Holy roster moves, Batman.

Ok, here’s the short version: today the Cubs put Ryan Dempster on the disabled list, called up Scott Maine, activated Geovany Soto from the disabled list, sent Welington Castillo to AAA, and shifted Randy Wells to the rotation for the time being.

Got all that?

Ok, here’s the slightly longer version.

Ryan Dempster has “lat tightness,” and the Cubs say they are playing things conservatively by placing him on the disabled list. You are thinking obvious things. What does this mean for his trade value and the prospects of a trade? Well, it’ll take a little time for that to shake out. The Cubs say they are just being cautious with Dempster, but good luck convincing a team of whom you’re asking premium prospects in trade. (Unless they’ve already agreed to a trade, and this is just a stalling tactic, requested by one of the two sides while things are finalized. I love conspiracy theories, but I tend to doubt that one. But, hey, anything is possible – this is a new front office, after all.)

Putting Dempster on the DL tells me that the Cubs recognize Dempster’s value isn’t getting any higher, and if his lat “tightness” became anything worse than that, Dempster’s trade value would plummet. Best I can figure, they hope he rests up, feels great in two weeks, and then has another couple healthy, solid starts to convince teams he’s good to go. If it plays out that way, the Cubs could have actually benefited here: Dempster can’t get hurt seriously or pitch crappily if he’s not pitching, and the market could get even more desperate for him in two weeks.

Randy Wells will move from the bullpen and take Dempster’s start on Wednesday against the White Sox. It’s not altogether surprising that Wells gets the first crack. The other option would have been Chris Volstad, but that would have required an additional roster move, and Volstad just pitched yesterday. Plus, here’s the thing: the Cubs would love to show other teams that Randy Wells can still be an effective starter. He came into this season as a fairly effective, valuable, cost-controlled starter. Maybe a couple solid starts convince teams that he’s still that guy. Once again, I’m seeing this Ryan Dempster DL stint as relatively conveniently timed.

Scott Maine has been called back up from AAA to take Wells’ spot in the bullpen. Maine has been pitching well at Iowa (3.42 ERA, 1.139 WHIP, 23 K in 26.1 innings), and was so-so in his earlier stint with the Cubs.

Geovany Soto is now officially back, and he’ll get the start tonight (speaking of starting tonight, wait until you see the Cubs’ lineup in the Pre-Gamin’…). His knee must be feeling pretty good after May surgery, and now the Cubs will hope he crushes the ball for the next month.

Welington Castillo heads back to AAA Iowa where he can start most days. So much for that zany three catchers plan, which never made much sense.

Ok. I think that covers it all. Seriously. Holy smokes.

  • Fishin Phil

    I need to go punch a wall or something.

  • Lindsay

    Another thing about Wells starting Wednesday; there really is no other option for that start. Volstad just threw 98 pitches yesterday. He would only have 2 days rest (today and tomorrow) if they wanted him to start on Wednesday. So Wells it is. But that brings up another question; is this rotation move trying to showcase him for a trade or just a spot start to get Volstad enough rest to join the rotation again next week? Or both?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Very fair point on Volstad. I should note that.

  • Dan-0-mite

    Is it possible that Dempster’s move to the DL is just a stalling tactic until the final terms of a trade are worked out? Perhaps they have a team they’re taking to and don’t want Dempster to start Wednesday, to avoid any risks.

    • Chris S

      You can’t trade a player on the DL.. and I’m sure a team is going to want him right away rather than waiting until he comes off the DL.

      • Kyle

        DLed players can be traded. That’s some kind of old baseball transactions urban legend that they can’t.

        • Njriv

          Really? It never lets me do that in MLB 12 The Show.

          • Cyranojoe

            LOL! Sounds like those guys better clean up their act!

          • Drew7

            NJRIV- I was thinking the same thing. With baseball expanding and marketing the draft so much more, Im hoping they improve that aspect of the game too.

      • David

        Wasn’t Jake Peavy on the DL when he went from the Padres to the White Sox?

    • Borocks


      As per John Arguello at cubs den….

      “To add to that conspiracy theory, I will note that one of the Dodgers top pitching prospects, LHP Chris Reed, has also been placed on the DL.”

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        That means absolutely nothing. They were never going to trade him anyways. I mean don’t get me wrong I’d love to see him in a trade for dempster but they won’t trade him for demp and the cubs would probably want him out there pitching so scout could see him

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Could be something there, but, then again, Reed just got off the DL three weeks ago after suffering shoulder soreness. He could just be an injured kid.

  • Leroy K.

    Soto—hitting homeruns—-never to be used in the same sentence!!!!

    • Steve

      How is that forecast looking now?

      Sorry…just ran across this after Soto last night.

  • Kyle

    I can completely buy that this is a very minor injury that the Cubs don’t want to risk aggravating in advance of a trade in the next few weeks.

    But the ideas that a trade is done or near-done and this is somehow supposed to help that? Doesn’t make sense.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I have to agree with you on that. I liked Luke’s theory from a that-is-really-creative-and-interesting standpoint, but I don’t know how realistic it is.

  • Master Gonzo

    The conspiracy theory side of me hopes that this is actually a possible request from a hand-shake deal with some team that doesn’t want to see him get injured before the trade goes through.. which could be a week or so away? Or I’m just being overly optimistic.

    • Jim L.

      The Cubs could just skip his start and with an off-day, that would be about 9-10 days between starts, enough time to get the trade deals finalized without the hassles of a DL stint.

      • GoldFinch

        Well, if the injury is not that serious,(as the Cubs are claiming) why put him on the diabled list? Why not give him an off-day and all is good. Seems to me there is something more to this.

        • MichiganGoat

          The DL stint allows for a roster move so that our bullpen is not any thinner or weaker than it is now. He’ll miss two starts and hopefuul he returns to form and meanwhile Wells can prove to everyone that he’s able to return as a SP.

          • GoldFinch

            Makes sense. But if simply bumped from his next start date how would we be thinner or weaker in any respect? Wouldn’t we simply be shuffling the rotation?

            • MichiganGoat

              Because we want Demp to get plenty of rest and not DLing him means Wells can’t be used in the bullpen and hence we’re down a arm.

              • ottoCub

                DLing Dempster also allows him to travel to throw for another team and be checked out by another team’s doctor. He won’t be missed on the bench because he’s on the DL.

                • GoldFinch

                  He’s not allowed to throw for another team if he is on the DL, is he?

                  • calicubsfan007

                    Goldfinch: Yes, Demp can be traded to another team while on the DL. It is just really rare.

              • hansman1982

                Could it be that the team who wants Dempster also wants Wells but wants to see what Wells can do out of the rotation?

                Maybe it is a three-teamer or the Jays called on Dempster. Would allow your situation without being extremely conspiracy theory-isty and if the injury is as minor as some people are making it out to be Dempster would be 100% ok with it to maximize the deal the Cubs got.

                Toronto would be a good landing spot for two starting pitchers.

                • calicubsfan007

                  Hansman: Okay, to go off yours and Luke’s ideas. The Dodgers trade Reed and player to be named later to the Cubs for Demp (and maybe a PTBNL?), while the Cubs then trade Wells to the Jays for Norris and maybe a PTBNL. How does that sound?

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                    Would be nice, but Jays would punch the Cubs in the face if they suggested a Wells/Norris swap.

                    • calicubsfan007

                      Brett: Good point. How about Wells, cash for Norris?

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      Now the punch is just in the gut.

                    • Cheryl

                      What about Garza and Wells to Toronto and LaHair either to Baltimore or Pittsburgh, then again LaHair might go to LA with Dempster?

                    • calicubsfan007

                      Brett: I am afraid to make another suggestion, as you are going lower and lower on the body with every suggestion. The next part would be the twigs and berries.

                  • hansman1982

                    Thinking Demp and Wells + Cash goes to Toronto – something goes to LA and Reed comes to Chicago plus other bits to make this even.

                    Then again, how often are mid-season three-ways accomplished?

                    • calicubsfan007

                      Hansman:Not often, the three way trades are more common in the offseason than midseason. What are we getting from Toronto then?

                    • hansman1982

                      In my scenario something goes from Toronto to LA – no clue what, who, whom, horse as I don’t know other organizations.

                      To me that would solve the “Why is Randy Wells starting” question.

                    • calicubsfan007

                      Hansman: I guess so. Wells starting really doesn’t seem to have logic with it otherwise. Good point.

      • Vladimir

        Yes but I do lean toward the “handshake theory” and by just putting him on the DL, you can then make the roster moves without having to DL or send somebody else down. This is very strange and I feel this was at the request of a team whose trade for Dempster is about to go down.

        • Cheryl

          With the Dodgers also putting a prospect on the DL I tend to think the handshake agreement too.

          • hansman1982

            To me that also means there is a third team involved since if it were a Dempster for Reed trade they would just do it. Or the Dodgers also want Wells but want to see him on the mound. This gives him 2 starts.

            Right now, I would put $20 on Dempster AND Wells being off the team by July 1.

  • Pat

    Hopefully it is just “precautionary”, but it’s also in the interest of the front office to minimize the severity. I wish I had more faith in Cubs injury reports, but it seems like the initial reports always downplay the injuries.

  • Jacob

    Sorry I couldn’t resist, I saw the Cubs lineup today and that LaHair is in RF. Please tell me this is an indication the Cubs want Rizzo up soon?

    • Leroy K.

      one can only hope…

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      We’re about a week away from the day after which the Cubs gain an extra year of control.  I don’t think anyone expects Rizzo to stay in the minors very long past that date.

      • GoldFinch

        I expect him to be called up right after that date.

      • Jacob

        What is the date exactly? I have seen a few different dates such as June 21st, 23rd, and 24th.

      • hansman1982

        so what you are saying is that we need to call up Rizzo right now to save this season.

        • GoldFinch

          No, the season is lost. But I don’t see any reason to keep Rizzo down any longer than needed. Basically Theo and Jed said the same thing. Full season AAA ball is what they are standing by.

    • WGNstatic


      That is in an interesting OF alignment for today: DeJesus in CF, Campana in LF, and LaHair in RF. This really does seem like a trial balloon on an OF of Soriano, DeJesus and LaHair.

      1) If you want to DH Soriano, why not use Mather as your LF, LaHair at 1B, Campana in CF and DeJesus in RF.

      2) Even more telling… If you really want Clevenger in the game at 1B… Why not put LaHair in LF with Campana and DeJesus in their normal positions? That would be a better defensive OF with DeJesus covering RF and Campana more able to make up ground in CF.

      I like this idea, it may not be a great defensive alignment, but what the heck.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        That is largely the same as my conclusion.

  • notcubbiewubbie

    holy bartman batman the curse strikes again dempster injured before we could trade him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Brett: So do you think Dempster being on the DL hurts his trade value or does it have no affect?? Just forget about the secret unknown trade people are speculating about already the cubs agreeing to. Just straight up does it hurt us?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Tiny hurt. But, depending on how it plays out when he returns, it could actually help.

      • Jp

        Where is Shelby? Hey Brett do you think that the Chicago Cubs of 2012 will make any trades with Ryan dempster after he comes off the DL in 2012 sometime?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Not cool!

          • Jp

            I fell asleep last night and I think we were on the brink of finding out there was an actual robot on the site. Forgive me if it was like a 12 year old and I missed the ending

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              No, no ending yet. I just didn’t want the disease to spread … :)

              • Jp

                I’m sure you were annoyed as hell but the whole exchange was priceless… I have a picture of Shelby as the kid from Jerry Maguire that tried to outdue him everytime he gave a ridiculous stat. “did you know my friend has 3 rabbits?, did you know that dogs and bees can smell fear??” ect ect. Really funny none the less

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  • Cheryl

    Check out cubs den, they have an interesting take on it.

  • Crazyhorse Free Agent

    Dempster Will become a free agent at the end of the year. He will approve a trade to a contender, but that team will not give the Cubs any player ranked in the top 10 of that organization. The longer it takes the Cubs to trade Dempster ,it would be fair to speculate the quality of prospects they might receive will be nil.
    When veterans earn the right to veto trades thru the 5/10 or have a no trade clause in a contract ,that player does not have to show loyalty to the parent team that shows no interest in being a contender.
    Dempster has proven talents and he will get his short term contract from a number of teams when he files for free agency. Trading away the future for a part time player is not gonna happen .


  • Dustin S

    If you were another team, how much would you give up for an overperforming 35 year-old rent-a-player with 2 stints on the DL this year already? Even if they really want him it makes for a great negotiating point. I think you can infer with them putting him on the DL that the deals on the table now weren’t too great. They weren’t ever going to get a big haul for him, but now (assuming he pitches ok after he comes off) a pretty modest return is realistically the best we could hope for.

    I also think this indirectly makes some other trades that were borderline like Garza and LaHair more likely now, because it’s going to take another deal or two to get a round of prospects that could make an impact.

  • Spriggs

    This reeks of Dempster not getting traded at all before the deadline. Are we ever going to catch a break?

  • Cubs Dude

    Could this be a thing where Dempster says I will accept the trade, but I need a couple weeks to get things set up with my family and adjusted? So they put him on the DL for 15 days so he can get his stuff lined up.. The other team agrees this is cool if he checks out physically.. IDK, the whole thing just seems shady..

    • calicubsfan007

      Cubs Dude: Could be onto something. But I thought there is some sort of non active disabled list, if that makes anyy sense. Crazy. Maybe this was the way to get Soto back on the big league team without having to demote/ cut anyone?

      • Cubs Dude

        LMFAO.. If I was right about something like this it would be the first! But it does seem to make some sense to me.

        • calicubsfan007

          Cubs Dude: It seems crazy enough (and Theo enough) to work. I really think that you are onto something.

          • Cubs Dude

            Lets hope Cali. We need some good luck to come the Cubs way (other than BigFoot Soler). Haha..

            • calicubsfan007

              Cubs Dude: For some reason, when I said “crazy enough to work”, I thought of some “That 70’s Show” kind of scheme. I am really tired. Heh…

              • Cubs Dude

                You’re pretty crazy Cali… But seem like a good dude.

        • Segal27

          I like the way you think!

    • Spriggs

      I like that angle. Most hopeful – plausible guess I’ve heard.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      God help me, that sounds not entirely implausible. I must be losing my touch on always trying to tamp down expectations.

      • hansman1982

        Im cranking up the squeal machine…

        • calicubsfan007

          Hansman: I imagine the squeal machine being this gigantic machine with a gigantic crank. Like something from Willy Wonka’s factory. I would call it the “Squealwonkerific” (=

          • GoldFinch


  • Big Joe

    First off, this is just how it goes for the Cubs organization. In full rebuild, and one of, if not, the best, trade chip they have, end up hurt…and thus, unable to be traded. Secondly, “Randy Wells”, and “valuable”, should never, ever be mistakenly used together in a sentence. A reference like that leaves the word “serviceable” very confused as to it’s place in this world.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      You can use them in the same sentence if, you know, there are a whole bunch of other words in the sentence – words that talk about the past, for example.

      Even under your theory of Wells, I could say “Wells is not valuable.”

  • http://bleachernation.com lou brock lives

    Nothing wrong with Dempster’s arm – inside info from Cubs medical staff – at the highest of levels. Theo & Dempster discussed trade destinations last week.
    Dempster will be pitching for Red Sox in 3 weeks. Compensation TBD from Bosox – money is involved.

  • Big Joe

    And, Brett…I could say that I still disagree. I would say that using “valuable”, in that context, is not really strong enough. I would rather say, “Randy Wells is bad”. Or, “Randy Wells can’t pitch”. Maybe, “Randy Wells isn’t big league material”. I suppose I would be nitpicking at that point. But, perhaps we both are. I do see where you’re coming from, though.

  • Don

    Maybe it’s Dempster and Soriano to the Dodgers for prospects.

    • Jp

      No way they’d let soriano risk going out every day for the next 10 days while Demp is on the DL… He’s a pulled hammy away from being worthless… Oh wait…

  • rocky8263

    Dempster is worth what a team will pay.Just like my 1970 Chevelle SS. People ask me all the time “whats it worth?” Whatever some fool who falls in love with it will pay. A contender will overpay for a rental player like Dempster.imo.

  • cubsin

    If the Cubs obtain Chris Reed from the Dodgers in the next eight weeks, he would have to be a PTBNL. He was drafted last year (round 1, pick 16) and signed on August 13.

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    The whole conspiracy thing, on so many levels, is well…. completely insane. I appreciate the wishful thinking, but there is no deal and any stint on the dl would be inexplicable and drive down his value. When people look at over 103 years of losing and ask why, this is one more example of no luck but bad. This does one thing and one thing only, namely drive down interest to some extent. Sorry but the whole conspiracy thing is a complete non-starter.

  • Ben

    Off-topic but I see no reason to give Marmol away……He is pitching the worst he has in his career except the starting experiment in 2006…..I would rather Cubs keep him and give him a chance to regain form and confidence than to trade him for an A baller with an anxiety problem!

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      I agree. I think unless he goes on just a disgusting stretch of dominant pitching from now to the end of the trade deadline and his trade value shoots through the roof then I say hold onto him if you don’t get a decent deal. I doubt he’s going to go on that type of run though. But just don’t give him away for nothing. Let him try and pitch his value up for the rest of the season no matter how painful it can look. Hopefully he’ll pitch well for the rest of the season and trade him in the offseason. There is no point in just giving him away for nothing. I would be disappointed in the front office if they just want to salary dump him because what are the cubs really going to need the salary for? They aren’t going to get any big time free agents in the offseason probably, and unless they really need that extra money to help try and eat Soriano’s contract if they were able to trade him then why trade him for nothing?

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