of Samardzija’s move from the bullpen to starter. “We’ve talked about the learning process and being yourself and not trying to be someone else. I think in his last two starts we saw that, and he used that split finger. He got a little out of whack with his mechanics on that.”

In the fold

The Cubs signed second-round pick Duane Underwood, a right-handed pitcher from Pope High School in Georgia, bringing their signees from the June draft to 29.

The team signed all of its top 20 picks by the deadline Friday. Top pick Albert Almora, an outfielder from Mater Academy in Florida, signed earlier this week.

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