Theo Epstein said yesterday that phone calls between teams are picking up, and that he sees now as the time for the Cubs to be open to deals that could improve the organization long term. So, unsurprisingly, Cubs related rumors are kicking up like mid-June fireflies. Or some other folksy analogy.

  • Rumors are really flying about Ryan Dempster, who may well be the first Cubs player to be dealt this Summer (yup, I capitalized “Summer” – that’s my rule, because there is no logical reason that seasons should not be capitalized). The Dodgers are a team we’re likely to hear quite a bit about until/if Dempster is traded. Danny Knobler says the Dodgers are “definitely” interested in Dempster, and Ken Rosenthal quotes a rival GM who calls Dempster a “classic [Dodgers GM] Ned Colletti buy.” The Dodgers are loaded with pitching prospects (most of their top 10 prospects before the season were pitchers), so there might be a fit there. Knobler says he hears that Dempster could be moved around the All-Star break.
  • The real question with Dempster continues to be: how much is he worth? You know the competing arguments: either the new CBA’s limitation on draft pick compensation (if Dempster is dealt, his new team can’t get draft pick compensation if he departs as a free agent) will reduce the return on a rental player like Dempster, or the added Wild Card will leave more teams in contention, thus creating a strong seller’s market and increasing the return on a rental player like Dempster. The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s David O’Brien discusses both issues when it comes to the Braves trading for Dempster, and concludes that the latter concern is the more troubling one for the Braves. In other words, he thinks Dempster’s price might be too steep for the Braves.
  • Speaking of a Dempster trade, would you like to smile in spite of yourself? Well, here goes. Usually, when you look at local (i.e., non-Chicago) write-ups of proposed trades, the suggested return to the Cubs is a pittance. For example, Matt Garza to the Yankees? You might read in a New York paper that Delin Betances would get the job done (ridiculous). You get the idea. So when I read in MLive – a Detroit site – that “[i]f the Cubs are willing to settle for Turner and Crosby [for Dempster], the Tigers would be wise to consider finalizing the trade.” Um, I don’t know how to respond without tearing the corners of my mouth from smiling too aggressively. Suffice it to say that, if the Tigers were willing to deal Turner, alone, for Dempster, the Cubs would probably kill themselves trying to ensure that Dempster accepted the trade.
  • David Schoenfield offers some Dempster trade proposals, most of which are for far too much or far too little.
  • Ken Rosenthal (article linked above) suggests that the Indians could be a landing spot for Alfonso Soriano, since they need cheap power.
  • Nick Cafardo took to the Twitters about the Cubs yesterday, dropping a number of thoughts: (1) he quotes an AL exec on why teams will want Dempster: “He’s pitching well and he’d give you a good character guy/leader,” (2) he expects Theo to be busy this trade deadline, with Dempster, Matt Garza, and Soriano all capable of being moved, (3) he says the Red Sox will explore (and probably have already explored) acquiring Garza, and (4) the Cubs will eat most of Soriano’s contract in order to move him.
  • The Dodgers, Blue Jays, and Phillies have been scouting Cubs players of late, says Gordon Wittenmyer. The Blue Jays have a ridiculous farm system, so getting them involved in any kind of deal would be swell. The Phillies are an interesting case as they have many needs, but they are also kind of a sinking stone right now.
  • Njriv

    Sully and Padilla both report Theo and Demp talking in the grandstand on the third base side. Could this be “the talk”?

    • Leroy K.

      damn….i don’t want it to happen, even though I know it helps the Cubs, and I know it needs to be done….

  • MikeL

    They honestly could be just talking…….but, Theo might be telling him that he has taken some calls and is asking which teams he would like to be he traded to and which ones he would not want to be traded to.

  • Drew7


    Can we get an update on the, “Breaking Down Winning in 2012” thread? Still my favorite of all-time.

  • Jason “Thundermug”

    With some of the 1st round picks signed I have to wonder which will be a safe bet that Almora and Appel (Boras clients will be the last 2 to sign) That guy(Scott Boras) has such an ego that would make Kenny Williams, and Ozzie Guillen’s ego together a small blimp on the radar screen)

  • Mick

    Turner and Crosby for Dempster!?! Heck, toss in another mid-level prospect and I’d give them Garza for that. The other move I’d like to see would be to send Dempster to Atlanta for Minor and Medlan. If we could turn Dempster and Garza into Turner, Crosby, Minor, and Medlan I’d say that’s a nice little haul for a rebuilding team.

    • nkniacc

      No chance ATL would give up that

      • Mick

        We’ll see but it makes sense. Atlanta would have Hudson, Hanson, Beachy, Dempster, and Delgado in their rotation with Teheran and Jurrjens working their way through the minors. That’s a ton of depth and it’s not out of the question they re-sign Dempster after the season.

  • Brady

    I hope Garza doesnt end up on the Red Sox. I like him too much to subject him to that torture.

  • Josh

    Do you think the Cubs could package and trade Garza and Dempster to the Tigers for Turner and Castellanos?

    • nkniacc

      They had better get a lot more than that for those 2

    • Toby

      They could get a better package if Cubs pay off most of Dempster’s contract. The new rule regarding draft pick compensation might get bypassed by teams kicking in and paying off a big chunk remaining on a player’s contract.

  • Mike S

    What would be a better package?

    Turner and Castellenos


    D’arnoud and Syndergaard

    (Doubt we get either of those for Garza..)

    • ferrets_bueller

      Option B.

      Jacob Turner is vastly, vastly overrated.

      • Njriv

        Is he?

  • die hard

    The Dempster back home to Canada is my guess

  • czechxican

    Stewart goes to DL, but Valbuena—not Vitters—is coming up?!? what gives?

    • The Show

      If Vitters comes up and it’s not a September call-up, they don’t want him to send him back down. Even though he’s been hitting well lately, I don’t think they want to bring him up and rush the rest of his development.

    • Luke

      Vitters is not ready, and Valbuena has been playing pretty well lately.  This is the right move.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Wow looking at ESPN David Schoenfield’s list of possible trade suggestions got me disappointed. Well at least the first 4 suggestions.

    The Boston trade for Jose Iglesias really doesn’t excite me because he can’t hit, he’s just straight up GG potential talent defender.

    The Orioles Trade proposal was intriguing. I’d take a flyer on Jonathan Schoop. Lots of potential there to be a above average middle infielder. But doubt the Orioles would give him up.

    The Tigers trade for Jacob Turner! Done deal! Would do it in a heart beat but this guy is sipping on the cool aid for suggesting that is even possible because Detroit would be insane to give that much up.

    Overall if the Cubs can’t at least a borderline top 100 prospect for Dempster then we shouldn’t trade him. Make a wink wink deal with demp to offer around $12.5 million next year and have him turn it down. Then we’d get a supplemental 1st round pick for losing him. But if we can’t get a player such as around borderline 100 prospect, we’d get better value with the draft pick

  • Pasadena Cub Fan

    Thank you Kyle for clarifying the next couple of years for me. It is much appreciated.
    I liked your answer to my last question — “Stockholm Syndrome kicks in after awhile.” Do you think Tony is already a victim of it?

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