Countdown to the Deadline: Dempster Updates; You’ll Get Mad

I really tried to make it through a whole day without talking about Ryan Dempster but it’s impossible at this point, especially when more information keeps coming out.  The information that is coming out is positive to start with but by the time you get to the last update you feel like you got punched in the gut and spit on, the spitting wasn’t really necessary.

Jayson Stark reported today that the Cubs and Dodgers remain optimistic that they can reach a deal involving Dempster.  I can live with that news, part of me just wants this done so everyone can move on.  However, Cubs fans need to be prepared that the return is not going to be what is was earlier this week.


Executive Joel Sherman is reporting that the Cubs might want to “kick in an extra $1 million bucks” for Dempster to go to Atlanta.  It’s come to this?  I’m okay with it if Major League baseball is because that just sounds odd, but it’s on the internet so I believe it.


David Kaplan reported that a Cubs/Dodgers deal is getting “close” – then shared a few details about the Braves deal that fell through, for now.  Brett at Bleacher Nation had a really solid write-up, here are his thoughts.

Here’s a more complete take from Kaplan, which goes into a bit of the backstory on the Braves’ deal. The gist is, the Cubs thought they had an understanding with Dempster that they could negotiating with either the Braves or Dodgers, and then they got a better offer from the Braves. When Dempster through up a roadblock (albeit possibly temporary), asking the Cubs to try once more with the Dodgers, the Braves pulled their offer so they could explore other options. Theo was apparently furious. And that’s where we stand, as the Cubs try to get an acceptable deal from the Dodgers. The Cubs, Kap says, are trying to net a “handful” of pitching prospects, which suggests they will generally be of a lesser tier than Delgado.

Gut punch number one right there.  Again it’s a report that is second-hand, but it falls in line with everything that we have heard prior, that Dempster would allow a deal to the Braves, yet when it’s put your money where your mouth is time Dempster gets “blindsided” all of a sudden.


Kaplan also chimed in with this nugget, this is the first I’ve heard that a multi-team deal might be in the works.

Team Theo and Co. are looking at a number of scenarios, with sources telling me this afternoon that a multi-team trade that would send Ryan Dempster to his preferred destination, the Los Angeles Dodgers while netting the Cubs a handful of prospects built around starting pitching is getting closer to happening.

The Cubs are exhausting all options to get a deal done for a guy that said less than a month a go that he loved that he had options and he would do everything he could to help himself and the Cubs organization moving forward.  I wonder if he said that while doing his Haray Caray impression, such a funny guy.  But this latest joke is absolutely hilarious.


Finally Jon Heyman adds to the dream crushing.  The Cubs offered Ryan Dempster to the Dodgers for fringe top 100 prospect Allen Webster, a downgrade from Randall Delgado but a serviceable prospect for Dempster.  The Dodgers said no, flat-out.  Starting to sound like Dempster has alienated the Cubs, the Braves, and now the Dodgers might actually prefer Garza over Dempster, what is Dempster to do now?  If I had to guess I think some sort of deal gets done tomorrow, the only reason I say that is I think someone is going to cave, Dempster or Theo and Jed.  It’s horrible that it has come to this when just under a month ago it seemed like Dempster would do everything in his power to accept a deal.  I understand the rules of baseball so I’ll save you the reply of “he’s earned the right.”  Yes I know, but I really don’t care at this point, the act is wearing thin, and the more I see of this circus the more I think Dempster is just that, an act.

Thanks for reading,
– George


Countdown to the Deadline: Latest Rumors NOT About Dempster

Lost is all the Dempster hoopla is the fact that the Cubs are still in a building process and have a number of assets that other teams can use.  Here is the latest chatter about some of those assets, this post will be a Dempster free zone starting… now.

It’s about time that Alfonso Soriano’s name starts getting mentioned in some of these trade rumors.  Soriano’s is in the midst of a resurgent season and surely a team in the AL could use a slugging DH.  Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports reports that at least one team has inquired about Soriano.

Morosi on Soriano-

With Soriano, the issue is – and has been – money. He has roughly $6 million left on this year’s contract, followed by $18 million in each of the next two seasons. The Cubs likely would need to include a substantial amount of money to facilitate a trade. On top of that, Soriano has a full no-trade clause.

The Dodgers, Giants, Indians and Pirates are among the teams that could benefit from Soriano’s power


Morosi also chimes in about Matt Garza, yes he is still on the Cubs, we just haven’t heard much about him since he left injured last Friday and he won’t pitch again until Monday July 30th (maybe).  The Cubs are talking with multiple potential suitors for Garza.  Morosi also reports that the Dodgers appear to be serious in their attempts to get Garza as a Zach Lee for Matt Garza deal may have been discussed, at this point I don’t think that is a reality.

ESPN’s Jayson Stark temper’s that interest as he reports that clubs have not been assured that Garza will make another start before the deadline, and is more likely to be dealt in the offseason than at the deadline, if at all.


Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reported back on 7/23 that the Orioles have been making calls with the hopes of addressing their corner infield issues.  One of those guys they have kicked the tires on is Bryan LaHair.  These talks have been preliminary, there is nothing serious as of yet, but if another team is interested in LaHair the Cubs would jump at the chance to get anything for him.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Braves’ GM Explains How Dempster Deal Collapsed, For Now

The question that a lot of Cubs fans have been asking is what exactly happened to make the Dempster deal to the Braves blow up?  Well today we are starting to get some answers from Braves’ GM Frank Wren.  Now, a word of caution, these are quotes from Wren but he does not speak for the Cubs, the Cubs have not made any public comments about this and will not as that is pretty status quo now that Theo is running the show.

Via Gordon Wittenmeyer / Chicago Sun-Times

ON WHAT HAPPENED TO LOSE DEMPSTER DEAL: “In his case, from my understanding – and I’m only getting it second hand from the Cubs – they had a meeting with him a couple weeks ago and laid it out, and the primary two suitors were use and the Dodgers. And he had positive things to say about both, and he had a slight preference to the Dodgers because of Ted Lilly. He and Ted Lilly are best of friends and he’d like to go play with his friend. And I think there were also some personal issues that suited better for him. And as it went down, from my understanding, the Cubs informed him in the last week that the Dodgers weren’t really as aggressive as we were and they thought the deal was going to go with us. I think he was given a heads up along the way. I think it may be the way it was presented as far as coming out in the media [Monday]. I think that was blindsiding, not that he necessarily didn’t know this was coming down.’’

ON BRAVES’ STANCE IF DEMPSTER WERE TO RECONSIDER TODAY: “I’m not going to paint us in a corner one way or another. Let’s just say that we have moved on. And we’re looking for impact pitching, someone that can make a difference for us as we go down the stretch the last two months. We feel we can win our division. But we feel we need to improve our starting pitching.’’

 ON IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN MAKING TRADES THESE DAYS: “I think the Twitter and the internet have really changed the dynamics for how it all works. We were able to keep this deal under wraps for about three days as we worked through a lot of details, and it never leaked out. And then the second we got to … the Cubs taking it to the player, it was out everywhere. It’s a different dynamic than we’ve ever worked in, and it does make it sometimes more difficult to get our jobs done.’’

Really great stuff from the Braves’ GM here as it gives us a second-hand view of what had actually taken place over the past week or so.  It’s interesting to hear that really there is no way that Ryan Dempster could have been blindsided by this deal coming about as he has been in on it since day one.  That’s not exactly great news for Dempster as this process drags on considering that he is already being considered public enemy number one by some Cubs fans.  But let’s take a step back here and a breath, or two, to get our bearings.

To do so I suggest we look at Ryan Dempster’s post game comments today.  Patrick Mooney posted this one on Twitter.  “If that’s still an option down the road, then that’s something I might look at to make the best decision for me/my family.”  To me that sounds like Dempster is waiting to see if the Cubs can make a deal with the Dodgers, if not then Dempster might be open to going to Atlanta, the return might not be the same, but it’s a slightly cracked open door.

Here is some post game video of Dempster from Paul Sullivan.  It sounds like a guy that really hasn’t made up his mind about anything yet, and wants to take more time than everyone else wants.  Thing is, Dempster has until July 31st to make up his mind on where he wants to go, there just might not be anywhere to go by then.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Buster Olney: “As of Now, Cubs Plan to Keep Dempster”

In a day that just won’t slow down, Buster Olney is now reporting that the Cubs are planning to keep Dempster and make a qualifying offer at the end of the year so they will get a draft pick, unless offers improve.  Olney also reports that the Cubs and Dodgers are not close to a deal, and as we all know that is the only place Dempster will go based on what has happened in the last couple days.  This trade deadline has basically turned into a disaster for the Cubs as they went from having two really solid pieces to deal in Dempster and Garza to one injured starter (Garza) and one starter that wants what’s best for him despite his recent comments and that has cost the Cubs a tremendous return in Randall Delgado (Dempster).

Things change fast so stay tuned, still plenty of time left until the July 31st deadline, anything can happen, except of course Ryan Dempster for Randall Delgado.

Thanks for reading,
– George

This is Why Cubs Fans Are Upset With Dempster

Everyone understands that Ryan Dempster is a 10 and 5 guy.  If you don’t know what that means, here’s a definition for you.

Players who have been with a club for 5 consecutive years and have been a major league player for 10 years cannot be traded without their consent. 

Dempster has every right to deny any trade for any reason, good or bad.

Ryan Dempster’s comments from earlier in the year…

Waddle and Silvy interview

“I think I would be doing everybody in that locker room and anybody who is a Cubs fan and most importantly the Cubs organization a huge disservice if I didn’t put all my focus and attention on trying to make my start and do the best I can to help us win,” Dempster said Wednesday on The Waddle & Silvy Show. “By doing that you’re ultimately helping the team. You’re in a situation where if it does happen they are going to do what’s best for the Chicago Cubs, and I’m all for that.”

Paul Sullivan interview

“Any one of us is susceptible to being traded. For me, it’s a little different because I have the right to say ‘no.’ … Obviously I want to do what’s best for this organization. They’ve done nothing but right by me.”

If you need a smoking gun, that’s it folks.  Dempster is on record saying that he would accept any reasonable deal to a contender that would benefit him and the Cubs.  Of course he can change his mind, but the Theo and Jed would not have agreed to a deal with the Braves if they thought Dempster would turn it down in my opinion, stay tuned.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Braves GM on Dempster: “We’ve Moved On”


After two days of Ryan Dempster making up his mind, when he really already had it made up the Atlanta Braves have appeared to move on from a deal for Dempster.

Braves GM Frank Wren was on the radio this morning,

“We’re not going to be painted into a corner,” the GM said on an Atlanta radio station this morning. “We have moved on.” He added that it is “highly unlikely” that the Braves will now acquire Dempster, and said that the deal the two sides had in place “expired yesterday.”  That is horrible news for the Cubs organization and Cubs fans as Randall Delgado to the Cubs is no more.  That’s a shame as Dempster informed the Cubs that the Braves would be an adequate landing spot, so the Cubs went out and agreed to an AWESOME deal with the Braves only to have it blown up by the man that everyone is trying to please, Ryan Dempster.

Can’t wait to find out what went wrong here, if we ever do.  Stay tuned.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Is Worst Case Scenario Happening With Dempster? [UPDATE]

Earlier in the year a lot was made of the secret meeting that Ryan Dempster and Theo Epstein had inside an empty Wrigley Field, and rightfully so.  That meeting was to discuss the future of the Chicago Cubs, specifically where Ryan Dempster would want to go if and when his name was discussed in a trade.  By all accounts Dempster was very grateful that Theo came to him well in advance of a deal to make sure that Dempster, who had 10-and-5 rights, was dealt to a team that he wanted to go play for.  Dempster’s number one choice was the Dodgers, his number two choice was the Braves.  It sounded as if Dempster would be willing to cooperate to make sure the Cubs got a solid return for his services, but something has changed.

News came out this morning from Ken Rosenthal that Ryan Dempster does not want to be traded to the Braves, his second choice.  But is holding out for a deal to the Dodgers instead.  The same Dodgers that were very close to acquiring Dempster last week before the deal fell apart when the Cubs were offered a better deal from the Braves.  Ryan Dempster said as much himself this morning on his twitter account “Nothing official to report.  You will be the 1st to know. Thnx to all my fans for the support #RD46.”

Take that for what it’s worth but it sounds every bit like a player saying no to a deal that is already in place to me.  A selfish move?  For sure, but unfortunately for Cubs fans everywhere Dempster has earned the right to be selfish and I’m not going to get on the guy for that.  Just because I won’t get on Dempster for that doesn’t mean I won’t face reality, which is this is the worst case scenario for the Cubs.  By passing on a Dodgers deal, accepting a Braves deal, and having Dempster say no, the Cubs lose all the leverage in any deal they make moving forward, which means a worse return for the right hander.

I still think there is a possibility that Dempster says yes to a deal to the Braves, but the longer this gets held up the worse the return will be for any deal the Cubs make, not just for Dempster.

Here are some updates from today, nothing really good at all.

Update 1A source informed Jayson Stark that a resolution to this ordeal would be coming “shortly”  this was a few hours ago, so something could be coming out very soon.  If I had to guess, the Cubs and Dempster will announce an official NO.

Update 2 – Doug Padilla, again dream killing Padilla!  Padilla is reporting the Dempster has made his way into the Cubs clubhouse and is preparing for tonight’s game against the Pirates.  He also added that “deal with Braves seems to be dying on the vine.”  So there’s that.

Update 3 – Tim Brown of Yahoo sports reported that the Cubs were prepared for something like this happening.  As a result they have kept in contact with the Dodgers yesterday and today in case the Braves deal falls through, and now that seems more likely than not.

Update 4 – A source tells Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports that Ryan Dempster could indeed be traded to the Dodgers, and the deal might not have to involve Zach Lee.  The Cubs have been rumored to be after the # 1 arm of the Dodgers system in Lee, but now that Ryan Dempster has stalled out there is no way that Lee will be involved in a deal.

Update 5 – Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports in now reporting that the Cubs have asked the Dodgers about Allen Webster, he would be the primary piece a deal for Dempster.  Quite the departure from the Zach Lee’s and Randall Delgado’s of the world.  You can thank Dempster for that one.

Stay tuned!

Thanks for reading,
– George