Today could be the end of the line for Ryan Dempster as a member of the Chicago Cubs, but no report has yet suggested that he didn’t make the team flight to St. Louis today. Dempster is scheduled to start tonight at 7:15pm CT, so, if he’s to be bumped (assuming a trade isn’t announced in the interim), we might not hear about it until a couple hours before that.
Until then, the latest …
- Buster Olney was on SportsCenter today explaining that the Dodgers and the Cubs can’t find common ground on a trade (although I have a strong sense that they thought they were close, as of yesterday – I can’t help but guess the Dodgers felt the Cubs would eventually compromise, but instead, the Cubs are sticking to their guns, however high that request might be). Olney says the Dodgers have told the Cubs that their “high-end prospects” are off limits (I assume that means Zach Lee), but says the situation can change in one phone call (in other words, “I don’t want to look bad if the Dodgers and Cubs announce a trade today”). Olney added on Twitter that “other teams are being aggressive.”
- Dylan Hernandez reports (as of late last night) that Dempster remains a “primary” target for the Dodgers. Jon Heyman reported something similar, again, late last night.
- Jayson Stark, who says there’s a 99% chance Dempster is dealt, quotes an executive whose team has been scouting Dempster heavily: “Here’s the problem. He’s leading the league in ERA, so they want par value back. But in reality, he’s a middle-to-end-of-the-rotation pitcher, and you’ve only got him for a couple of months. So is it worth what you’re being asked to give up?” I can understand and appreciate the disconnect between Dempster’s current performance and his projected performance over the rest of the year, but middle-to-end-of-the-rotation? Come on, dude. Setting aside 2011, Dempster has been a middle-to-front-of-the-rotation guy going on five years. He’s not an ace, but neither is he a four or a five.
- The weirdest bit on Dempster came from Kevin Goldstein, who, himself, admitted what his source had told him was weird. The source said the Cubs are targeting pitching from the Dodgers that could be pitching at Wrigley Field THIS year. That’s weird because, while I’m sure the Cubs would like MLB-ready pitching, and would accept guys who could be pitching in the bigs later in 2012, why would they specifically be targeting 2012 pitchers? Surely they’d rather get 20 to 22-year-old pitching prospects, no? Maybe the source is referring to the Cubs wanting to pick up, as a throw in, someone who can fill in for Dempster and Matt Garza in the second half (if Garza is traded as well)?
- Ken Rosenthal reports that the Braves, seen by many as the second most likely destination for Dempster, have had only general conversations with the Cubs about Dempster, and have not discussed specifics.
- Jon Morosi tweets that the Tigers remain interested in Dempster (last we heard, they’d backed off), who Morosi says is still scheduled to pitch tonight.
- Jon Heyman says the Nationals are “trying hard” on Dempster, as well as the Tigers. The Dodgers are still the favorite, according to at least one GM.
- I would be surprised if Dempster starts tonight.