Atlanta Braves’ GM Frank Wren was on the radio this morning, and his message changed dramatically from last evening’s “we’re ready to wait on Ryan Dempster” line.

Now, he says, it’s time to move on.

“We’re not going to be painted into a corner,” the GM said on an Atlanta radio station this morning. “We have moved on.” Wren added that it is “highly unlikely” that the Braves will now acquire Dempster, and said that the parameters of the deal the two sides had in place “expired yesterday.”

Leverage grab? Maybe. But, either way, this is terrible news for the Cubs. Your hopes for Randall Delgado – which, just two days ago seemed like an expectation, not a hope – have probably been dashed. Wren doesn’t flip flop his statements so completely in the span of 15 hours unless he received new information.

It was unfair to expect the Braves to wait too much longer on Dempster, and even if the story hadn’t broken on Monday, this is how it might have played out. It seems Dempster does not want to go to Atlanta, for whatever reason.

This will probably become the home to many more updates as we approach Dempster’s scheduled start today (he’s in the lineup, as of right now).

UPDATE 1 (at 8:39am CT): This is just my own thought, not a substantive update. What I can’t understand, and what I hope we’ll soon find out: if Dempster didn’t want to go to Atlanta, and he was kept in the loop on everything, why in the world did the Cubs go to the trouble of not only negotiating, but finalizing a deal with the Braves? The narrative that has made the most sense to date is that Dempster was willing to go to Atlanta if the Cubs couldn’t work something out with the Dodgers, and he asked for a delay in accepting the Braves trade so that the Cubs could go back to the Dodger well one more time. The only way that narrative is now true (and it’s just about the only narrative that paints Dempster in a favorable light right now) is if a *good* trade with the Dodgers is immediately forthcoming. The overnight Hanley Ramirez/Nate Eovaldi trade suggests that’s possible, but Dempster is still in the starting lineup for the Cubs.

UPDATE 2 (at 9:06am CT): As you reflect on the above, think on these quotes from Dempster to the media before last night’s game: “It makes it harder when something that wasn’t supposed to be public knowledge becomes public knowledge, especially before I even knew it was public knowledge. That’s when it gets harder is when you get everybody’s opinions of what is going on and it really isn’t what was going on or what took place. You don’t really get to focus your full attention on what you’re trying to do you have to focus on everybody’s perception of what is going on.”

UPDATE 3 (at 9:25am CT): From Buster Olney: “The Dodgers are feelingly increasingly confident they can work out a deal for Dempster, because CHC don’t have many alternatives. We’ll see.” As far as we now know, the Cubs’ *only* alternative is to keep Dempster through the deadline, and then make him a qualifying offer ($12.5 million) after the season, hoping he rejects, and they can get a draft pick after the first round. Randall Delgado, that is not.

UPDATE 4 (at 9:30am CT): Here are the more complete quotes from Frank Wren, thanks to Doug Padilla: “I think it’s very highly unlikely. We put parameters on the deal that expired [Tuesday]. We were moving on from the time we heard that there was the potential of another club being really where he wanted to go. And he had a lot of personal reasons for that. We haven’t stopped pursuing other pitchers. We’ve had scouts in ballparks seeing everyone. It’s one of those bumps in the road but at the same time we put parameters on it that expired yesterday so we’ve moved on.” In other words, from Wren’s perspective, Dempster didn’t want to be in Atlanta for personal reasons, and the Braves didn’t want to keep waiting on a guy who didn’t really want to be there.

UPDATE 5 (at 9:45am CT): A lot of fan anger toward Dempster is based on the idea that Dempster has previously said that he would go wherever the Cubs could get the best offer. I’m not sure that’s exactly what he said, though he did allude to it. The statements came from an early June radio interview, which I wrote about here. Here’s the relevant quote: “I don’t know what direction they want to go, I don’t know any of those answers. Whatever it ends up being [i.e., if it’s a trade] I’ll have to take a look at it and see what’s the best for me, best for the Cubs and I respect that and I understand that. Hopefully I’m here, but if not it’s somewhere that can ultimately give them the best opportunity to improve the Cubs for the future. I believe I’m a part of that and trying to help us for the future and help us for the present as well.” So, did he really say that he would go wherever the Cubs could get the best offer? Not exactly. But close. I guess he did also add this in a separate interview with Paul Sullivan: “Any one of us is susceptible to being traded. For me, it’s a little different because I have the right to say ‘no.’ … Obviously I want to do what’s best for this organization. They’ve done nothing but right by me.” Hmm.

UPDATE 6 (at 10:21am CT): Wren just backtracked on his backtrack ever so slightly, saying that the deal isn’t dead, and the Braves haven’t ruled out a Dempster deal. It’s just very unlikely. We do know that some “parameters expired” yesterday, which I’m still going to assume is Randall Delgado.

UPDATE 7 (at 10:32am CT): Buster Olney and Jim Bowden report that the Cubs now plan to keep Dempster through the deadline (and try to get a pick after the season) unless offers improve. To me, that sounds like a desperate intentional leak to get the best possible offer before Dempster’s start today.

UPDATE 8 (at 10:54am CT): Jon Morosi says a Dempster deal with the Dodgers isn’t dead, but a source tells him the Cubs are frustrated after losing leverage. Source? Yeah, that source would be everyone who’s been paying attention.

UPDATE 9 (at 11:02am CT): George Ofman, who’s been ahead of a lot of this stuff, says this: “Stuff is very fluid. Minute by minute. Braves deal not completely dead.”

UPDATE 10 (at 11:31am CT): Interesting. Buster Olney reports that the Cubs are still hoping Dempster changes his mind on the Atlanta deal. Is it still available, then? He adds that the Cubs hope that decision comes quickly, though, because the Braves are still looking elsewhere.

UPDATE 11 (at 11:34am CT): Len and Bob just did their pre-game thing without any mention of Dempster not making his start today. It’s almost like they were avoiding it intentionally (all Bob said was that Demp had some distractions to work with).

UPDATE 12 (at 11:43am CT): Here we go. Ryan Dempster is actually starting this game. I am incredulous.

UPDATE 13 (at 1:25pm CT): Through six innings, Dempster’s given up three runs, but one was on a cheapy solo homer down the line. He allowed just five hits, no walks, and struck out six. That’s actually a pretty great start. He was pretty pissed after that sixth inning, though, where he gave up the lead with two outs. He shoved a water cooler and chucked something against the wall.

UPDATE 14 (at 1:53pm CT): To be clear: the “meltdown” that you’re going to hear a ton about from the media was all kinds of nothing. He shoved a cooler, and threw a cup at the wall. That’s it. He wasn’t out of control, he didn’t endanger himself or others. It was the kind of thing that happens ALL THE TIME in dugouts. I’m a media defender, but other folks – especially those who weren’t actually watching – blow this up to more than it was, I’m going to be displeased.

  • nick cafardo

    Word is that demp may be going to the red sox with albert almora in exchange for kevin millar. Just saw it on gammons twitter..

    • Sosa23

      please tell me thats a joke

      • nick cafardo

        I’ve got a great pulse on the red sox. It could absolutely go down. Millar is looking strong.

        • Ogyu

          heh heh

    • someday…2015?

      No way!! We got Millar! :)

    • North Side Irish

      I heard the Red Sox will also be receiving a Player to be Named Javier Baez in this deal.

  • Patrick W.

    I generally have faith in the BN faithful, but today has shocked me. It’s not that I disagree with most of these posts, which I do, it’s that in the past you could count on some reasoned, well intentioned discussions on all sides of any particularly issue. I guess with the increased traffic you should expect increases in extreme points of view, but today I saw the most vile thing I’ve ever seen written on this site. An insult to the well informed readers of the site and to the memory of the tragic dead in Colorado. I hope the person responsible for this outrage takes a step back and think about what his comment means. What he’s suggesting. Why people would be disgusted by it. I hope an apology is not forthcoming because I hope the poster is no longer invited to participate in the discussion.

    • Drew7

      “I generally have faith in the BN faithful”

      No reason to change that. Things will be back to normal in a week.

      • Patrick W.

        No doubt. I should have been clearer that I have faith in the BN Faithful, not the one or two new posters who haven’t been around enough to understand the site (or apparently alive enough to understand common decency).

        • Drew7

          I understand. You just sounded like you needed a little reassurance:)

        • Frank

          Patrick W.–I couldn’t agree more.
          Drew7–I’m sure you’re right, but that normalcy can’t return quickly enough for me.

  • ichabod

    i dont see them doing any trades before the deadline

  • Ogyu

    And those Cubs watercoolers thought they were safe when Zambrano left town…

    • calicubsfan007

      I feel bad for the guys who have to clean up the dugouts after the games.

      • Evan

        It’s alright, they’re in Pittsburgh so it’s the Pirates’ probelm 😛

        • calicubsfan007

          Hooray! (Start running in and trashing the dugouts) (=

          • djriz

            You know the Dodgers like players who beat up things in the dugout (see: Ramirez, H). Just saying.

            • calicubsfan007

              Really djriz? Hang on, I gotta take this, the Dodgers won’t stop calling me since they saw Demp’s moment.

              • djriz

                Cali, hope you know I was just funnin’.
                Just trying to keep things as lite as possible today.

                • calicubsfan007

                  Djriz: I was kidding too. I got the funnin’. (=

  • Sosa23

    Garza and baker to the dodgers for webster and another minor leagr seems plausible

    • Martin

      Might as well keep Garza if that’s the return.

  • Evan

    If he injured himself throwing stuff around the dugout after the 6th…

  • Ogyu

    If this is the way he is behaving today, his next appearance in Wrigley is going to be highly entertaining.

  • Dumpgobbler

    Dempster.. Oh my Dempster.

  • Cheryl

    Brett, You’ve done a great job keeping on top of this. You need a breather. Hope its possible.

    • Brett

      Thanks, Cheryl. Hoping this evening will be a bit calmer than the last two.

      • Ogyu

        Unless something miraculous happens as soon as this game is over, I think that’s a pretty forlorn hope, dude.

  • MaxM1908

    Wow! Demp attacked a water cooler? The pressure must be really getting to him. I tip my hat to him on this start despite how disappointed I am in him. It takes a special player to rise above controversy and adversity and perform. I hope this gets resolved soon and not too much to the detriment of the Cubs. It’s very sad it had to go down this way.

    • cubs1967

      only person to blame here is Ryan, he made his fucking LA Hollywood bed; now he can lie in the “fake” persona glitz of it all.

  • Patrick G

    Best case scenario-Greinke goes to White Sox, Angels get Josh Johnson. Red Sox/Rangers/Blue Jays still interested in Garza, Atlanta returns offer to get Dempster and LA misses the playoffs

    • Cub Style

      Greinke won’t go to the White Sox.

  • gary

    Say the cubs hve to keep garza, dempster, malholm, shark and wood for next season. That is a very good rotation. Spend $ and get some hitters and hlp the bullpen and we could contend.

  • Ryan Dempster’s Nanny

    Please, Ryan! Hold out for LA…I want to be an actress!

  • notcubbiewubbie

    thanks dumpster you showed your true colors. too bad murph is off the air you are the tool of the week. and a total phony!! nough said. good news is another piece of jim hendry garbage will be gone next year. good riddance.

  • Rev. Bud Green

    Can’t we all just get a bong?

  • Whiteflag

    I’m guessing Dempster will be skipping the press conference. I would.

  • someday…2015?

    So I dare to ask, was this Demps last game as a Cub?

  • conme

    Wouldn’t Dempster hurt his own negotiating position in free agency, by letting the Dodgers know they are his only option?

  • http://bleachernation loyal100more

    the current ryan dempster climate has really given me an excellent idea as to who is who on this site. man ive heard some harsh stuff, stuff that isnt the least bit funny. i like to kid as much as the next guy but knowing where to draw the line shows a persons true colors. we are all very disappointed that this deal didnt go down, and its amplified by how bad the team has been this year. i still really like this front office and believe that they are the guys that will finaly get us to the promise land.if you bleed cubbie blue then you love ryan dempster as long as hes a member of this team. im not about to take the seasons frustration out on one of the truely BRIGHT spots weve had this season. come on guys show you have a heart…that bleeds cubbie blue give a guy a break, i REALLY feel that he has earned it!

    • calicubsfan007

      I am sorry loyal100more. Hope my true colors aren’t ugly. I really was just trying to make any sort of jokes to get our minds off the anger.

      • Carew

        Bro you were tame. Good guy

      • http://bleachernation loyal100more

        you know cubs fan…humor is the best medicine. i dont find yer posts offensive. ive been fallowing this thing from the very begening and have seen some nasty stuff. its just wrong and its disrespectful to luke and brett and all the posters that make this the best damn cub site on the internet. to all my cub fans out there, i LOVE you and this too shall pass! give demp a break hes had a hell of a season in a cub uniform. not to mention 5-10 does mean something when you think about it.

  • http://bleachernation loyal100more

    i LOVE this team and i have the back of every man on it till they retire or leave! period and end of story! as for demp… hes on the team, love em and wish him the best no matter what!

    • Richard Nose

      I’d hug you.

      • http://bleachernation loyal100more

        dempster just went out and had ANOTHER great outing and in a cub uniform! look no deal has happened and that is a bummer. but for now we have one of the best pitchers in the game this year…no disputing if this is his last year with the team he saved the best for last. put yourself in his shoes and see if you can sort through all the ill feelings you have towards your staff ace cub fans. as you may have guess im dissapointed, and still on dempsters side hate me love me…im a cub fan!

        • dabynsky

          And that great Dempter means nothing in 2012. Dempster netting the Cubs a 22 year old starting pitcher like Randall Delgado means a whole lot for the future of the Cubs. It is Dempster’s right to say no to a trade, but it does hurt the Cubs going forward. And we as Cubs fans don’t have to be happy about that.

          • http://bleachernation loyal100more

            tru…im just as disappointed. however the posts ive been reading have been way to extreme

  • cubmig

    From rotoworld: Buster Olney of reports that the Dodgers are “increasingly confident” they’ll be able to acquire Ryan Dempster from the Cubs.

  • cubs1967

    now dempster is turned himself into hanley ramirez or big Z…………i don’t care if he did nothing, what are you pissed about, damn…….what a selfish lying fucker. great clubhouse guy!

    take some lessons from your buddy, Kerry Wood.

    • http://bleachernation loyal100more

      wow really?

      • cubs1967

        really-want don’t you get………..why is he mad? the team sucks. he wants to go to LA. so who cares. he’s a prick.

        • http://bleachernation loyal100more

          iits not like the guy used PED’s or some kind of detrayal. he excersised his 5-10 hes been the man on this team long enough to say…hey this aint right for me, sorry. on to the next disappointment cub fan, aint the first or the last.

          • sosa23

            your too righteous man

          • notcubbiewubbie

            the problem is he acts like he would help the cubs then when they make the deal he sticks it to theo and jed. had he not wanted the adoration by saying what a team guy he is none of the negative crap would be posted. i personally think this is a bunch of flies around a pile of crap. the guy is a sub500 career pitcher and an era around 4.50. remember the immortal words of leo nice guys finish last and we have been last for over 100 years. outta here.

  • Fastball

    Missed those posts that went entirely too far. Those are stupid people. I’m over it now. What ever happens we will all live with

  • Sandberg

    This Dempster situation is heartbreaking on so many levels for both the Cubs and for Dempster. I could write a whole blog post on it, but that’s the bottom line.

  • Nick

    Can the Cubs promote Vitters now? Valbuena is getting himself into a major slump

  • Stevelee

    Man I wish Tuesday was here already. Just too much drama for me. Well any non pitchers gonna be traded?:):)

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Fuck dumpster. I hope his sorry ass tears up his elbow when we trade him