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No one really knows for sure exactly what happened yesterday. Or why. Or how.

But we can make some informed assumptions, based on the aggregate of information – both hard and speculative – available. The Cubs and Braves agreed to the framework of a deal yesterday, which would send Ryan Dempster and cash to the Braves for 22-year-old pitcher Randall Delgado. There is probably more to the deal than that, but that’s probably the gist. The Cubs were likely negotiating with the Braves on the tentative understanding from Dempster that he would accept a trade to the Braves, if the Cubs worked such a deal out (indeed, there were probably several such teams that the Cubs were negotiating with on this tentative understanding). The agreement, in retrospect, was obviously subject to, and pending, Dempster’s formal approval of the deal.

That agreement between the Cubs and Braves was leaked by someone on the Braves’ side to Mark Bowman, the beat writer for the Braves’ MLB.com site. Bowman, doing what any reasonable journalist would do, particularly in light of reports just 20 minutes before that the Cubs and Braves were “close” to a deal, broke the story that it was a done deal.

From there, multiple national baseball writers confirmed that the deal was done. The Chicago media was mostly silent, but Dave Kaplan – who later was the first reporter to throw up the brakes on the deal – concurred that he’d heard it was a done deal.

Why would they all do this?

The cynical among you would say that each was just piggybacking off of the initial Bowman report, citing their own “sources,” when, in reality, their “source” was Bowman. I’m not sure I believe that. I think these guys – the Heymans, the Starks, the Crasnicks, etc. – have a wide network of sources, and they probably each did have someone confirm to them that a deal was done. Of course, what we don’t know is where that source was getting his information. Hell, maybe his source was the Bowman report.

At any rate, the reports were out there, and Dempster, himself, had to refute them. From there, the Cubs – who’d been silent, probably because they knew they had yet to get official approval from Dempster on the deal – went in to massive spin control. They did this, probably, for at least two reasons: (1) if the deal fell through, the Cubs didn’t want future trade partners knowing what they were going to get for Dempster (i.e., what they would accept), and (2) the Cubs didn’t want to piss off Dempster, in case he thought maybe they weren’t keeping him in the loop (which they’d openly promised to do).

Dale Sveum took up the Cubs’ mantle, lodging a misguided attack on “the Twitter and the Facebook,” and claiming that the original report – which had, by then, landed on Cubs.com – was a “fabrication.” That’s a bit strong, but, given those two concerns above, and the managerial instinct to protect your players, you can understand the strong reaction. But Sveum said his message was basically coming from the top.

“I found out when I came in off the field from early [batting practice],” Sveum told reporters, when refuting the story. “Somebody said they saw it on the [Cubs] website, so I got on the website and saw it, and called the higher ups to make sure, and they’re like, no, nothing’s happening, I don’t know where that came from. That’s where we are with that.”

So, is there really nothing going on? Of course not. We’ve since heard enough credible reports to believe that, as I said, the deal was agreed to by the teams, and there is now the matter of getting Dempster’s approval. A source told Kevin Goldstein that trades involving players with 10/5 rights are subject to a 24-hour moratorium on announcements (so that the player in ensured of having at least 24 hours to think about the deal), so this entire waiting process may have been preordained all along. We might just be waiting for the inevitable.

After all, would the Cubs really negotiate the specifics of a deal (so specifically, in fact, that the Braves’ side believed they had a done deal) if they didn’t think Dempster would approve the trade?

Then again, maybe Dempster really is upset about how things played out, and maybe he doesn’t want to go to Atlanta. I don’t believe the reports that Dempster was trying to leverage his way into an extension, nor do I believe the theory that it’s the Braves who are demanding an extension (their side leaked the deal – there would be nothing to leak if they knew they were waiting to find out about an extension). But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things, about which we don’t know, that are holding up the deal. It’s times like this that we realize, for as much as we think we know about the inner workings of the front office in this information age, we usually know very little.

In sum, where do things really stand? We don’t know. And we wait. I think it’s still more likely than not that the deal gets done, based on the parameters reported yesterday. News could come down at any time, but things will certainly shake out before Dempster’s scheduled start tomorrow at 11:35am CT.

  • randy cutright

    This is all bullshit…. I have worked for newspapers for years. You would never get away in print putting out such trash but with Twitter and Facebook you all get away with it.. It drives me crazy. I am deleting my Twitter account and if Facebook keeps up the stupid shit, I will go back to simply reading a newspaper. Everyone is in such a hurry to break a story and it pisses people off. I hope Dempster accepts a trade but he should be pissed off as hell. Just like declaring the wrong presidnet several years ago. COME on people get it together and get eth stories right and quit losing your credibility..

    • stillmisskennyhubbs

      “Twitter is today’s equivalent of the bathroom wall.”

      • Jack Weiland

        If everyone carried around the same bathroom wall in their pocket, and could use bathroom walls to organize search and rescue efforts during times of tragedy, and if people could use bathroom walls to gain access to celebrities and athletes they’d never dreamed of before, sure. Totally agree with you.

        • stillmisskennyhubbs

          I’m so glad we agree on something….

          • Jim

            Things like facebook and twitter are tools. In skilled hands tools produce amazing results and in the wrong hands tools produce garbage. It is up to us.

        • Doug Dascenzo

          It’s true that Facebook and Twitter have been useful in crises and emergencies. But let’s be honest, the people who created them weren’t thinking that when they created them.

          • Scotti

            Neither were they thinking of sports journalism…

    • Tarzan Joe Wallis

      i’m still not understanding why anyone thinks demp has a right to be pissed. he talked to theo 2 months ago in the famous photo of them in the bleachers. the media has talked about him being traded for 2 months now. dempster has to know he’ll be traded. it got leaked. sorry theo was not there to rub his shoulders and tell him how this really “hurts me more than you” feel good story so he’ll say yes. he’s had 2 months to decide if he would leave. given the dodgers or braves, i think the braves are a better team. atlanta is helluva lot closer to chicago than LA. his kids can still watch daddy pitch with games starting at 6 than a 9. it’s 2 fucking months. and if he does well; he’ll make alot more as a FA. it’s all win-win. for god’s sake; Chip is in Atlanta; what else could you want!

      cubs players are getting way too fucking comfortable at wrigley; dlee, aram, demp; none want to leave. no trade clause or not; no cubs players can ever get 10-5 rights; they won’t leave.

      talk about a cubby occurrence!. he’s traded, he’s not traded. NO way he pitches tomorrow if he still has not decided. only the cubs. a tanked season. the little hope we fans have is seeing the youngsters being brought in for a “possible” good future. here’s a good trade. but NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO……………we have to fucking wait…………..it just can’t be announced and cubs fans can be giddy………….we have to wait…………so our giddy is less giddy beucz we’ve stressed all the giddy out of it. damn! this is frustrating.

      • Scotti

        All win-win? Given that things are going rather well for him here, a win for him would be staying. However, he has apparently given the parameters to Theo with which he would accept a trade. I.e. he agreed to do Theo and the Cubs a FAVOR. However, I’m guessing one of those parameters was NOT the trade being leaked before he was notified… Dempster owes me nothing. He owes you nothing. If he accepts the trade I’ll be grateful.

        • Tarzan Joe Wallis

          i pay his fucking salary. he does owe me something. it’s called attending games; which allows him to make an insane amount of money. accept the trade. it’s a win to play for a team that is gonna lose 100 games OR go to a team that will be in the playoffs.

          • stillmisskennyhubbs

            YOU pay his (deleted) salary?
            Mr. Ricketts, please take off the e-mask.

          • Scotti

            Nope, you don’t pay his salary. You don’t spend anywhere near $12 million per year on the Cubs. Not even close. But somehow, after spending a couple bucks a year, you think YOU have the right to decide what is best for Dempster and, presumably, each and every player… He has his own life to live. He calls his shots. I’m good with that.

  • MightyBear

    I must say I don’t know why everyone is down on Vitters now. He’s 22, he’s knocking the hell out of the ball at AAA and he seems pretty coachable ie they asked him to be more patient and his walk total is up. I know his defense is suspect but if he can work on that and learn to play third, left and first, I think he could be a valuable piece of the future.

  • BeyondFukudome

    As a Cubs fan with 104/0 rights, I felt blind-sided by Dempster’s tweet yesterday. So I am now taking 24 hours to act outraged about the situation.

    Sound childish? Hmmm.

    • Jack Weiland

      104/0 rights. Love it.

  • Fastball

    Never wanted a Twitter and Facebook is not allowed in my company. Dont need either.

  • http://bleachernation.com #1lahairfan

    All of us BNers who live in chi-town should boycott dempster’s house.

    • Cubbie Blues

      I don’t live in chicago, but come to think of it I guess I have boycotted his house my whole life.

    • Wester

      You have dinner over there a lot?

      • Bric

        LOL, Webster, you still got it, little guy!

    • stillmisskennyhubbs

      Interesting new definition of the term “boycott”. I definitely will not be buying his house…..

  • Jim

    Twitter, facebook, and blogs are only as reliable and ethical as the people writing and reading them. Some people will post rumors and innuendo without worrying about how they will hurt the people they are discussing, and those people can be anywhere, even in Congress. As a reader it is our job to be thoughtful, critical, and learn to ignore people who post garbage. Rumors are still rumors, be they in the halls of Congress, sites of the internet, or the hallways of a junior high school.
    That is why you take tweets with a grain of salt, blogs with a grain of hope, and neither without thinking a little about the source and their pressures and motives. And you find a few sources (like Bleacher Nation) that try to be correct and listen to them.

  • Diesel

    This has probably been asked but does anyone think Dempster being upset that this leaked before the cubs could tell him make him less likely to want to re sign with the cubs in the offseason?

    • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

      I think signing a 36 year old starting pitcher was pretty low on the priorities this offseason for Theo and Jed.

  • WGNstatic

    I think that completely depends on what happened. At first glance, it appears that the leak happened on the Atlanta side, not the Cubs side. If that is true, it shouldn’t hurt (in fact it may help) the chances of him resigning with the Cubs.

    • Pat

      Regardless of which side was responsible for the leak, our front office should have been the ones to say the reports were premature. Dempster should not have had to do that himself.

  • bt

    FoxSports says Demp doesn’t want to go to Atlanta. Really hope, for Demp’s sake, that this isn’t true.

  • ETS
  • cubs82

    RT @Ken_Rosenthal: Sources: Dempster does not want to go to #Braves – at least not yet. http://on-msn.com/MUJrN7

  • North Side Irish

    This new Rosenthal report doesn’t make Dempster sound good. He said he’d accept a trade if he was going to a contender and it would help the Cubs. But now he doesn’t want to accept a trade to Atlanta and still wants to go the Dodgers. Who aren’t offering as much and are trying to acquire other pitchers instead of him.

    That completely kills any leverage the Cubs had with LA…

    • North Side Irish

      I understand he’s got 10-and-5 rights, but don’t try to come off like the good guy and then complain when you get sent to your second choice. It’s 3 months tops and you’ll get $6M for the inconvenience.

      • Kevin

        It would be one thing if Dempster did not go out and say he would accept a trade if the Cubs presented one to him. This is the reason we are pissed, if he didn’t say this, it wouldn’t be an issue. He also said that he would try to get the Cubs the “best return” they could. Which by saying he will not go to Atlanta, is preventing the Cubs from doing just that.

        • bbmoney

          Only possible explanation, if true, is that he’s more pissed than we even realized about not hearing about the trade from the FO first. Weird that he wouldn’t have known they were working on it though…i mean they obviously weren’t just talking to the Dodgers.

          Let’s wait for more, after yesterday who konws….could just be an erroneous report or more smoke.

          • Other JP

            Or Demp NOW views the Braves as not likely going far into the playoffs, even if he were to pitch for them???

      • Scotti

        He gets those same 6 million dollars regardless of what he does so, no, it isn’t for the inconvenience.

  • Rich

    Look I like Demp. He is no ace, but he is no 5th started either. I know he is a great clubhouse guy. When I read things like I was blindsided, is just weird to me. He knows they are going to move him and for 2 months you are a rental, then go sign with the Dodgers. So He will start tomm in Pitt.
    This complicates Garza deal I would guess. So holding out for Dodgers? That does not help the Cubs..
    I am sorry, it is his choice, but whatever. I am not the biggest Demp fan. He is a Cub and I hope he does well. But I am just so pissed.

  • JP

    Ugh, now what? If the dodgers know that demp only wants to play for them we’re screwed. Best bet I guess is to hold onto him and net a compensation pick when he leaves in the offseason. I hate to be irritated at such a good guy but when did he go from I’ll go wherever to help the cubs to I’ll only accept a trade to the Dodgers?

    • Other JP

      Maybe the Cubs keep him and have him sign-off NOW that he will reject the 12.5 mill offer (or whatever) at end of year so they can get a comp pick.

      Cubs use that to draft another SP (Zach Lee-like) and Dempster can sign a 2-3 year deal with someone for far more money?

      • JP

        Yeah I’m not calling him an a-hole BUT if someone doesn’t think he’s trying to leverage an extension out of the Braves they are kidding themselves. He has an angle all of a sudden and he has put the cubs between a rock and hard place. I wouldn’t trade him to LA for their top 4 prospects just out of spite(jk).

  • czechxican

    Ryan Dempster – I really don’t like you anymore

  • Fastball

    Well, unlike yesterday It is probably prudent to not go crazy over this kind of post from a reporter who could be speculating or hearing something from a source not as close to the situation as the source itself. That being Dempster or Theo/Jed. If this is true I think there are more variables than just he doesn’t want to go to Atlanta. Ted Lilly has probably done a good job of recruiting Dempster. LA has a lot of really good hospitals for his daughter. His agent may have an inside scoop on what the Dodgers might offer him to sign an extension for 2 or 3 years. In the end it’s all about what Dempster wants. He has earned the right to make these decisions for himself and his family. What has transpired over the past 24 hours has probably forced him to re-think his options. Maybe he just believes the Dodgers have a better chance at getting to the WS this year than the Braves. Theo has 2 options. Take what he can get from the Dodgers or hold onto Dempster and offer him the 12 Mil on a one year deal. Dempster won’t want a one year deal at this point in his career. The Cubs get a draft pick which in the end might be a better player than they can get in trade.

  • Fastball

    This isn’t Dempster’s fault. He has been loyal to the Cubs for a long time. At this point in his career if a WS ring is important to him then he is going to pick the Dodgers over the Braves. They were his 1st choice and that 1st choice might have a wide distance between his second choice. If I’m Dempster I pick the Dodgers over the Braves for a lot of reasons. I’m sure Dempster would like to help Theo to an extent but his own wishes and needs are going to be ranking higher on the priority list than those of the Cubs and Cubs Fans. If he gets traded the Cubs are going to get some players in trade. At this point it is what it is. As my mom used to tell us a long time ago. No sense in crying over spilt milk.

  • Fastball

    Also in all of this. Dempster has an Agent and his agent is right in the middle of all this. You can bet that there are some serious angles being looked at. This isn’t as simple as …. Ya sure I’ll do what ever you want. Just let me know where I suit for tomorrow’s game. This is way more complicated than that. Dempster and his agent hold the cards and since he was broadsided yesterday he probably isn’t wanting to be all that agreeable to anything that anyone has to say to him right now. He said he was pissed and he obviously is. Let the man get over being pissed. If he’s like most guys he doesn’t get over being pissed in a minute.

    • Jack Weiland

      Lots of posturing all around, for sure.

      And they hold most of the cards, but not all of them. The Cubs can threaten to keep him in Chicago all summer …

  • Fastball

    Yep… and maybe that’s the smart move for Theo to make. Force the $12M offer on him and get a draft pick. I have to believe that once this settles a bit Dempster and Theo will talk it out and something amicable will get done. To play this out all the way Dempster better hope he pitches like a machine the rest of the way for the Cubs if he doesn’t agree to something. Otherwise he might find himself on the outside looking in come November / December time frame

  • jim

    To me, if, for whatever reason, DEMPSTER doesn’t
    get traded now, I, personally.even though i like
    him & he IS a good person, would be disgusted.
    First of all, RYAN DEMPSTER made it very clear
    that he WOULD accept a trade if it was to a team
    that had a very good chance of getting into the
    playoffs & winning. Secondly, the CUBS are making
    it a huge deal that they are getting rid of (trading) a
    number of their players. WHAT have they done so far?
    A BIG 0 ! THERE is 1 week left before the TRADE
    DEADLINE ENDS! TICK! TICK! TICK! :)

  • CubsFaithfull

    Fuck Ryan Dempster. Get his bitch ass out of wrigley now.. Used to be a good guy, now he’s acting like a pansy. Boo him at wrigley, and let him walk at the end of the year if he decides he doesnt want to get traded.. Fuck this dude. Grow the fuck up man.

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