Baseball emissary Peter Gammons took to Twitter over the weekend to drop some knowledge, including a piece about the Chicago Cubs’ trade prospects, stating simply: “Jim Hendry has no interest in trading Dempster or Garza during season.”
While it’s wonderful to get these kind of snippets of information, the nature of Twitter makes it exceedingly difficult to give the statement much context, or meaningful analysis.
That Jim Hendry has “no interest” in trading either Garza or Dempster this year is not altogether surprising. Garza will be relatively cheap in 2012, and Ryan Dempster has a player option he’ll undoubtedly exercise. Given the flux at the back of the Cubs’ rotation, it would be more than understandable if they wanted to head into 2012 with some stability.
On the other hand, saying that “Jim Hendry” has “no interest” in trading Dempster or Garza “during season” just begs for parsing.
What does Gammons mean when he says “Jim Hendry” doesn’t want to trade them? Does that mean, perhaps, that the Cubs organizationally would be better-served by trading one or both of the pitchers, but that Hendry, because his job is on the line, doesn’t want to make a deal? And “no interest” is not the same thing as “won’t.” No interest instead sounds like something in which you don’t have the affirmative interest in actively pursuing, but the possibility of the something is not precluded. And, finally, why did Gammons say “during [the] season”? Is he suggesting that the Cubs might consider dealing the duo in the offseason? That, of course, would make no sense as, no matter how bleak the Cubs’ 2012 prospects might look, they are certainly brighter than 2011. Why would the Cubs hold onto the pitchers now, only to deal them later?
In the end, I just can’t get myself to take the Gammons statement as more than what we already know: the Cubs are reluctant to trade Dempster or Garza, but would listen to offers on either one. It would take a steep return for the Cubs to consider moving either one (“no interest” in moving them), but that doesn’t mean the Cubs wouldn’t consider a deal if it made the team better in the immediate future.