Happy Mother’s Day to all of you mothers out there, including my own and The Wife.

  • Jon Heyman says the Red Sox should make a trade for Ryan Dempster, which would be a swell idea for them if it were only that simple. Yes, the Red Sox could use a guy like Dempster, who’s been all universe this year. And, yes, the Cubs would probably be interested in picking up a couple good prospects for a free-agent-to-be. But Dempster loves Chicago and has no-trade rights, and it’s not necessarily a lock that the Cubs would trade him quite yet. Is it likely that the Cubs have been dialoging with teams at a very surface level about stuff like this? Sure. But it’s still early, and Dempster’s is an interesting case anyway: in addition to the no-trade issue, Dempster, a free agent after this season, is probably the kind of guy you’d consider making a “qualifying offer” to (one-year deal worth about $12.5 million) so that the Cubs could get draft pick compensation if he signs elsewhere. That increases his value in a way that is hard to quantify (since it’s not *certain* that he would decline the offer).
  • For my part, for what it’s worth, I want to say I’d like to leave it up to Dempster. I don’t think this year’s Cubs team is going to compete for a playoff spot, so, in many ways, it would be silly not to trade Dempster if a good deal comes along. On the other hand, the decision is ultimately up to him, and I respect what he’s done for the Cubs enough to be OK with it if he decides he’d like to stay in Chicago. I think last year I was pretty unfair to Aramis Ramirez in this same situation, and I’m starting to rethink it. They’re just people, after all. The ideal outcome is that Dempster *wants* to go to a contender, and the Cubs get a couple of nice prospects out of it.
  • I’ll have more on Chris Volstad soon, but Dale Sveum has conceded that we’re getting to the point where it crosses his mind about replace Volstad in the rotation. For his part, Volstad still has no explanation for his five good inning, one bad inning starts. “That’s the way it’s been for every game,” Volstad said. “I’ve done so well except for one inning. It’s hard to pinpoint the difference. I’ve got to keep working.”
  • Manager Dale Sveum noticed what we all noticed about Welington Castillo’s rough game behind the plate on Friday night. “I think ‘Welly’ will say it wasn’t one of his better games to receive the ball,” Sveum said on Saturday. “Sometimes you do struggle with certain pitchers and you lose concentration. He’s still developing into what [coach Mike] Borzello wants him to do, so I think he kind of reverts back sometimes, maybe when the game starts speeding up and you’ve had to catch 200 pitches. We got a grip on it, and he knows what he was doing, and we know what he was doing,” Sveum said of Castillo. “It’s not a big concern. It’s a little more of getting comfortable and doing what’s called a quarter-turn with the hand, and do it on a consistent basis.”
  • Dale Sveum says Carlos Marmol’s hamstring strain is not serious (as I said before – it was a conveniently-timed injury for the Cubs in a number of respects, especially since it’s minor). “It was very, very minimal; nothing major,” Sveum said after Saturday’s game. “Fifteen days and we’ll go from there. It wasn’t significant at all.” For all we know, this injury could prove to be a good thing, both for Marmol and for the Cubs.
  • The man who replaced Marmol on the roster, Casey Coleman, flew in from Fresno mid-game, having thrown his stuff in a garbage bag. He arrived at the park, immediately went to the bullpen, immediately started warming up, and immediately entered into the game. I suppose we can excuse the two runs he gave up in his two innings of work. “The adrenalin was pumping in the first inning and I felt I was throwing pretty hard, making good pitches,” Coleman said. “We had a long inning, put a run up and had some good at-bats. That’s when you have to regroup and settle down and just pitch. I was kind of going off the adrenalin too much.”
  • Sinnycal

    I feel for Dempster’s situation and wouldn’t be too upset if the team opted to do right by him even when trading him would make more sense. That said, I don’t think the situation really compares to ARam last year. Demp has a daughter with medical issues he doesn’t want to uproot, and it’s possible, if unlikely, he could still have a place as a veteran presence on the team on a team-friendly deal next season. ARam knew he was almost assuredly gone after the season no matter what and still refused to go to a contender even though his family was leaving the country like two weeks later and he was on a road trip for most of it, anyway. It was harder to understand his motivation, much less be happy about it.

    • djriz

      Have to agree with you on Demp. He deserves respect because he has always represented the Cubs well.

      But, and this tough to say, when does the organization stop worrying about the person and start worrying about the quality of players and the quality of the team?

      So, if you trade him for a good haul, do it. And if you can’t, tender him. If he doesn’t accept, you get a draft pick. If he does accept, they’ll have a decent starter for a relatively decent salary. At this point, it’s a no lose situation.

    • TrueblueCubbie

      I agree. And really, personally, I like Dempster and would hate for him to leave. But if he got the chance to go to a contender and get a chance at a ring, I wouldn’t be mad if he or the Cubs made that call. I would still be a Demp fan.

  • Cubs1967

    ken rosenthal is reporting garza extension talks are going very well. cubs believe smardz is legit and would give the team 2 power arms; both in their “prime” age.

    • rcleven

      Problem is I wouldn’t listen to a anything Rosenthal has to say. He has proven to me he’s a hack and my ears are closed to him.

    • art

      if Theo and Hoyer are so tight lipped, where does Ken get this info from? IMO it would be good to keep both, besides many of us already felt that way. so maybe he should share his pay with us, lol.

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      At this point it is lip service to help in the future. Extension talks go well once everything is signed for or is close to being signed. We are nowhere near that. If other teams know you have no intentions of keeping the player you don’t have any leverage. That is what this is all about at this point.

  • ReiCow


    Is your wife also a die hard fan? On the other hand, is she a cub fan by marriage (as my wife likes to put it)? Does she have any interest in writing a column on what it is like being married to a Superfan? I think it may make for an amusing read!


    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Ha, she is indeed a Cub fan by marriage. Enjoys baseball, likes the Cubs, and is learning every season. I may have to ask her about that.

      • http://justinjabs.com/blog Justin Jabs

        I second this, I would love to read it!

        • ReiCow

          Yeah.. I’d really like to have an article here for my wife to read.


  • Big Joe

    He threw his stuff in a garbage bag. That is both awesome, and very believable. Who says the kid in every player ever leaves? The guy was in a hurry, and excited for the call-up. Love it.

  • rcleven

    ” “Fifteen days and we’ll go from there. It wasn’t significant at all.” For all we know, this injury could prove to be a good thing, both for Marmol and for the Cubs.”

    I don’t know if it will be a good thing for Marmol or the Cubs but it will do wonders for me for the next 15 days.

  • notcubbiewubbie

    this is why the cubs never win . baseball is a business if you can get dumpster to agree to a trade do it. he isn’t part of the future and these cubbiewubbie fans worried about dempsters home situation come on he is a multi-millionaire because of the cubs where is his loyalty? same boat as ramirez. the cubs made him very rich took him off the scrapheap and now is the time to return the favor. he is a free agent if the cubs want him back he could return as a free agent. remember one thing every time he was in a big game situation this guy folds up like a cheap umbrella.eight or nine walks in a playoff game albert pujols personal batting practice pitcher. nough said happy mothers day to all the mothers out there.

    • tim815

      A Cubbie thing would be to not trade him or offer him the 12 and change. No prospects, and no picks. Treat it like a business, and get something of value for him. Not DeWitt, Wallach, and Smit.

  • rcleven

    When I read Heyman’s blog last night all I could think of was why Boston. This team has so many holes and is so thin I would not hesitate to trade any player on it including Castro. It would have to be one hell of a deal tho.
    Getting back to Demp I believe in the last off season Ryan said he would wave his no trade.

  • SP24

    I could’ve sworn I read a quote from Dempster in the offseason where he said he would accept a trade if it helped the team out.

  • college_of_coaches

    I wonder if Marmol’s minor injury can serve as a pretext for sending him to Iowa to work things out. That is, a minor league rehab rather than a DFA.

  • Jared G

    What about Dempster going to the Jays? They could surely use a veteran presence and Dempster would immediately join the playoff race. Toronto has a lot of young, lively arms to give up and some gem prospects now that Anthopoulos has stocked up his system.

  • Spencer

    Coleman’s innings yesterday were excellent I thought, and i suppose you’re being a bit tongue in cheek about his two runs though I cannot tell for sure. And “Welly”? Dear Lord no more nicknames.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      No tongue. Two runs in two innings is never a good thing.

  • Karena

    Considering the long, hurried day Coleman had, I think he did well. I’m wondering why the Cubs didn’t call up a AA pitcher. Geographically, they are a lot closer than Fresno. Volstad obviously lost it in the 6th, but had to stay in the game because no one else was available until Coleman arrived. Does it boil down to an inexperienced coaching staff?

    • rcleven

      It boils down to a thin system.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I think the only pitcher in Tennessee who is on the 40 man roster is Alberto Cabrera, and Cabrera is not a guy who needs to be coming up to the majors right now.  He’s not having a bad year as he transitions into a full time reliever, and his fastball is said to be fantastic, but there is no need to rush him.

      To call up most of the other Double A pitchers who are doing well (Raley, Rhee, Beeler, Jokisch, etc.) would require opening a hole on the 40 man somehow.

      • Karena

        I know there is all the 40 man roster business, but there has to be someone who could have been called up, from AA, to pitch 2-3 innings. I wouldn’t consider it “rushing him” if Cabrera had been given the call. It’s one game, 2-3 innings, then back to Tennessee. If Coleman was truly the only option, I wouldn’t have minded seeing Reed Johnson or another position player, relieving Volstad in the 6th until Coleman arrived. What is the purpose of leaving a pitcher out there to be pummeled. It’s not fair to the rest of the team.

        This clearly wasn’t a “Sabre” decision, but most calls have been this season. I would like to see a little more grey. Use the gut!!

        • Bric

          Yep, it’s truly brutal to watch a pitcher get shelled but putting in Johnson is going to help. The reality is the game was going down hill anyway because the offense didn’t show up. Volstad and Coleman are either gonna figure it out or not but they’re going to have to do so on the mound, not the bench.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            “The reality is the game was going down hill anyway because the offense didn’t show up.”

            More correctly, Marcum was pitching well.  Batters really do not vary from day to day in any substantial way: but the quality of pitching that they face does.  When Marcum is on (as he was yesterday), then he’s really a very good pitcher.

            Indeed, you see this within games all the time: how often does an offense “look” dead until the starter suddenly loses it or a bad reliever comes into the game?  Then the offense looks great: at least until a reliever throwing well enters the game.

        • tim815

          If it boiled to it, Bowden could have pitched 2 or 3. Lendy could have pitched 2. Until Coleman arrived.

          Stuff happens, and the 40 Man stuff is that important.

      • Bric

        Brooks Raley is the only name that stands out as possible in any of those mentioned and that’s still a huge long shot. He’d get shelled worse than any pitcher currently already on the staff.

        I believe Brett and others have said it plain and simple- The Cubs just don’t have any quality or depth of near ready pitching in AA or AAA other than Travis Wood. Biggest difference between Hendry and Jedstein. At least Theo seems to acknowledge that.

  • rcleven

    Jared G

    Takes two to make a trade. Has any interest surfaced ?

    • Jared G

      Nothing from what I have heard but AA keeps his cards close and is generally in dialogue with everyone. This is just pure speculation on my part.

  • Pingback: At least Reed didn’t pitch, and Axford is pretty cool | Baseblog()

  • http://bleachernation.com PattyP

    Volstad’s problem is he has no testicular fortitude. He doesnt bear down in two out situations or when fielding lets him down. Good stuff no guts though.

    • Grant Mandellski


  • Grant Mandellski


    • Ogyu

      And let’s all give a warm welcome to our newest participant!

    • Ogyu

      Fun fact: The letters in “Grant Mandellski” also spell “smelling tankard.”

      • rcleven

        Let’s play nice now kids.

  • Spoda17

    I would only trade Dempster to a team he asked to go to… I know it is a business, but he has given a ton to this organization, some times the organization needs to give back.

    • JulioZuleta

      I love Dempster, one of my favorite players, but he has been paid $70,000,000 by the Cubs over 9 years. Half of those were not very good years at all. I would say the organization has given him plenty. I know that being loyal to our players is one of the great things about being a Cubs fan, but we have a tendancy as a fan base and an organization to let loyalty interfere with good judgement. It has caused us to overpay for players, and make/not make trades that really should have been made. I would love to see Dempster sign a VERY team friendly deal for the next 2 seasons or so, but if not, you find the best package you can for him, make sure he isn’t completely opposed to going there, and then pull the trigger. Maybe he still comes back at season’s end.

  • daveyrosello

    FYI Brett, the new deal signed last year means no more draft picks for departing free agents. The days of qualifying offers and Type A, Type B free agents is gone. Cubs get nothing for Dempster at the end of the season.

    • Melrosepad

      Actually there still is compensation. Here is a snippet from Jonathan Mayo on mlb.com

      “In addition to the spending controls, there will be fairly significant changes to how teams are compensated in the Draft for losing free agents. The Elias-based system with Type A and Type B free agents is a thing of the past.

      In order to get a compensation pick going forward, a team has to offer a free agent a guaranteed one-year contract equal to the average of the top 125 paid players in Major League Baseball, an amount believed to be about $12 million. Compensation can only be given for a player who was with a team the entire year. The days of trading for a Type A free agent for two months merely for the compensation picks are over.”


      • rcleven

        Getting to be a little NFL ish.

        Love this sight for all the knowledge posters. Much appreciated.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Thanks. I don’t mess up things like that. :)

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Any truth to the rumors that National League teams are funding contributions to finance the rehab for Carlos Marmol to make a prompt return to the Cubs bullpen.(Is it just me, but do we have a bullpen full of guys that really have no idea where the ball is going when they throw it?) I watch other teams on MLB, and they have guys throwing to spots at 97 mph. The Tigers are the team that has prospects that really needs a guy like Dempster.

  • Carew

    Hi, I’m new but I’ve been reading BN everyday for the past few months, and I’m finally gettin the guts to put my 2 cents in…

    I really like Demp and would love for him to stay, but I believe he deserves to go to a contender. Like the Tigers, who I can tolerate haha.

    And do you guys think the cubbies have given thought to puttin Volstad in the pen and callin up T. Wood? I watched Wood’s first start and I liked what I saw..

    • calicubsfan007

      Hey, welcome and thanks for showing us that you have guts(=! They probably have given thought about it. I think it’s absolutely crazy that Volstad has 5 solid innings and 1 crappy one. And, more times than not, the crappy inning isn’t even in the early innings! So it can’t be a question of nerves, it has to be that the other teams figure out his stuff or he is getting lazy and not putting much on the pitches.

      • rcleven

        In yesterdays instance it was Vol in the stretch that gave him to most trouble. He was spotting the ball very well knees to thighs out of a full wind up. In the stretch he was up.

      • Carew

        man yall are so welcoming. I love this site.

        I hope they do put him in the pen because I liked that we got Volstad from the fish, but he’s still young and learning but he’s got some good stuff. It would also help with his stretch I think. It didnt really help that the Marlins brought him up so young without a lot of professional experience.

        • Bric

          Holy crap! Are you Rod Carew? Regardless, from a fellow member of the Nation, welcome. I think you’re right about Volstad. For whatever reason it just doesn’t look like starting’s in the cards and the Cubs need all the help they can get for the pen. The only question is who takes his spot in the rotation?

          • Carew

            It’s obvious, but I was indeed named after him. It’s awesome.

            Down the road, it’ll be T. Wood, but right now my guess would be Coleman. At least until they make some sorta trade or something

  • calicubsfan007

    Is Dempster really worth two or three good prospects? Or does he qualify more under the two or three decent prospects who have some sort of major flaws in their game?

    • Phil Rogers

      Dempster and $8 million could get Kevin Youkilis and MAYBE Beckett too.

      • calicubsfan007

        And a case of beer and fried chicken?

  • rcleven

    To most teams at Volstead’s age he’s a starter. So no he would go to Iowa to stay stretched out. Still don’t see a better in team in ALC than the Tigers. They didn’t want to let go of any talent for Garza. Don’t see they would let anything go for Demp.

  • ty

    Still grinning at Bretts special greeting for today.

  • Jeff

    Good news for G. Soto! Wilson Ramos just tore his ACL!

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Hey Brett can you explain the qualifying offer to Dempster at the end of the season a little more? I thought in the new CBA there will be no more draft pick compensation after this season?

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Nevermind. Just found out from Melrosepad. Thanks man. That was helpful

  • ferrets_bueller

    What do you guys think of Hamilton as an FA, anyways?

    I was completely opposed to the FA’s this offseason, but in all honesty….don’t really have a huge problem with potentially signing Hamilton (or Hamels, for that matter, especially considering his age is much less than Wilson, and he’s much more proven.)

    In the case that Shark keeps this up, and guys like Jackson and Rizzo show something….I could see the FO  being interested in bumping the plan up a year or two.  Especially considering that prospective FA classes seem to be getting progressively older and weaker.

    And I think that Hamilton is actually a better bet than Pujols (older, plays 1B, who knows how old he actually is, as well) or Fielder (fat, average D to start with, 1B..), as he’s an OF.

    And just imagine that bat in Wrigley….especially if the market is worried about his past, and wants to keep the contract length shorter, with a higher per season salary. And especially if this last season’s FA’s continue to struggle.

    • Cubs Dude

      I love Hamilton and what he brings. But that guy is so injury prone, and usually misses a lot of games. That would be my only concern. And if the Cubs had to lock him to a long, 7 or 8 year deal I would want no part of that.

  • ty

    Bueller–having dealt with his issues on a professional level I would be petrified on a long term contract. He is observed 24-7 and not allowed to ever carry more than ten dollars in his pocket. Chronically ill and literally wears out his protectors. On a scale of 1-10 he is a ten. Even now a tragic figure for people who know him.

    • drew

      Im not doubting you or anything, but you played w Bryce Harper your entire life AND have dealt personally with Josh Hamilton?

      • ty

        Drew–that was Nate who said he played in Vegas with Bryce. I watched him play two seasons of AZ fall league ball. Judgement of Hamilton only but some insight and hoping that Cubs would not roll the dice with him.

  • ty

    Soiano is absoulutely broken down in lower extremities. Now we are stuck with an A.L. D.H. who is in the slump of his life. Similar to a 7 yr. payment plan on a Ford Focus. You had better live near a bus stop.

  • ty

    Campano may only be making a grade school teachers salary but at least he is earning it. Terror on the basepaths and hitting a bit.

  • drew

    Gotcha. My mistake