Although we’ve heard their name in passing before, we haven’t heard the Cardinals ever listed as one of Ryan Dempster’s primary suitors.

Now we have. A Major League source tells Bruce Levine that the Cardinals have emerged in recent days as a strong suitor for Dempster, right up there with the Dodgers and Braves.

The Cardinals have a strong farm system, particularly at the top. But, the thing is, the Cubs absolutely aren’t getting outfielder Oscar Tavares in a Ryan Dempster deal, and they almost certainly aren’t getting pitcher Shelby Miller. Those are the Cardinals’ top two prospects, and, from there, the system drops off a little bit. There’s still plenty of interesting players, though.

On a personal level, although I want the Cubs to get the best deal they can, and I want Dempster to wind up somewhere he’s happy (I’d be surprised if he wouldn’t be OK with heading to St. Louis), I really hope he isn’t sent to the Cardinals. I want to be able to root for Dempster for the rest of this year, and in the playoffs. If he winds up on the Cards, that’s just not possible.

Levine adds, by the way, that his source tells him Dempster has not yet been asked to approve or reject a particular deal.

If the Cubs are to trade Dempster before his start tomorrow, they’ll have to line up a replacement starter. Chris Rusin, currently at Iowa, is the guy who’s supposed to start there on Friday. He’s not on a 40-man roster, though, so it’s possible the Cubs might prefer to have someone already on the 40-man take Dempster’s spot. The best guess there would be Casey Coleman, who last threw on Saturday, which means he’d be due to pitch today. If he’s held out today, you can take it as a sign that the Cubs are anticipating at least the strong possibility of a Dempster trade by tomorrow.

Although we’ve heard multiple reports state authoritatively that the Cubs would be dealing Dempster before tomorrow (and then a dozen that said the Cubs would sure like to), there’s a procedural hurdle to keep in mind: even if the Cubs come to an agreement, say, this morning, they’ll have to give Dempster some time to think about the deal, before approving or rejecting it. Further, if there’s a substantial exchange of money, which there probably will be, the Commissioner’s Office usually has to sign off.

I still think there’s a slightly better than 50/50 chance Dempster is dealt before his scheduled start tomorrow night, but this might have to drag on for another five-day set.

  • Ben

    He is a rental and Cubs are not competitive…..I hope they take the best deal possible don’t care which team

    • gocatsgo2003

      Would make sense, but the Cubs HAVE to care which team because Dempster still technically has a no-trade clause. Though he has said he is willing to waive the clause in order to help the team, if Theo were to say “well, Ryan, we are shipping you to Seattle. They really think they’re going to make a run,” he can turn that down. (Yes I realize that’s a stretch, but chose a random team to prove the point rather than single out a non-possibility.)

  • Frank

    While the logic

  • TonyP

    Please, please, please get a better return than what we got for Theodore Roosevelt “Ted” Lilly III.

  • Mike S

    Carlos Martinez would be a nice player to get back from the Cardinals for Dempster.

    • Jackalope

      Would be nice for sure, but he ranks right up there with Shelby Miller. Don’t think there’s a lot of chance to get either.

      • BD

        Anybody else think the Cardinals would have to give up more than other teams to deal with the Cubs? That could be a good thing if a deal is worked out.

        What about the possibility of Dempster and someone else going back to get one of these top prospects?

        • dabynsky

          I don’t. I think this FO has already shown they are willng to deal with anyone who makes the best offer (Marshall trade to the Reds for example). This is a good thing because it would be dumb to miss out on better prospects just to spite a division foe. The way to get even with the Cardinals is to build a consistent winner and dominate a decade the way they did.

          • CUBBIEBLUE

            Agreed dabynsky….as much as I despise the cards (this is s prerequisit for cubs fans) getting the most for Dempster is a must. Beating the Cards on a regular basis and competing into October is what I want!

        • Edwin

          If the Cardinals had to give up more just because it was the Cubs, I don’t think the Cardinals would trade with the Cubs. Why buy something for $10 when you can get it for $8 elsewhere?

  • Andrewmoore4isu

    I’d love to see Casey Coleman take the “James russel” step sometime this second half season. It’s now or probably never!

    • willis

      Coleman sucks. Always has. He’ll never be good. I think if everyone just gets that they won’t be disappointed when he ultimately flops again sometime this year.

      • tim815

        He’s not a MLB calibre starter. Once the sell-off begins, all we need is a guy who ‘represents’ said calibre, and doesn’t burn unneeded options for kids.

  • Frank

    WhIe the logical choice to replace Dempster is Brooks Raley, might I suggest Jonathon Sanchez as an interestig alternative? Chances are, he’d be Chris Volstad v2, but he’s worth a shot as a reclamation. Raley’s been good, but not a guy who’s banging down the door. Raley could then come up if/when Garza’s traded. Alternately, we could call up Raley and sign Sanchez to one o those minor league deals in which he can opt out if not called up by a certain date. If he can string some good starts together, we can call him up when Garza’s moved.

    • Luke

      Raley just pitched seven innings last night. There is no way he can start in Dempster’s slot on Friday. He may be a good long term option, but definitely not short term.

    • Richard Nose

      Interesting. I watch a lot of KC games, by default, Sanchez was horrible, something was going on. He has had success in the past, Dayton Moore had good things to say about him too. I’d be down with giving him a shot.

    • Jackalope

      I wouldn’t be opposed to taking a flyer on on Sanchez, who was just designated for assignment on Tues, so long as they don’t give up anything of value for him and he makes a prorated share of the league minimum. If Dempster and/or Garza are going, we’re going to need some warm bodies to fill the rotation.

  • Curt

    anyone but the cardinals. Unless the cubs get miller or Tavares we can get avg deals elsewhere

  • cubfanincardinalland

    A guy the Cardinals brought up from AA yesterday is Rosenthal. Might have been trying to showcase him. He hit 100 on the gun, but looked raw, and almost gave up a grand slam that just hooked foul. But he has a great arm. He has actually pitched better this year than Miller.
    The Cardinal fans down here are starting to get restless. It’s like, you said we couldn’t afford to pay Albert and we are doing the smart thing, but you never said we were going to suck without him. Mozeliak is going to have to try and make a deal to shake things up, but they overvalue their prospects so much. Last year they had Rasmus to move, not so many pieces this year. Would be great if the Cubs could come into town this week and keep playing like they have been.

    • PJ

      I know we have plenty of infielders in the system but I saw the Cardinals first round draft pick debut with the Quad City River Bandits last year, the kid out of Hawaii. I forgot his name but he looked awfully good. I wouldn’t mind making him a center piece of a Dempster deal with a high upside/high risk pitcher from the lower levels thrown in. That would mean that we would definitely not see return for a year or two, but it would strengthen our system significantly.
      Am I expecting too much? I say no – two prospects for a proven pitcher that can dominate at times (and is this year).
      If we do trade with the Cardinals, though, I wait until Monday.

      • cubfanincardinalland

        You are talking about Kolten Wong. I don’t see them trading him, they are really high on his defense and he can hit, it has been a position of trouble for them for a long time.
        As I said, their front office really starts to believe themselves, they hype their prospects like no other team. And when you look at it, most of their top picks except for Lance Lynn, the last decade have been total busts.

    • BD

      I would love to get Rosenthal… it sounds like his potential could be a Verlander-style of pitcher (NOT SAYING AS GOOD), but with a top fastball and hard breaking ball.

    • THEOlogical

      Hey,the Cards just took the contract of Barret Browning. He graduated from my high school, he’s a reliever. I am a die hard Cubs fan but I’m rooting for Barret, hope he’s doing good and does good this weekend but still the Cubs sweep.

  • Jonathan

    I live in St Louis so am forced to listen to STL sports radio at work. Sounds like Miller has been pretty bad in AAA this year and a lot of people are losing faith in him. I would rather get someone else. Unless Theo thinks they can fix him.

    • Luke

      A lot of fans and sports radio types get a little too reactionary with prospects. Miller is giving up a ton of home runs his year, but I don’t think that means he’s suddenly no longer a very good pitching prospect with legitimate ace potential and one of the best fastballs in the minors. I think it more than likely means that he’s only 21 and is still learning how to use his stuff, how to attack hitters, when to trust pitches other than his fastball, and so forth.

      If the Cardinals were dumb enough to trade him away for Ryan Dempster, I might just start doing backflips. It is possible, as with any prospect, that Miller will never amount to anything in the majors, but this is a case where the risk is absolutely and unquestionably worth taking.

  • Patrick G

    If demp gets traded tonight he can start tomorrow for the cards against the cubs

    • Steve

      Oh my….

  • Gabriel

    I would do a deal with the Cards if any of the following headlined it:

    Oscar Taveras (no chance in hell, even if we were talking Garza)

    Shelby Miller (starting to seem like there could be a chance…i would jump alllll over it)

    Carlos Martinez (still unlikely, but slight chance and would be a really good return)

    Any way you slice it, if we could get one of these guys from the cardinals its probably the best Dempster deal out there – if none would be in the deal, I would hope the Cubs look elsewhere.

  • JulioZuleta

    I tweeted Kaplan asking if he thinks he’ll be gone by tomorrow night. He said “They’re trying, still haven’t quite gotten the deal they want.”

  • Matt

    If the Cards want Dempster, they need to pony up imo.

    I’d rather take a slightly less attractive offer from another team that’s not a divisional rival.

    • dabynsky

      Why does it matter? Dempster on the Cardinals this year does very little to hurt the Cubs, and he could sign with the Cardinals in the offseason whether we trade him or not. Get the best deal period and I think that will be the goal.

  • DowntownLBrown

    Dempster has been my favorite Cub pitcher for a long time. Please god no not the Cardinals unless we rape their farm system.

  • Steve

    When you deal within division, and ESPECIALLY the Cards, you only do the deal if it’s an obvious coup.
    That is out of the GM handbook I wrote last fall. You can get it @

  • Spencer

    I think it’s more likely the Cards get Garza so they can quickly extend him for six more years. Not joking. I really think that’ll happen.

    • Gabriel

      As long as Tavares or Miller are coming back, that’s fiiiiine with me.

      • willis

        Garza would become a multiple Cy Young winner on the Cardinals who would haunt the cubs for many years to come. No way.

  • Ralph

    It’s official? The Ryan Dempster trade watch is now “obsessive?” I gotta say, I was honked off enough when the Mark DeRosa played for the Cards, but Dempster as a dirty bird is going way to far!

  • donnie kessinger

    I think only deal we make with cards would be for Dempster, because he is a one year rental in a year we are not competing. I dont see Garza to cards as realistic – just my opinion.

  • rcleven

    What I liked most about Levins article was the interest in Soto. Always nice for other teams to have interest in your players.

  • Lothar

    2B Kolten Wong would be a great haul from the Cards and would make it easier to deal Barney to Detroit for another prospect.

    • TSB

      With Dempster and Garza gone, the Cubs need pitching, pitching, and more pitching…

  • North Side Irish

    I would love to get Miller who I think just needs to get his had straightened out and his confidence back. I heard the Cardinals put him on a “no shake off” order, which makes me think he was just over-thinking everything.

    Tavares and Martinez aren’t happening, but I think they’re #3 pitching prospect Tyrell Jenkins might be a realistic option. Big kid, still just 19 and in A ball. He’s extremely athletic which the FO likes (he had a scholarship to play WR at Baylor) and throws in the 92-94 range regularly. BA had him at the back end of the Top 100 before the season, but he’s had some ups and downs this year. Still raw but really high ceiling.

    Plus, the Cardinals can live with losing their #3 SP prospect when they’ve got arms like Miller and Martinez left.

  • cubmig

    I’d hate like hell to hear Dempster has been traded to the deadbirds. And yet, dabynsky has it right when he says Dempster could sign with the deadbirds in the off-season and that it comes down to getting the best deal for the Cubs. I’d hate it, but if —and only if—we got one of their top prospects it could numb the pain.

  • willis

    I’d love to see Demp be able to start tomorrow night because the other options are terrible and regardless of our positioning, I hate the Cardinals and want the best chance to beat them. Then he can be traded.

    But I’d never want to see him in a cardinal uniform, ever.

  • Jared

    i know we need pitching but if we aint gettin shelby miller or carlos martinez i would certainly love to have kolten wong. he just looks like a super solid all around player!
    and of course i would love tavarez but i dont see that happening…

    • someday…2015?

      Martinez or Miller and Wong or Tavarez for Dempster, LaHair and either Camp or Russel… Im guessing it would take a deal involving Garza to get Martinez or Tavarez. The anticipation is too much, something happen already!!

      • Jeremy

        Yeah Miller or Martinez will not be moved for Dempster. Tavares is probably the 2nd best offensive OF prospect in the game right now behind Wil Myers. The guy is about as close to untouchable as you can get.

        Miller, Wong, Rosenthal for Garza makes more sense from the Cardinals perspective and it’s a great return for us.

        • someday…2015?

          Jeremy I wish we where the Cubs GMs because I agree 100% with you… Miller and Wong would make me do cartwheels.

  • @cubsfantroy

    I don’t want Demp to go to the Cards. Like Brett, I want to be able to root for him for the rest of the year. If he goes to the Cardinals, I won’t be able to do that.

    • Norm

      I’m more concerned with the best possible return. If that’s the Cards, so be it….
      I don’t have a rooting interest against teams any more. Years ago, I may have agreed, but I really don’t care if the Cards win it, or the White Sox win it, or whoever.
      I just want the Cubs to win it and if STL offers the best deal, thanks. And if the Cubs don’t win it, just give me good baseball.

  • R.E.S

    I’ll be at the I-Cubs tonight, it will be interesting to see if Coleman makes his scheduled start. Also for what its worth I say Cardinals no….NO……HECK NO!

  • JulioZuleta

    The Cards can have him for Holliday, Beltran, Wainright and 6 PTBNLs.

  • hardtop

    i just read in some fan comments somewhere that the red sox sent 2 prospects and cash to the cubs for demp. this seems like bullshit to me… but the comment said it was official and an announcement was scheduled.

    • dabynsky

      The fact that the rumor has cash coming from the BoSox should be the first hint that ths is BS.

    • Luke

      Jayson Stark just tweeted “One source says Red Sox are officially out on Dempster, still in on Matt Garza.”

      • Njriv

        Barnes and Lavarnway thank you very much!

        • Jonski

          How”s this Barnes,Lavarway and Doubrant since your so hell bent on a top catching prospect in return lol…Doubrant is a lhp with some velocity.

        • stillmisskennyhubbs

          Please not Lavarnaway. He is not a good defensive catcher. We will need a good defensive backstop to handle our staff.

          • Njriv

            I hope the Blue Jays are still involved I’d rather have d’Arnaud and/or Syndergaard

  • JoeyCollins

    Sound like phillies are all in on hammels.

  • Norm

    If TOR is involved, I hope Travis Snider is a secondary piece.