At Ryan Dempster’s start yesterday, despite the cliche, you really did have a sense that this was his last start of the year with the Cubs. Not just at Wrigley – with the Cubs. In other words, for reasons I’m not entirely sure I can articulate, I came into the game thinking there was a 50/50 shot Dempster made another start with the Cubs; I left the game thinking that was that last one.
And, sure enough, the trade chatter has picked up dramatically, to the point where Buster Olney, offering his educated guess, says he thinks Dempster is traded before his next start. You should probably start bracing yourself now.
Among the other Ryan Dempster rumors making the rounds…
- Bruce Levine reports that there are 10 suitors for Dempster, which is unsurprising, given the relatively thin starting pitching trade market, and Dempster’s dominance this year. The suitors, as we’ve heard before, include Los Angeles Dodgers, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox and Atlanta Braves.
- Levine reminds us of one thing we should keep in mind as this process plays out: although Dempster has agreed not to directly block a trade via his no-trade rights, he does have an understanding with the Cubs that he will have input on where he winds up. So, it’s possible that the Cubs won’t be able to get the very tip-top dollar for Dempster (for example, if he prefers to go to Los Angeles, and they’re offering an acceptable deal, while the Orioles are offering a killer deal, but Dempster doesn’t want to go there). I do think Dempster will listen to the Cubs, though, and try to be OK with going to where they can get the best offer. He’s previously suggested the same.
- Dave Kaplan reports that his sources tell him Dempster *will* be traded before his next start. He adds that the White Sox are not a legitimate suitor for Dempster (which I suspect is probably due to the asking price, and the Sox’s weaker farm system).
- Buster Olney reports that the Cubs are looking to move Dempster soon, in part because they don’t want to damage the market for Matt Garza later this month (which makes sense – if you try to sell two guys at the same time, you’re partially competing with yourself).
- George Ofman reports that the Cubs have at least two offers on the table for Dempster, from the Tigers (which he suggests is for lefty Casey Crosby (23-years-old, number 47 prospect in baseball according to Baseball America before 2010 season, great K numbers, elevated walk totals, pitching well at AAA right now)), and from the Dodgers (which he previously suggested was for Chris Withrow and Garrett Gould).