The Cubs are expected to be about baseball's biggest sellers at the trade deadline, and some rival GMs anticipate that they may be willing to consider deals for almost anyone but their talented young shortstop Starlin Castro.

Cubs people suggest that may be overstating their coming sale a bit but do acknoweldge they expect to be in the middle of a lot of the talk.

After a story suggested they would even trade Castro, Cubs people said they've never mentioned his name in talks. And rivals agree that it would make little to no sense to trade Castro, who one described thusly, "He's a 21-year-old thriving in the big leagues and a potential cornerstone player.''

Cubs baseball decision-makers Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer surely realize they are in a rebuilding situation with little hope to win in 2013 either, even if they won't say exactly that  publicly. So rivals could see them entertaining almost anything. Jeff Samardzija, who has thrived as a new starter, was cited in one article as a rare Cubs untouchable. But an exec said he could even see them dealing Samardzija, in effect "selling high'' after his hot start as a starter.

Here are their main potential trade pieces:

1. Matt Garza, SP. Cubs people say they will try again to sign him, but their chances seem uncertain at best since talks have been dormant at least two months. A trade seems more likely, rivals believe. And assuming he's available, he'll be one of the prime trade targets as a young, hard-throwing righthander who thrived in the A.L. East before going to the Cubs in a trade and who has another year to go before he can become a free agent. The Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays all seem like possibilities, as one GM said he believed the A.L. East would be "trade central" this July.

2. Ryan Dempster, SP. He's a very effective pitcher so hurt by the Cubs' offensive woes he didn't win a game until his 10th start, despite an ERA below 3. However, his $14 million salary and potential question about whether he'd be as successful in the A.L. might limit the take provided the acquiring team takes the whole salary.

3. Paul Maholm, SP. Solid N.L. starter may be able to help a team or two at the back-end of the rotation.

4. Alfonso Soriano, OF-DH. Cubs people understand they'll either have to pay a vast majority of Soriano's deal (say $40-45 million of about $50 million to go) or take a similarly bad contract/contracts back. He's helped some by hitting all nine home runs since May 15. The DH market is brutal these days, but perhaps an A.L. team will emerge.

5. Carlos Marmol, RP. Even if the $9.8 million 2013 salary was something less unreasonable, relievers with 20 walks in 16 innings aren't exactly coveted.

6. Reed Johnson, OF. Spare outfielder may bring a bit of interest.