Lukewarm Stove: Ryan Dempster Chatter Increasing Rapidly

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).

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

197 responses to “Lukewarm Stove: Ryan Dempster Chatter Increasing Rapidly”

  1. someday...2015?

    My prediction for the Dempster and Garza trades… Garza to the BlueJays for Synderaard, Norris, or Niccilino, and a low level high upside prospect. I suspect Reed Johnson to go with in that trade because of the familiarity with the system. Then the Dempster trade. Dempster to the Tigers for Casey Crosby and Bruce Rondon. If the Cubs throw in someone I’d guess more prospects would be included. The full haul would bring in 3 potential starters and one potential dominant closer.#fingers-crossed!

    1. Serious Cubs Fan

      Bruce rondon is not a starter. Is relief pitcher/potential closer. And no he can not be stretched out to be a starter. He is what he is a good relief prospect. But i would think that would be a good return for dempster. I’m just not sure the tigers would want to give up Rondon

      1. someday...2015?

        I was talking about Rondon when I said potential dominant closer. Im intrigued by Rondon. I think he could be an ace closer as soon as he hits the big leagues.

    2. baldtaxguy

      I predict that no one will predict the exact players involved in either a potential Demptser or Garza trade.

      1. Mat B

        I’m gonna go out on a limb and predict that your prediction is right on the money!

  2. MaxM1908

    So, I’m probably way behind everyone on this, but you know what I just learned? 2015 is the year of the goat in the Chinese zodiac. With all our rebuilding plans coming into focus around 2015 and the Back to the Future prediction, how apropos would it be to finally win in 2015–the year of the goat?

  3. DCF

    My prediction: The Cubs will receive one B pitching prospect for Garza and Demp each and they”ll have to eat their full 2012 salaries for that. Then everybody will freak out on how bad of a trade that was, even though it’s probably not.

    1. calicubsfan007

      @DCF: I am not sure about that. Demp, maybe the B pitching prospect. Not sure yet about that one. But I do think the Jedstein will be able to squeeze more out for Garza.

  4. cubsin

    The Cubs would keep Garza before they’d trade him for a single B prospect, unless you”re defining an A prospect as a certain Hall-of-Famer. If they keep him and lose him to free agency, they’ll get a first-round pick and a supplemental first round pick for him. That’s better than a B prospect.

    1. DCF

      You’re right, if the Cubs also forfeit a draft pick in a trade they’d want something back for that as well.
      Still I fail to see why anyone would want give it to them.
      Garza’s a decent pitcher, and as a free agnet he surely wouldn’t have any trouble finding a well-paid multiyear deal. But a team giving up prospects for him, that’s a very different story. Except for pipe dreams of some desperate contender, does anyone honestly believe any team has a reason to give up even one cost-controlled, promising high ceiling prospect? Just to have an OK pitcher this year? I just can’t see it.

      1. Cyranojoe

        I was going to snark about you calling Garza “OK”, then I looked up his stats — ERA+ at 99 this year. WHIP at 1.172, but generally not astounding numbers. Hm. :-(

      2. THEOlogical

        Hey Ddf, I was watching the Braves telecast yesterday and with Chipper retiring, and Bourn a possible free agent, you’d have to think they will go for it now. Some teams are stuck in that kind of situation, where this may be there last chance for awhile or where they had career years out of some of their guys and don’t expect the same next season. Those are the teams you can bank on going all in.

  5. Mat B

    First of all, let me say I know this won’t happen, but here it is. With the potential return on Garza perceived as so much higher than that of Dempster, does anyone else think maybe the Cubs should extend Dempster with a one year contract with a mutual option? He could help with the bottom line this year (potential overall team record) and he is definitely a good influence on the younger players. I know I know, now the rest of you can go on and give me all the reasons why they shouldn’t do it. I think I know them all, but maybe someone can surprise me.

    1. baldtaxguy

      Not sure Demp would consider such an option, given his performance this season. He would probably look to capitalize on this success and get 3 years, maybe a 4th.

      Let’s say he was open to it….it wouldn’t be a bad option. I like Dempster as a mentor/example for young pitchers.

      1. Mat B

        Wow, not what I expected. Thanks BaldTaxGuy! Maybe it could be a renewable option each year. Demp is getting a little older and I don’t think too many teams will give him 3-4 years, but a renewable option would be interesting. As long as both he and the team are both satisfied with his performance at his price point, he could end his career as a Cub. I don’t really know anything though. That might not be within the rules.

    2. ncsujuri


      1. Mat B

        Yup. That’s what I expected. I saw someone on Carrie Muskat’s blog suggest Dempster & Barney for Castellanos & fillers. I would want a lot more than that for a top starter and a starting major league 2nd baseman. The same person suggested Garza, B Jax & Vitters straight up for Justin Upton. uhh no.

        1. Norm

          You’re expecting too much.
          Hell yes to both of those trades without ever thinking more than 2 seconds about each.

          1. Drew7

            If I saw either one of those trades become official, I think I’d fall out of my chair, overwhelmed with excitement

          2. dabynsky

            Thank you guys because I think many here are going to be disappointed with the return on Dempster judging the comments here. But can you guys imagine how ridiculous that lineup would be with Upton, Castro, Rizzo, Castellanos and Baez, Almora, Soler in the pipeline. Where do I sign up for that?

          3. Luke

            Good returns, but the Cubs would come out of those two deals with no pitchers. If Garza is going to be dealt, I think they’ve got to get a probable future No 2 in return.

            1. Norm

              If Garza gets you Upton, you do it.

              1. Whiteflag

                I have read reports about Upton having a major attitude problem. If that is the case, I don’t want anything to do with him. No matter how good he is. Chicago doesn’t have the best track record of turning these guys around.

                1. Norm

                  Are you referring to the reports that he’s “not a winning player”?
                  or the one where he said he doesn’t care what the fans think?
                  Either way….big whoop.

                  1. Whiteflag

                    Didn’t we say that about Milton Bradley and Big Z? I’m not saying he is on the same level as them, because I don’t know. I just don’t think attitude can be over looked in a city like Chicago.

                    1. Norm

                      Did you really just compare Milton Bradley’s attitude to Justin Upton’?

                    2. Whiteflag

                      Read the second sentence. I’m not comparing them directly, but I am saying is maybe attitude should be taken into account. As it didn’t seem the case with Milton Bradley and when signed Zambrano to an extension. His attitude concerns me.

                2. Drew7

                  Most players with Cooperstown Plaques had attitude problems.

                  9 Mr. Rogers’ never won a WS :)

                  1. Shawn H

                    It may be irrelevant, as both Rosenthal and Morosi report the 4 teams he would block trades to are the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs and Indians.

                    1. Luke

                      Yankees, Cubs, and Red Sox are all high revenue teams. That makes me suspect they are on the list for bargaining reasons.

                      And I guess he just doesn’t like Cleveland?

            2. dabynsky

              I agree that the rotation would be weak, and that might be where the team has to open the checkbook to fill. Not an ideal circumstance, but we win those trades.

              1. loyal100more

                ill take both those trades and worry about the rotation later…dont care! try and sign josh hamilton this off season… put that in the pipe and free agent pitchers will smoke it… even if the free agent class looks boring score 8 runs a game and… well anyway, aint gonna happen right?

                1. Cubbie Blues

                  Hamilton scares me. Drugs don’t do a body good. He has put a lot of wear and tear on his body with his entertainment choices.

            3. Drew7

              You can’t tell me if the D-Backs said “Garza for Upton, Lets do this” you’d say, “well, the Tigers offered me Turner and Crosby…hmmm…sorry, no dice” – Surely you take that deal…

              1. Jeff

                Drew, are you saying you would want a Garza for Upton trade???? Surely your smarter than that, Upton is over-rated and you don’t trade top quality pitching for hitting, that’s stupid.

                Quality pitching, nets you future pitching, anybody can buy or trade for hitters. You can buy an offense, but you have to develop pitching. Turner and Crosby would be better investments than Upton any day.

                1. Puma0821

                  Anyway the Cubs could do a 3-way with the return for Garza going to AZ for Upton? What else would the Cubs have to include Lahair? Spec?

                2. Drew7

                  A simple, “I disagree”, absent the asshole-iness would have done just fine, thanks.

                  Nowhere in the GM’s Handbook does it say, “You can buy offense” or, “you have to develop pitching”.

                  As for Upton being overrated – Its pretty hard to put up a .385 wOBA and 6.4 WAR in your age-23 season and be overrated. The guy hasnt even hit his prime yet and will probably win an MVP before its all said and done.

                  1. Jeff

                    Your so in love with yourself and your damn WAR, you are the A-Hole.

                    You always are attacking other people’s view points and telling them how wrong they are, then you get critical and start calling people names when they disagree with you.

                    You need to grow up and act like an adult, are you 16 or something.

                    This is a free site, but don’t feel like you can come on here and shovel shit around and not have it thrown back at you.

                    You can fall in love with your toolsy outfielders all you want, but Upton is over-paid and over valued and does not help our rebuilding, if he really was so awesome, why in Hell would Arizona want to get rid of him??????

                    1. Whiteflag

                      I don’t think the arguement should be whether Upton is good or not. He is more than likely going to be something special. But does he fit the cubs plans and would he be able to handle Chicago is probably a better question. Like you said why is Arizona looking to trade him? I don’t think its a talent issue.

                    2. Drew7

                      Ive never used WAR by itself as an indicator of ability, but it does have value as one piece of the puzzle.

                      I’m 25, and never respond to posts calling people’s viewpoints stupid and I dont call people names. Look in the mirror and you’ll find the guy that fits that description.

                  2. Whiteflag

                    Where did you get the WAR stat? I looked at fangraphs and they have him at 1. something. Just wondering. I’m not saying he isn’t good. He is.

                    1. Whiteflag

                      Nevermind. I was looking at 2012 and not 2011

                    2. dabynsky

                      He was using the WAR stat from last year (age 23 season), but what also gets confusing are there are different formulas for WAR (fangraphs and Baseball-Reference). I am guessing the 6.4 WAR is the fangraphs stat.

              2. Luke

                You’d close the deal a quarter of a second after Arizona agreed to it and hope like anything you don’t get arrested for highway robbery.

                I’m just point out that if the Cubs did deal both Garza and Dempster and got nothing back in the way of pitching, they’ll have dealt their two strongest assets and done absolutely nothing to help the single weakest area of major league team and the farm system. That is a definite drawback to making those two deals together.

                If I knew the Cubs could get Upton for a Garza-based package, I’d probably stop talking with Detroit about Castellanos and focus on landing pitching with Dempster. Then again, I am no where near as high on Castellanos as many Cub fans are. He’s a nice prospect and would be great to have in the system, but he shouldn’t be a priority.

                1. Jeff

                  If attitude is an issue with Upton, how is he going to act when he is traded from a team with a chance of contention to a team in year one of a rebuild?

                  I bet he will play real inspired ball out there in right field and all the Milton Bradley fans will show up again to sit in the bleachers in right field.

              3. djriz

                Upton = elite talent.

                How often does 25 yr old elite talent come available?
                (Az won’t make this trade)

                1. Jeff

                  Upton is not that elite, he and his brother have been enigmas their whole careers, a by-product of being told your a superstar since a teenager. Go prove it, year after year after year. The numbers don’t support your argument. Hamilton might have drug issues but the numbers don’t lie.

                  1. Norm

                    Then I hope you don’t think Starlin is elite either.

                    1. Jeff

                      Not sure, he certainly has a chance, but his game has to continue to improve. His defense is better, yet his offense has regressed. he needs to get back on track with the bat.

                      It’s way to early to label Castro, most guys his age are still in AA. so for him to have been in the big leagues for 2 years does put him near a Trout and Harper level, i.e. a premium talent that made it to the big leagues quicker than his peers.

                    2. Norm

                      Upton is only 24.
                      If most guys Starlin’s age (22) are still in AA, that would make most guys Upton’s age as rookies…yet here he is nearing 100 career homers and already has a Top 5 finish in the MVP.

                    3. Jeff

                      I have not called Castro an elite player, but he plays a premium position and he does have a chance to be a regular all-star at that position. I don’t hate Upton and I think he has a chance to be an above average player, but he is not elite. He cannot carry his team like a Josh Hamilton. I view him much like a Carl Crawford, very talent but very over-paid for the numbers he puts up and the overall affect he has on the team. If Upton was so Elite, he would have Arizona sitting on top of that division, not mired in 3rd place looking up at L.A. and S.F. I think Arizona realizes this and is looking to trade him now while he is young and try to get something back for him because they can plug anybody else in the outfield and get similar results, I bet with the injuries they have sustained, they are probably asking for pitching or an infielder that is left handed.

                    4. Norm

                      Now you’re saying Upton is responsible for AZ’s place in the division? One guy doesn’t make that big of a difference.
                      And where was Josh Hamilton at Upton’s age?

                    5. Jeff

                      Snorting crack…of course lol No, what I am saying is that Texas has struggled with injuries to their pitching, yet despite that have continued to stay on top of that division.

                      Can you sit here and tell me that Josh Hamilton’s .301, 27HR and 76RBI’s hasn’t helped them stay in that race, yet Justin Upton’s .264 7HR and 37RBI’s hasn’t hurt Arizona in the standings? Cause I’m pretty sure the owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks is looking at that.

                  2. dabynsky

                    Is two years enough time to label Castro because that is the difference in age between Upton and Castro?

            4. Mick

              Unless it happens, I’m going to assume all of the smoke around Castellanos being untouchable is true. With that being said, who do you like from the Tigers organization in a trade?

              If we could get Drew Smyly for Dempster I’d pull the trigger in an instant unless I thought I could squeeze something else out of Detroit by using Barney as the kicker. That way we could save Garza to raid either the Blue Jays’ or Dodgers’ pitching prospects. And since I doubt the Blue Jays would actually relinquish any prospects, I think our best chances are with the Dodgers. Any haul from the Dogers including Zach Lee and Chris Reed for Garza in my mind would be acceptable.

              1. Luke

                I’d be impressed if the Cubs could pry Lee and Reed out of LA. That would take some doing.

          4. Mat B

            So, you would trade Jackson, Vitters, Garza and unnamed minor leaguers for a right fielder who has 7 home runs and 37 RBIs in 299 at bats and 3 errors in 170 chances. If that was Soriano’s midseason output we would be screaming and rightfully so. Three errors for an entire season for an outfielder is more than enough.

  6. someday...2015?

    Anyone else think a trade is coming later today? Everyone’s speculating Dempster will get dealt before his next start. Today’s an off day… Seems like a good time/day to make a deal.

    1. Njriv

      I was thinking the same thing, hopefully this deal finally ends some time soon, the suspense killing me.

      1. Mat B

        I was also thinking the same thing & keep checkng multiple sites to see if anything has happened.