Countdown to the Deadline: Dempster Deal Coming Shortly

I mentioned it in the game recap yesterday, but all signs are pointing to Ryan Dempster being traded before his next start.  Buster Olney offered up a guess on Twitter today when asked if Ryan Dempster would make his next start in a Cubs uniform, his guess?  No.  Now Dempster might be traded in the next couple of days, but remember, Dempster has to agree to any deal that the Cubs agree to.  So technically, Dempster could allow this to go on for as long as HE wants to, I don’t think he would do that to the Cubs or to the team that acquires him.  Olney also mentioned that the Cubs are trying to deal Dempster as soon as possible so that they do not influence the trade market of fellow starter Matt Garza.

So where will Dempster go?  It’s anyone’s guess right now as it seems the number of teams increases with each start Dempster makes.  Bruce Levine is reporting that up to ten teams are in hot pursuit of Dempster, some more so than others obviously.  Levine suggests that some of the teams are as follows, in no particular order, Los Angeles Dodgers, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox and Atlanta Braves.


Another name that is starting to gain a head of steam in the trade chatter is Alfonso Soriano.  Jon Heyman of CBS Sports has suggested that Soriano would be a fit for the offensively challenged Tampa Bay Rays.  That is of course if the Cubs pickup $44 of the $46 million remaining on Soriano’s deal as one rival scout was quoted as saying.

Jed Hoyer understands that a number of Cubs players are going to be dealt, but he also understands that the fans want a quality product, “That’s where you sort of have to have that long view to make those moves,” Hoyer said. “But that’s why being in that position isn’t one you want to be in very often. You feel like, yes, you can make improvements for the long-term but there is a reason there are teams calling, because there are good players. I think that is never a good feeling.

Thanks for reading,
– George


Wrigley Farewell? If So, Dempster Goes Out On Top

Maybe Ryan Dempster doesn’t want to leave?  Pitching in front of a packed house at Wrigley Field for maybe the last time, Dempster shut down the Diamondbacks en route to a 4-1 victory.  For the fifth start in a row Dempster did not allow a run and earned the victory, according to Elias, Dempster is only the 5th pitcher in the last 100 years to accomplish that feat.  Dempster also tied Kenny Holtzman’s club record for scoreless innings in a season with 33 straight, Holtzman tossed 33 scoreless innings in a row during the 1969 season.  Dempster was on a pitch count again this afternoon so he was lifted after six innings, he allowed no runs on four hits while walking three and striking out five.  The bottom of the Cubs order did most of the damage today as both Luis Valbuena and Geovany Soto had two hits, Valbuena added an RBI.  Reed Johnson had a solid day at the top of the order going 2-for-4 with his 8th double of the season.  Carlos Marmol came on to get the save and made it as difficult as you could imagine.  Marmol put the first two guys on in the ninth before getting a game saving catch from Reed Johnson as he crashed into the bricks in right.  Anthony Rizzo started a slick 3-6-1 double play to end the game giving the Cubs a series victory.   Don’t look now, but the Cubs are playing baseball worthy of a contender as they have won 11 of their last 15 games, an impressive run, sure it is probably too late but this is must watch TV.  Full box score and highlights after the jump.

Continue reading “Wrigley Farewell? If So, Dempster Goes Out On Top”

Countdown to the Deadline: Dodgers Back on Dempster

Just before Ryan Dempster was placed on the DL there were very strong rumors suggesting that he was about to be traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Well, those rumors seem to be resurfacing.  As Jon Heyman suggests the Dodgers might want to make a huge splash and get both Dempster and Garza from the Cubs.  Now, given the fact that the Cubs want to get as much as possible back for both guys I would really doubt that they would agree to send both pitchers to the same team but as always it depends on the return.

From Heyman’s article

“The Dodgers have long been known to be targeting Dempster and are seen as a favorite for him. But it turns out they’ve had conversations about Garza, as well.

Either one would make a nice addition to the Dodgers, who’ve managed to hang onto first place despite a long absence by superstar Matt Kemp and several other injuries (Kemp is due back Friday, and Andre Ethier is expected back if not Friday, then a day or two after that). Ted Lilly, who is injured for the Dodgers, is close to Dempster from his Cubs days and would presumably recommend him highly.”

Heyman Continues

“The Dodgers have the money to take a decent-sized contract, but the Cubs prefer to get talent back from their top chips. Young pitcher Zach Lee is considered the Dodgers’ top prospect.”


Of course, the Dodgers are not just going to be allowed to swoop in and have Dempster all to themselves.  Per Bruce Levine of ESPN, there are expected to be upwards of 10 scouts attending Dempsters Saturday start in Arizona.

The Ryan Dempster trading market will see a huge surge on Saturday as upwards of 10 teams will have scouts on hand to watch the Chicago Cubs’ veteran right-hander pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks. “

Some of the best players in their game also voiced their opinion of potentially landing Dempster at the deadline, this is the perfect storm for the Cubs, the more I see the more I think they could make a killing in a deal for both Dempster and Garza.

“When you see all the top teams in baseball, they are always deep in quality pitching,” the Dodgers’ Matt Kemp said. “If it is possible to add a pitcher like Ryan Dempster of course you would do it. He has been pitching great and he is healthy again, not to mention he has the best ERA in baseball. He would be a great addition.” 

Future Hall of Fame third baseman Chipper Jones is a big Dempster fan. 

“Ryan is one of the most respected guys in baseball,” Jones said. “He goes out there every five days trying to stick it to you. Any team would be lucky to get him. We could use some help trying to catch the Nationals, so getting someone like Demp would certainly bolster our chances.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Countdown to the Deadline: Chicago Cubs Rumors

Depending on how you look at it the next three weeks could be exciting or gut wrenching.  Count me in for being excited, because within the next three weeks Theo Epstein and the Cubs are going to get better.  That’s the plan anyway as the Cubs have a number of attractive players that could net them a favorable return in a trade.

Seeing that we are now at the all-star break, which means a whole four days without Cubs baseball, what better time than now to start our countdown to the deadline.  We will have daily rumor updates, and trade news/analysis leading up to the deadline and then a deadline special on the 31st.  Trust me, you should be excited, check out some of the latest rumors below.


According the MLB GM’s, Matt Garza is the most valuable pitcher on the trade market right now.  Yes, in a year where Cole Hamels and Zack Greinke are on the block, the majority of the general managers feel Garza is the #1 target.  Why?  Control, and a draft pick.  The Cubs are asking for three top pieces in return for Garza, and they just might get it.  Matt Garza is under team control for another year and a half, meaning if he is traded the team that gets him won’t have to worry about signing him to an extension right away.  A huge difference between Garza, and Hamels and Greinke is that a draft pick will still be attached to Garza, not the case for Hamels and Greinke, thanks CBA.


Ryan Dempster returned from the DL yesterday and pitched awesome once again.  Per Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, a healthy amount of scouts expected to in attendance for Dempster’s return to the mound.  Demp definitely didn’t do anything to hurt his trade value as he extended his scoreless streak to 27 innings.  The Dodgers, Yankees, and the Braves have shown interest in Dempster, the Dodgers and Yankees showing the most.  The Cubs have also let it be known that they will eat almost all of the Dempster’s remaining contract for this season which should increase the return in a deal.


The Tigers have expressed interest in Darwin Barney and went as far as approaching the Cubs about a deal.  Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports that talks really didn’t progress from there.  The Tigers also expressed interest in Matt Garza, the fact that the Tigers are looking at two guys on the Cubs could lend itself to a bigger deal.  You can read all about that here, Morosi mentions that the Cubs and Tigers discussed a potential deal for Garza back in January but could not reach an agreement.

Thanks for reading,
– George


Dempster Shuts Down Red Sox Amid Trade Rumors

Ryan Dempster is a pro, but pitching amid trade rumors swirling can’t be easy, you wouldn’t know it by watching Dempster pitch today.  Dempster was stellar, really never tempting fate in any of the seven brilliant innings he went.  The Cubs jumped on Daisuke Matsuzaka early plating three runs in the first two innings, and that was it, for both teams.  As I mentioned, Dempster went seven strong innings giving no runs on four hits, walking only two and striking out three.  Dempster has been great all year, and because of that he is becoming the number one target during this years trade season for teams wanting a starting pitcher.  If I had to guess, Dempster will be traded very soon, if the Cubs want to wait closer to the deadline I wouldn’t blame them.  Given the addition of wild card playoff spots, and so few teams selling, the Cubs might have the best chance of anyone to add to an already tremendously improved farm system via trade(s).

The Cubs didn’t knock around Dice-K, as they only managed four hits during his six innings, but it was enough.  Steve Clevenger had a the big blow with a two out two run double in the first inning on his was to a 1-for-3 day.  Ryan Dempster was the other star at the plate, yes you heard right, Dempster was 2-for-2 with a triple and a run scored.  David DeJesus had the only other hit for the Cubs and it was a big one, a two out single to put the Cubs up 3-0.  Carlos Marmol was thrust back into the closer role today, and of course things got a little dicey.  The final out of the game was a Dustin Pedroia ground out with the bases-loaded.  It would be great if Marmol could recapture the closing magic, because he really doesn’t do any good to the Cubs if he can’t get something back in a trade.  Full box score and highlights after the jump.

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