Ryan Dempster will be traded.

It was always possible as the Chicago Cubs careen out of control and Dempster’s value remains high. But, given his affection for Chicago, his no-trade rights, and the Cubs’ theoretical ability to make him a “qualifying offer” and pick up draft picks if he signs elsewhere next season, it was fair to doubt whether Dempster would ultimately be traded.

Dave Kaplan has no doubt, however:

I believe that it is a foregone conclusion that Ryan Dempster will not be on the Cubs roster after the July 31st trade deadline. He is throwing extremely well and with his contract up at the end of the season, he will not require a major financial commitment from whoever acquires him. As long as he stays hot, the Cubs will be able to extract a fairly substantial package of players from a contending team as starting pitching is very tough to add in season ….

Who has trade value that the Cubs would be willing to deal? Dempster — who I am 100 percent confident will be traded — and Matt Garza who is a top-of-the-rotation talent but could bring back a huge haul in a blockbuster deal if the Cubs choose to move him and perhaps a prospect or two out of the system if the deal made sense.

Kap doesn’t mention Dempster’s no-trade rights (Dempster can block any deal), but I assume he’s aware of those rights, and remains “100 percent confident” that Dempster will be traded.

Dempster’s tradability has been discussed at length (most recently in that “qualifying offer” link above), and nothing has changed in the last couple weeks. Yes, he’s had a couple down starts, but Dempster’s value is pretty much set at this point. He’s not going to have a sub-2 ERA all year, but he’s established that neither is he the guy who had a 9+ ERA last April. He’s a very good starting pitcher, who would bring value to virtually any rotation in baseball. For teams looking to add a quality starter who can win a postseason game or two, Dempster will be worth something in the second half.

But the ball remains firmly in his court. That’s why it’s very interesting to hear Kaplan guarantee Dempster will be traded.

  • Katie

    I understand but I’ll miss him. He is obviously a quality guy on and off the field. I wish him well wherever he goes.

    • MoneyBoy

      Katie, for what it’s worth, I’d miss him too.  Good for the team, great with charities, seems to be a high quality individual.  IF he gives the okay (5/10) he’d still be a FA at years end. Completely possible he could come back on a short term (3 yrs?), team friendly contract.

      Caveat – many thought TR Lilly would be back, but the Dodgers gave him fairly extraordinary money (3 yrs/$33mm).  At the time that seemed excessive.  Now, not so much.  Not sure if this regime would re-sign Demp at those dollars.

  • Njriv

    I’m for trading Dempster, the way he’s been pitching I think we can get a decent return for him, but I don’t always like to listen to Kaplan when he talks about rebuilding. He wants to take the rebuilding process way to far and pretty much trade away everyone and end up like the Astros. I hope that doesn’t happen, if it does things are going to get even more uglier really fast.

    • When the Music’s Over

      The Astros are better than the Cubs, or at least that’s what the current standing would suggest. At this point, getting uglier really doesn’t matter for this year, so may as well explore all trade options that don’t fit into the long term plans and get what you can while you can.

  • ISU Birds

    I feel like Kaplan lives in the WGN CSN offices. He is on the radio or TV all the time.

  • Fishin Phil

    I actually like Kap, but I will believe his “fact” when it actually happens.

  • Josh

    Demp has always been a fan favorite and deserves to pitch for a contender. Throw in the fact that we might be able to get a nice prospect and the cubs will pull the trigger. I think if it’s the right team, he will waive the no trade clause

    • art

      didn’t he pitch for the Cubs in 2007-8? weren’t they contenders?

  • rcleven

    With how weak the current 40 man roster stands there is no other option. Garza is not too far behind.

  • TrueblueCubbie

    I would hate to see him go, but if he does, I hope he gets his ring.

  • calicubsfan007

    It is a shame to have to lose a great pitcher and great guy like dempster, but I understand that we need to do these kind of moves in order to allow our team to improve for the future.

    • Deer

      great pitcher?In 2007, yes. c’mon, he had 5 terrific starts to the season but the old avg. demp is back the last 2. Not a piece for the future.

      • rcleven

        Let’s just hope Demp doesn’t return to norm before the trade deadline.

      • calicubsfan007

        I mean that he has provided some consistency over the past years, he also hasn’t had the greatest run support.

  • http://bleachernation.com RicoSanto

    This year is all about subtraction , not addition.If the season ended right now ,the cubs would have the 2nd pick.Only minnesota has a worse record.Theo is giving everyone a chance to see if they could be competitive.And Now we know they Can Not. He will trade or release 1/2 the current roster.He would not mind finishing last and getting one last high pick, before a whole new team in 2013

  • Alou and Vinegar

    Kaplan was also “100% certain” that Soriano would not be a part of this years team.  However, I agree with him in this case that Dempster will be traded. My question is what does he consider to be “fairly substantial” in return?  I don’t think they will get back more than a bullpen arm and a low level prospect for him.

    Kaplan’s sources seem to be drying up. Hendry gone, Wood gone, Dempster soon to be gone. Only Crane Kenney left!

  • Fearbobafett

    I would love it if he pulled a Ricky henderson, net us some prospects and come back in the off season. Unfortunetly this will be his next contract and he will more than likely go to where the money is at. I don’t see him him taking a Kerry Wood discount contract to pitch in Chicago to end his career.

    At this point trade whatever you can. At least you get to see that most of those in the minors are what we all thought, nothing but bench players. Thanks Jim!

  • hardtop

    I wouldnt be so sure that Demp would waive his no trade rights.  It my impression that he loves Chicago and the Cubs a great deal, and I’m not sure that Kaplan has a handle on that.  I would be willing to bet Dempster would insist on knowing the details of the trade and would have to be convinced that the return pieces would unquestionably make the Cubs a better team in the near future, before he’d consider moving on.  Or, the trading team would have to be a shoe-in for a deep playoff run and a favorite for a world series appearance… even then I’d bet he’d struggle leaving the Cubs unless the trade pieces were pretty good.

    I was trying to work in some profanity there, but I just didn’t see an opportunity.  I understand the necessity of being sympathetic to your ever growing audience, Brett, but its actually impossible to be a Cubs fan with out having shit-ton of curse words in one’s vocabulary.  As far as other “commentors” attempting to police my thoughts and comments: they can go…. paddle a canoe

    • Cubs Dude

      I was thinking the same thing about Demp not being receptive to getting traded. I know he said he would in the offseason, but I think it could be much more difficult to convince him than Kaplan leads on..

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I think you have a good grasp of the appropriate balance.

  • Shawn

    Why you would say anything in baseball is 100% is beyond me and it makes Kaplan look foolish and a bit unprofessional.

    • Cubs Dude

      Too get your name in the press. Seems to have worked.

  • Nick Pipitone

    If you can get something good for Dempster, it’s aplus for the Cubs no matter what. One factor in being able to trade Dempster also has to do with the health condition of his daughter, whose doctor is in Chicago. Could be a possible reason to block any kind of trade.

    • calicubsfan007

      What does she have? Is it serious?

  • calicubsfan007

    Brett, I apologize for the part that I had in what happened last night/this morning. I did not intend to make anyone blow up or anything like that. I just wanted to defend the Cubs organization because I felt that it was being repeatedly insulted by that person. If my actions are viewed as stepping over the line, I am truly sorry for doing such.

  • Ivy Walls

    Kap, who is an old acquaintance is thinking in the pre 2012 CBA where free agents of less than one year with a club are worth a supplemental draft pick. The value of Dempster is based on whether he is still healthy and quite commanding on the mound and puts a contending team over the top in the playoffs since the team will not be receiving a draft choice used to be a contending team could receive a supplemental pick and therefore was willing to trade what was essentially that value plus the value of the player being rented.

    Therefore Dempster’s value is probably only to clubs who have not been in the playoffs for a long time (Balt, Toronto, Atlanta, NYM, Cleveland, Detroit) and also a system that is loaded where their prospects are blocked


    If the can compensate Dempster for his no trade clause somehow…

    The Cubs by keeping him could earn a supplemental draft pick if they offer Dempster one year at $12M or so and he turns it down seeking a multi year…

    The boat load of talent is hyperbole.

    • Cubs Dude

      I can see Washington wanting Dempster. Not sure if the feeling would be mutual though.. They are gonna need a good arm once Strasburg gets shelved.

  • Dumpgobbler

    I’d put it at less then 50% he gets dealt. Too many variables really. Will Dempster waive his no trade clause? Maybe, probably depends on the team really. Will a team offer something more valuable then the compensation we’d receive from dealing him? A team would obviously have to give us a legit prospect or two back, seeing how we could just give him an offer and collect compensation.

  • notcubbiewubbie

    man alive cub fans throw the word great around awfully easy. the only two great cub pitchers in my lifetime have their numbers retired.i am 60. but not surprised nowadays their is not many great players in baseball. nough said.

    • Spriggs

      I’m not as old, but I would argue that Great Cubs pitchers in my lifetime include:
      Lee Smith

      They didn’t all have hall of fame careers or all have tremendous success as Cubs necessarily – but they all had their moments. They all had greatness… The sad thing is that a few might have been really special if they hadn’t been bleeping Cubs.

    • hardtop

      31 aye?  well,  maddux was a great pitcher, but i dont think he reached greatness as a cub.  he reached “very goodness” to be sure, but he built his legend as a brave.  so by your measure of great, fergie was the first and last.  that’s a pretty tough standard.

      • calicubsfan007

        He had a solid final year with us, wanted a boatload of money, cubs said no, braves offer that money, he leaves, then becomes a superstar with the braves. Makes one wonder what could have been if the cubs offered the money to him.

      • Noah

        Completely disagree with the statement that Maddux hadn’t reached greatness as a Cub. Even if you solely rely on the old school stats, Maddux made the jump in his final year as a Cub, with a 20-11 record and 2.18 ERA and won the Cy Young. If you look at WAR, it shows even quicker. From 1988-1992 Maddux posted 27.5 fWAR, the second highest mark in the majors over that time period behind only Roger Clemens.

        Maddux was already a great pitcher before 1992. However, he only had one season as a Cub where he would start to show that he joined Clemens as the only other player in the discussion for greatest pitcher of his generation. That was the reputation he solidified in Atlanta. He was already a great player, and had been for several years.

      • notcubbiewubbie

        dont want to argue with anybody but i hope cub fans know ryan dempster started this season below five hundred with a mid 4.— era? greatness only by jim (i overvalued and overpaid eveybody ) hendry.

  • Dan

    Meh, what’s new. I’m 100% sure that Matt Garza will be traded on or before the July 31st trade deadline. Think about it if your reading this. This team is going nowhere this year and next year and most likely the year after that. The Cubs are getting younger, younger, and you guessed it, younger. This is the Cubs plan, whether your in or out.

    So my last advice, don’t get so upset on what’s happening. There’s alot of garbage Theo and company are cleaning up. This garbage was here well before Theo arrived.

  • Robert

    IF Dempster is traded, what kind of return can we expect? (Prospect wise) maybe a B+ and a high upside guy that hasn’t fully put it together yet?

    • Spriggs

      Hopefully the “haul” will be better than what they got for Byrd.

  • mooks

    To lose Kerry and Demp in the same year would be tough as a fan of both guys..in fact I would go as far as to say they both are in my list of favorite Cubs in my life….still Grace,Ryno,Hawk and Jody Davis I miss the most. Still I believe I remember Dempster stating something last year or in the offseason about loving Chicago and would waive his rights if the Cubs felt like they needed to do it to move forward as an organization. Demp loves Chicago but I cannot see any way he would refuse a trade. I think Kap is right on this one.

  • mooks

    BTW I would like to see him go to the Nats possibly..maybe a Rendon..of course the D backs have some pitching to spare should they be in the market…If he stays hot you could get a top tier prospect I believe..depends on what a team has in depth and how realistic their chances of making a run are.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      The Cubs won’t be getting a Rendon-caliber prospects for Dempster, I don’t believe. He’s hurt anyway, no?

  • DocPeterWimsey

    Yeah, Rendon is out with a badly sprained ankle.  He might be back by mid-season, but the most recent word has been that he’s out till next year.  At any rate, you are absolutely right: the Nats are not going to surrender him for a rental, especially one as old as Dempster.  He’d probably cost a Garza with a team friendly contract.  The Nats biggest concern is catcher right now: although they probably wouldn’t mind an upgrade at 1B, too.

  • Cub Gone Wild

    trade Demps and move Marmol into the rotation. Put Rizzo on Third. I saw a lefthanded third baseman in the AAU National Championships a couple years ago. We need to start a craziest ideas thread and see what comes out. I’m just bored reading about the same ole stuff all the time. How about a Fire Hoyer campaign. Hell anything is better than just the same old stuff.

    • Cubs Dude

      How about they fire Theo, give Soriano and Marmol massive extensions, and trade Rizzo back to the Red Sox for Byrd?

      • Cub Style

        Bryan LaHair is the answer in the pen.