BREAKING: Chicago Cubs (Probably) Agree to Trade Ryan Dempster to Atlanta Braves for Randall Delgado (UPDATES – Cautious Optimism)

After days (weeks (months)) of rumors and speculation, today the Chicago Cubs finally pulled the trigger on a Ryan Dempster trade. He goes to the Atlanta Braves, according to MLB.com’s beat writer for the Braves, Mark Bowman. There were multiple reports moments ago that the deal was close, and it looks like it’s happening.

Bowman suggests that Randall Delgado could be part of the return, but he isn’t sure yet. Obviously, that would be an insane return as I’ll explain later, if it actually comes to fruition.

I’ll be updating this post obsessively as we learn more.

UPDATE 1: David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution acknowledges that the deal is happening, and says the Braves believe they’ve got a shot to sign Dempster to an extension, given his history with Fredi Gonzalez and Frank Wren back with the Marlins.

UPDATE 2: While I have a moment, I’ll say I’d be pleasantly shocked if this is a straight up Dempster (and cash) for Delgado deal. At 22, Delgado is already an average-ish pitcher in the bigs, and, coming into the season was the 41st ranked prospect in all of baseball according to Baseball Prospectus. Baseball America had him at 46. Even if his stock has fallen a bit this year, that would be an absolute coup.

UPDATE 3: Ken Rosenthal joins the chorus saying it’s a done deal. Still no word on financial details or total package.

UPDATE 4: Dave Kaplan offers the first confirmation from the local guys. He adds that he hears the Cubs made a “great deal” to get young pitching. He’s working on finding out the “names.”

UPDATE 5: For what it’s worth on Delgado – again, we don’t know yet whether he’s included – Kevin Goldstein says he would no longer have Delgado in his top 50 prospects (and not just due to graduation to the bigs). He still thinks Delgado would be a heck of a return for Dempster, though.

UPDATE 6: Keith Law reports that the deal DOES INCLUDE RANDALL DELGADO and money going to the Braves, but he adds “if the deal is completed.”

UPDATE 7: Kevin Goldstein confirms that Delgado is in the deal, and that Cubs fans should be thrilled. Oh, we are, Kevin. We are (squeeeeeeeaaaal).

UPDATE 8: Goldstein adds that Delgado’s ceiling is as a number three, but keep a few things in mind: he’s considered a somewhat “safe” three, as in, he’s modestly likely to reach that ceiling. Also, a “three” doesn’t necessarily mean the third best pitcher on an average team. It’s some kind of scouting thing, and many guys who are the second best pitcher on their teams are considered a “three.”

UPDATE 9: I’m going to save further thoughts on Delgado, specifically, for a separate post once various pundits have weighed in – I’d say you can already tell my gut reaction, though (did I mention SQUEAL!?!?). Something else great about this deal: the high return on Dempster theoretically makes the high asking price on guys like Garza and Maholm even more reasonable. That’s a very good thing. Further, the Braves weren’t rumored to be in on either Garza or Maholm, so the Cubs didn’t hurt their market. So far, there’s, like, nothing but awesomeness about this deal.

UPDATE 10: Kaplan, who earlier confirmed the deal, now says it is NOT a done deal. A source tells him only that “talks are ongoing.” Hopefully it’s just a matter of crossing some t’s. Goldstein adds that he now also hears the deal is not finalized, but guesses it’s just a formality. Keep in mind, if there’s a bunch of money coming from the Cubs, there usually has to be approval from the Commissioner’s Office. That can take time.

UPDATE 11: Dempster’s official Twitter says the following: “THERE IS NO TRADE dont know where this info came from!” If this trade falls through, it will be the worst mis-report in the history of trades. Keep in mind, that account usually only tweets Dempster Family Foundation stuff, and is not really Dempster, himself.

UPDATE 12: Kaplan suggests the hold-up is the Ryan Dempster approval. Kap doesn’t say it isn’t forthcoming, but says it hasn’t been given yet. Makes you wonder whether Dempster is holding out for an extension from Braves.

UPDATE 13: If you saw that Joe Sheehan tweet and crapped your pants, you aren’t alone. Fortunately, it was a joke. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, good. It was a terrifying 30 seconds.

UPDATE 14: Dempster has arrived at the Cubs’ clubhouse in Pittsburgh, so I’m sure he’s about to be deluged with questions. And he’ll probably say very little.

UPDATE 15: No surprise, Dempster declines to talk to the media, only joking that, “if it’s on the Internet, it must be true.” Clearly the deal has been agreed upon, but is pending either Commissioner approval or Dempster approval (or both). Dempster could be trying to leverage an extension here, which could partly explain the Cubs’ great (theoretical) return.

UPDATE 16 (seriously, 16 updates? Never a good sign): Phil Rogers agrees with my take, figuring that the reporting has simply gotten out in front of the formalities. The leak obviously came from the Atlanta side.

UPDATE 17: Kap has spoken with Delgado’s agent, who – predictably – says they’ve heard nothing about a deal. Unfortunately, Delgado would have been the last to hear, and would have heard directly from the team, but that’s not how the modern era of reporting works.

UPDATE 18: With the game looming, we might not hear anything more on this until tonight or tomorrow. Which, I know, is exactly what you don’t want to hear.

UPDATE 19: Bob Nightengale says Dempster is, indeed, the hold-up, and everyone is just waiting on him to give his approval. It could be that he’s trying to get an extension from the Braves first, or it could be that, literally, word of the trade leaked before the Cubs had a chance to confirm with Dempster (having previously talked to him, and learned that he’d be “open” to a trade to the Braves). Also, random, but Len Kasper has tweeted a goodbye of sorts to Dempster, but it was two hours ago, and that might as well be from March.

UPDATE 20: Dale Sveum told the media that he spoke with the front office, and they said no deal was ever in place, and it’s not just a matter of getting Dempster’s sign-off. Maybe that’s true, but the front office obviously has a reason to say that – if the deal isn’t done, they don’t want to screw it up, or maybe they wouldn’t hate another team jumping in at the last minute.

UPDATE 21: On the Braves’ side, manager Fredi Gonzalez says he knows what we know (“well, a little bit more”), and that we’re in a “holding pattern.” To me, that sounds like a Dempster approval issue, but who knows at this point.

UPDATE 22: I keep hoping each update will be the last. This might be worthless if things don’t take a positive turn, but Bob Nightengale says there are two players coming to the Cubs if the deal gets done.

UPDATE 23: Ken Rosenthal hears that the issue isn’t Dempster wanting an extension, but instead is Atlanta insisting on one, and Dempster not really wanting to execute one. I’m not sure I buy that theory, if only because the leak of the deal came from Atlanta’s side. If they weren’t sure Dempster was going to agree to an extension that they required, why would they leak a completed deal? To put pressure on Dempster to sign the extension? Why would that work? I hope it’s not a situation where the Cubs have agreed to two deals with the Braves: (1) if Dempster signs extension, the Cubs get Delgado; (2) if Dempster doesn’t sign extension, Cubs get lesser prospect(s).

UPDATE 24: David O’Brien reports on things from the Atlanta side, expressing the surprise of some sources that a deal hadn’t been announced yet. They don’t seem to know what the holdup was, as the Atlanta media – if not the Braves, themselves – assumed Dempster would gladly approve a deal to the Braves. And Rosenthal adds that he’s got a source telling him the Braves are still confident a deal gets done.

UPDATE 25: This is the update where things descend into madness. Jon Heyman reports that, now, the trade is only 50/50 to be completed. Funny thing: the source saying it’s 5o/50 doesn’t know what the holdup is. So, somehow he knows it’s only 50/50 now, but doesn’t know why?

UPDATE 26: Bruce Levine reports that, as we’ve pretty much known for a while now, the deal has been agreed to by the Cubs and Braves, but the teams are just waiting for sign-off from Dempster.

UPDATE 27: Phil Rogers doesn’t agree with Jon Heyman’s 50/50 prognosis, and instead still thinks the deal gets done. Phil takes a stab at what happened: the Braves jumped the gun on letting the news out, believing that the Cubs already had Dempster’s thumb’s up on the deal (which, if true, could have been the Braves’ fault for misunderstanding, or the Cubs’ fault for mis-communicating). Dempster was blindsided by all of this, and was pretty pissed off. Thus, Dale defends his player (and the Cubs) by saying things like the story was “fabricated.” Hopefully that’s all true, and hopefully the Cubs can smooth things over with Dempster. I would certainly understand being pissed, but I couldn’t understand letting this torpedo the deal.

UPDATE 28: Kevin Goldstein cites a source who says there’s a 24-hour moratorium on deals involving players with 10/5 rights (I guess on the belief that you don’t want teams pressuring a guy on the spot – this way, he’s guaranteed to get 24 hours to think about it), so, if the deal is presented to Dempster for approval after the game (or, I guess, before or during the game), we might not hear a formal announcement until tomorrow night. Bet you can’t wait for that! (I bet we will have heard long before that, though.)

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

553 responses to “BREAKING: Chicago Cubs (Probably) Agree to Trade Ryan Dempster to Atlanta Braves for Randall Delgado (UPDATES – Cautious Optimism)”

  1. Serious Cubs Fan

    OH GOD! WHY!!!? if the braves ditched the deal, i will have a be so sad. Biggest cock tease ever

  2. someday...2015?

    Unbelievable. Just flat out Unbelievable.

  3. rbreeze

    At this point and time why would the FO trade Dempster to any place that he would not want to go to? They have been working on this for a long time. Its being reported all over the place. We just need to be patient and wait for the official announcement. By the way who gives the official announcement??????????

  4. Serious Cubs Fan

    why why why why why? Atlanta just put the deal back on the table please. Dempster for Delgado please

  5. Carew

    FUUUUUUUUU

  6. EvenBetterNewsV2.0

    Thanks Brett, I was about to be pissed.

  7. Cerambam

    apparently sheehan was joking… is that guy kidding me?

    “whoops. Uh, that was a “vacated” joke. (But the trade does not seem to have been completed.)

    1. Cyranojoe

      WHAT? How is that a joke? How is “vacate” a joke? Nobody’s name is Brian Vacuum here…

      At best, that’s some serious trolling — which I would applaud, because **** he got us good — but he’s a professional! You can’t troll as a professional sports guy and expect to maintain the respect that you need in this business. That’s insane.

      I agree with you, Brett, that was heart-stopping. :P

      1. Jack Weiland

        He’s been debating the PSU sanctions all day. Hence “vacated” …

        Again: Twitter is a conversation. If you’re going to run from Twitter to this forum, you need to give proper context to whatever is said.

        1. Cyranojoe

          Oh! Okay. Still a shitty joke, but I see how he got there. Thanks for setting me straight — I sincerely appreciate it. Don’t have access to Twitter from work, so I could only go on what’s been posted here. Went a little half-cocked. :P

          1. Jack Weiland

            No worries. I would have too if I hadn’t been following him debating Penn State with trolls for the past few hours. hahah

        2. EvenBetterNewsV2.0

          I actually did post his whole quote earlier.

  8. G_Racin

    I’d be really peeved if all this instant access Twitter BS somehow killed this trade… Leaking it before Dempster put his John Handcock on the paperwork might just piss him off enough to kill the deal.

  9. someday...2015?

    ALL CUB FANS NEED TO FIND THIS SHEEHAN GUY AND PISS ON HIM FOR THAT!! NOT FUNNY AT ALL.

  10. pfk

    Somebody’s front office screwed up somewhere. No way that much leaked information was given without one or the other side thinking there was a deal. My guess is that the Cubs didn’t have Dempster on board with the trade before they got all excited, which is why his Tweet was in all caps. He was pissed!

    1. Cyranojoe

      We all know somebody screwed up. I’d like to say it was ATL, given how close-mouthed our guys have been all year, but considering how exciting this is for the Cubbies, I wouldn’t be surprised if the screwup was on our end. :(

    2. EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      He doesn’t do the tweeting for the organization. I would be shocked if on his way to the ball diamond he made his organization put that out. They nothing is completed, but just by showing up he proves that. I am sure the first person he is seeking out is Hoyer to find out wtf. He has said all along the FO has kept him in the loop at every turn. Either way, he is the type of dude that would say his goodbyes to his teammates. I doubt he is pissed. He is aware of where things stand.

      1. EvenBetterNewsV2.0

        Sorry iPhone autocorrect. They know nothing is completed.

  11. Matt

    He didn’t do anything terrible, wasn’t a great joke, but nothing to demonize him over.

  12. someday...2015?

    Demp getting dressed for today’s game…

    1. ChaChi

      Did he use the facilities too? Jeez…

      1. Patrick G

        Bravo

  13. Curt

    I’m sure I’m in the minority here but if this trade goes through and it does look like its good for the cubs in the long run its still very sad to me,that hendry and Sam Zell screwed the pig do hard that a good player like dempster has to be shipped out to start doing things like they should have been being done all along, good for demp that he’s got a chance for the playoffs.and Ty for trying do hard while you were here , and I hope that you come back again someday .

    1. Cubs Dude

      Sorry Curt, I don’t feel bad if he is gone. Demp blocked trades all last year when he had a chance to compete for a title. Obviously it worked out better for the Cubs as he is better this year, but I almost guarantee that he gave the Cubs 2 or 3 places he would go all in the NL only. I don’t care what they say no way he would have gone to the AL in a contract year. If he holds up this deal it will be complete b.s.

    2. Cyranojoe

      Nice thoughts, Curt. Agreed.

  14. josh2

    Delgado straight up for Demp and cash is not a great start on Theo’s “waves and waves of pitching” I think Delgado is a good score but I was hoping for multiple high upside pitching. I’d hate to trade Demp on a roll of the dice on one arm

    1. dudeski

      you’re not going to get multiple high upside arms for demp

      1. oswego chris

        this is way better than could be expected…I NEVER thought Dempster would re-sign with the Cubs when the year ends..that never happens but people speculate on it all of the time…

    2. Jack Weiland

      Multiple high upside arms (meaning #2s and #1s?) was not going to happen on a two-month rental, sorry,. You need to get your expectations recalibrated.

      1. ChaChi

        I love the Cardinals…

      2. Cyranojoe

        Agreed.

        1. ChaChi

          Glad you agree Cyranojoe…

  15. ChaChi

    Who is the Dempster guy we are speaking about? Seems to me he is only worth a bag of chalk…

  16. someday...2015?

    ESPNChiCubs Doug Padilla
    Sarcastic Demp: “If it’s on the Internet, it must be true.”

    Obviously Demp hasn’t been told anything as of now.

    1. Cyranojoe

      Oh, Ryan, I’m glad you understand the way the world works now. INTERNET IS TRUTH. TRUTH IS INTERNET. Amen.

    2. Jack Weiland

      hahah that is a fantastic quip from a guy about to undergo a significant change in his life. I’ll miss Dempster, for sure.

  17. LWeb23

    I did think it was fishy that it took so long to ‘confirm’ the Cubs’ return on the deal. Regardless, I believe this deal will get done. I bet all thats holding it up is a combination of Dempster’s approval and Bud’s approval. Maybe a possible extension for Dempster. Which who knows, if an extension is holding it up maybe that will become a problem. Maybe the Braves don’t want him beyond this year. Or on the other side, maybe the Cubs didn’t know about a possible extension and they will want more? Oh this is driving me crazy now.

  18. hansman1982

    eh, kaplan is on the “there is nothing to see here” side of the trade discussion and he’s already backpeddling – he went from there is no trade, just talks to “well dempster’s approval is needed before the trade can go through”.

  19. ChaChi

    Garza and Castro to Cardinals for a sniff of what a World Series smells like… #GoCards!!

    1. EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      Get the hell out of here.

      1. Jack Weiland

        Guys an idiot. Don’t feed the trolls.

    2. Myles

      I tried whiffing, but all I could smell was the alcohol on Tony LaRussa’s breath. That probably explains the car I saw stalled in the middle of the road. Let’s ask him to recite the alphabet

      1. ChaChi

        How many championships?? Oh thats right.. 1 in 108 years… try 2 in the past 6 years… Hurts doesn’t it?

        1. dudeski

          trolling a cubs board is an excellent way to spend one’s day

        2. Carew

          You’re a reason why we dont like the cardinals

          1. Jack Weiland

            STOP FEEDING THE TROLLS.

            Well fed trolls rarely stray. Hungry trolls skip off to find other places to waste their pathetic lives.

        3. fortyonenorth

          Yeah, but at the end of the day, Chicago is still a world class city. St. Louis is, well…..

          1. ChaChi

            St. Louis blows Chicago away by leaps and bounds.. Can’t help it that Chicago is the armpit of the midwest… and I know its sad that the Cubs stink.. in all honesty they should just disband that organization… well nevermind.. we actually like beating up on you guys year in and year out.. its always a guaranteed 12 wins.

            1. stillmisskennyhubbs

              When I lived in KC and in Minneapolis/St. Paul, the joke was “Why would people in St. Louis want to live downstream from us?”

            2. Alex

              Chachi is right about one thing; St. Louis blows.

  20. someday...2015?

    David Kaplan

    @thekapman

    Per Randall Delgado’s agent: We haven’t heard a thing about him being traded.

  21. Itzscott

    Regardless of what Dempster, Delgado, the Braves or Dempster’s foundation say, I’m completely convinced Epstein isn’t going to let this one get away.

    1. rhino70

      Unfortunately, that’s not his call. Ultimately, it’s Dempster’s. He’s the one with the 10-5 rights, and if he says no, there’s nothing Theo can do.

      Of course, money talks. That money would have to come from the Braves, not the Cubs.

  22. Cee-Dee-Vee

    What im thinking is that Dempster doesnt wanna approve a trade yet because he wants one last game to spend with his teammates.

    1. PKJ

      I hope you’re right and it’s that simple.

      1. Bric

        Me too, but I’m getting a sick feeling that the Braves are requiring some kind of firmer commitment for next year which Dempster doesn’t want to give.

    2. Carew

      I see that being a huge possibility. Good thought

    3. rhino70

      I think he really doesn’t want to give up the Captain America costume.

  23. Mdel78

    If Heyman’s latest tweet that this has to do with Dempster enforcing his 10 & 5 rights, I will be disappointed. He earned those rights, and I have no issue with him doing it. However, I would be upset with his comments throughout the year alluding to him being flexible. Just be straight… if you want to use that leverage to get a new deal, or to go to only one city, etc. just massage a message around that.

    A little short term reaction on my part… hopefully in the end it works out for everyone and my comments are unwarranted. As a fan I would prefer someone say “no comment” rather then tell half truths.

  24. leroy k.

    waiting for Dempsters approval.

  25. Mr. Gonzo

    I could see this being as simple as Dempster wanting to go home and talking with his family first before officially approving the trade.

  26. Jason "Thundermug"

    I think what happened is the Cubs and Braves agreed to the deal but Theo and Jed were going to get hold of Dempster and in the process he said give him some time to think how he wants to handle it. I think someone in the Braves org leaked the info the social medial/outlets whatever the case that the deal was done and it grew legs.and a bunch of legs in fact. Dempster was caugt off guard by the leakage before his decision.

  27. PJ

    Brett, what is your record for updates on one post? 19 has to be awfully close!

    1. PJ

      Maybe you should try for 33 to match the 33 straight scoreless by Demp this year…

  28. Mr. Gonzo

    Warning: Unbelievable Theory — Dempster was just waiting to see the reactionary comments on Bleachernation.com on his rumored trade… just to make sure the team and fans approved of the return.

  29. calicubsfan007

    I can see why GMs aren’t thrilled about giving players the 10-5 right. It is really annoying to walk around all this red tape and such.

    1. Spencer

      GMs don’t give that right to players. Players earn it. its different than a no trade clause.

      1. calicubsfan007

        @spencer and jason: I know that. I have just heard GMs really complain about the 10-5, that’s all I was saying.

  30. Fastball

    Well somebody needs to get their a** handed to them for this miscommunication.