This morning, I explained why you should be watching the Iowa Cubs tonight to see if Casey Coleman made his scheduled start. If the Cubs were going to deal Ryan Dempster before his start in St. Louis tomorrow, they were going to need someone to take his place.

Well, I was onto something: Casey Coleman has been scratched, and Ken Rosenthal reports that a AAA pitcher will head to St. Louis to join the Cubs, just in case he’s needed to start. Putting two and two together, that AAA pitcher is almost certainly Coleman.

It doesn’t mean a deal is about to happen, but it definitely means something is close.

And, what do you know, here’s what I tweeted earlier this afternoon on Dempster: a Cubs source (a good one) told me earlier today that a Dempster trade was “very close,” and the Cubs had two deals on the table for him – the implication being that the Cubs were choosing from among those deals. From the Coleman news, it sounds like my source was right.

I did some digging to try and confirm, and to find out the details of those two prospective deals, and here’s all I could come up with: a separate industry source couldn’t confirm the imminence of the deal, but suggested that one of the two teams is almost certainly the Dodgers, and the other is probably an NL team (so it likely isn’t the Tigers). The Braves would seem the most likely, and boy wouldn’t you love to know what that offer looks like? The Dodgers offer, we’ve heard before, is probably something in the range of pitching prospects Garrett Gould and Chris Withrow.

Dempster played catch with his son at Wrigley for 45 minutes before today’s game, so it’s fair (though not conclusive) to speculate that he knows he won’t make another start at Wrigley. Of course, that, alone, doesn’t mean a deal comes down before his start tomorrow – he isn’t due to start again at Wrigley for 10 days. Maybe he was just being pragmatic. Or maybe he just wanted to play catch with his son. Before the game, Dempster said there was “nothing imminent,” as far as he knew. It’s nice of him to comment, but I’m not sure we can really put any weight in that statement, for a number of reasons.

With Coleman joining the Cubs tomorrow, I’d guess we’re fairly likely to hear something on Dempster “very soon.”

UPDATE: The Cubs’ official word on the Coleman scratch is that it’s just in case recently-acquired Justin Germano (about which, more in a moment) can’t make it to St. Louis in time. I appreciate the Cubs’ effort to preserve leverage, but I say, eh. They could have held out relievers like Jeff Beliveau or Alberto Cabrera (both already on the 40-man, neither is a service time concern) if they wanted to have a back-up plan, rather than scratch Iowa’s starting pitcher. I’m not saying their explanation isn’t legit, I’m just saying … well, I’m sticking to everything I wrote before the update.

  • Jerry McClellan

    I would be interesting to know if Dempster gets on the team plane to St Louis

  • Bric

    IT HAS BEGUN!!! (tense orchestra music in the back ground).

  • http://@MaineSkin Allen

    Love Dempster as a player, but STL know that giving the Cubs a prospect for Garza will allow them to let him walk in ’13 while recovering a 1st rnd pick due to the new CBA. Dempster meanwhile, walks after this year and the new CBA now does not give out 1st round picks for “rental players” meaning deadline acquisitions. Since we’ve already seen Ethier overplayed by a new gung-ho LAD management, him to LA is almost a foregone conclusion in my eyes.

  • jfish1219

    Any idea what the offer would be from the Braves. I really don’t know jack about their farm system. Or anyone’s farm system out side of the Cubs for that matter lol

  • PKj

    Gould and Withrow would be a fine return for a rental in Dempster. As much as I like Dempster, I hope this happens.

  • W_Francisco

    I felt like I was watching a drama/thriller movie when I was reading that article lol

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  • Benny

    Brett or Luke, When do you think Dempster will be traded?

    • Brett

      There’s a better than 50% chance it’s done by tomorrow night.

  • Phaedrus

    According to BA, Cubs have signed Dominican righthander Juan Carlos Paniagua for $1.5 million.

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    People are focusing on the Braves, are you sure it’s not the Cardinals?

  • CubsFan4Life

    I wish the Cubs weren’t in the position of needing to trade Dempster, but if he is going to get traded I hope he goes to the Braves. I moved from Chicago to Atlanta 21 years ago when Greg Maddux left the Cubs and joined the Braves. Since Chipper Jones is retiring, the Braves FO really wants to win the world series this year so Chipper can go out on top.

    The Braves have a very good farm system with some good young arms on their AAA Gwinnett Braves team. I have watched the Gwinnett Braves play a few times this year. If Dempster gets traded to the Braves, I will definitely go watch him pitch, and I will root for Dempster and Chipper to win it all this year. They both deserve to win a championship.

  • cubsin

    My preference for tomorrow’s starter against the Cardinals – Germano, Rusin, Beeler, Coleman, Bowden, Dempster. Even if Dempster isn’t traded before the game, he would be available to pitch immediafely for his new team and would avoid the risk of an injury.

  • die hard

    Keep Dempster now that we have shot at playoffs

    • gocatsgo2003

      We do? ESPN has us at a 0.3% chance… while I guess we aren’t TECHNICALLY mathematically eliminated… really?

      • EB

        So you’re telling me there’s a chance…?

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    wow i really hope the 2 deals that are on the table that the cubs are deciding between are better then, “Garrett Gould and Chris Withrow,” or “Crosby” for the Dempster. Those offers are very have no exciting prospects in them.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    I stick to my guns: Its a prospect of the Dodgers Chris Reed caliber for Dempster or bust!!! Anything less and the cubs didn’t get a good return and win the trade. If they dont get any exciting prospect for dempster I will be extremely disappointed. I dont want to over value him but serious will be disappointed if we get a, “Gould and Withrow” or “Crosby for Dempster trade.

    • gocatsgo2003

      And I’ll do it in multiple consecutive posts for no particular reason!!!

  • steve

    ,I think before noon tomorrow dempster i gone. The dodgers is the favorites as well as atlanta. Everyone thinks the dodgers deal is the same as we’ve been hearing, if that’s the case we’d have done this deal a week ago. So if they’re to beat atl or anyone else they had to have bettered the deal. If its the dodgers, I thk its ReedI

  • steve

    Like I said LA gives up reed & withrow, or atlant gives up delgado & teheron

  • Kevin

    Brett, it’s looking like you’ll need to be blogging for the full 30 hours starting July 30th. I’m reading rumors all over the place about multiple teams inquiring about numerous players.
    I expect the Dempster trade to be announced In the next 2 days and all other trades To be done just before the trading deadline. This should be fun!

    • Brett

      July 30 is indeed when the Blogathon starts.

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    you heard it here first, sounds like the Dodgers may have sweetened the offer:

    From Bruce Levine:

    The Cubs have been clear their top priority on the trade market is adding young pitching. It is unclear whether Zach Lee, the top-rated arm in Los Angeles’ farm system, is included in the offer.

  • G-Racin

    Could the Coleman scratch just be posturing to other interested teams in the Dempster sweepstakes giving them one last chance to up the anti? “Give us your best shot because Dempster will be off the table in less than 24 hours”. The fact that we play at night tomorrow gives Theoyer a few more hours to squeeze prospective bidders.

    • Rylee

      Zach Lee?? Hopefully

  • Vladimir

    If we get Zach Lee for Dempster, I will be so happy I will pee on my hands, film it, and post it here.

    • Tommy

      That would be an added bonus, Vlad.

  • White Sox Nation

    It will be interesting Zach Lee would be great or if the Braves ponied up Delgado . Sad to see Demp go but who knows in a fantasy thought maybe he comes back here next year on a 2 year deal. Not likely but one can hope right???

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