The Lukewarm Stove kindles on…
- So, that Epstein/Dempster chat on Wednesday that had everyone (including me) speculating that the duo were finally talking about possible trades, and where Dempster might want to go? A source says, indeed, that’s what the two were discussing. That’s still an early step in putting together a trade, but I’d be surprised if Dempster is still on the Cubs come early July. Hopefully he’s open to accepting a deal to a number of locations, which will give the Cubs flexibility in accepting the best offer (rather than accepting whatever offer comes from the one place Dempster is willing to go). Dempster has recently suggested that, when it comes to a trade, he views ensuring that the Cubs get the best possible return for him as part of his responsibility to the team, so I think he’ll be relatively flexible. I do hope the Cubs put him in a good situation, though.
- On that chat, by the way … why did Epstein and Dempster have it in the stands, where everyone could see and report on it? Surely Epstein knew that rumors would swirl, and that we (and other teams) would draw the conclusion that we did. And surely he could have met with Dempster in private. What’s his angle here? Wanting to make sure teams know that Dempster is open to a move?
- Ken Rosenthal talks up the virtues of Ryan Dempster, and, for those reasons, concludes that Dempster is going to find himself on a new team soon enough.
- White Sox players would love to have Dempster on their team (and Dempster could stay in Chicago), but everyone is pretty skeptical that the White Sox could put together the right package to acquire him.
- Doug Padilla chatted this week, and offered some thoughts: (1) David DeJesus has little trade value, and if moved, would just be a salary dump (I could not disagree with this more strongly – DeJesus is not a star who would net a huge haul, but he’s signed to a very fair contract, and he provides quite a bit of value); (2) no one is worried that the formalities associated with finalizing the Jorge Soler deal will cause any problems; (3) Padilla doesn’t really see any other players besides Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, Alfonso Soriano, and Bryan LaHair potentially being moved this Summer (seems like a few role players could be shuffled off the roster, too); (4) Padilla doesn’t see LaHair as a long-term part of the Cubs’ future; and (5) Albert Almora will very likely sign.
- Bruce Levine also chatted: (1) Bruce expects the Rizzo/LaHair/Soriano situation to be resolved by July 1, which would allow Rizzo to come up and start every day at first (that seems like a pretty aggressive estimation to me – it sounds like Bruce is saying he expects either Soriano or LaHair to be dealt by July 1); (2) the White Sox would love to have Garza or Dempster, but they don’t have much talent to trade that isn’t already on their 25-man roster; (3) Bruce thinks the Cubs have already burnt Shawn Camp out; (4) Carlos Marmol will have to pitch well over the next month for a team to take him (yeah); (5) Bryan LaHair will probably be traded; (6) Bruce doesn’t think the bad contract for bad contract type swaps will be the Cubs’ MO going forward; and Albert Almora will very likely sign (sensing a theme there?).
- Ken Davidoff says the Cubs are at the top of his list of most likely to be trade-happy teams over the next month and a half.
- The Orioles have been scouting Alfonso Soriano and Cubs pitchers.