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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.

  • Gcheezpuff

    Update 13: Cubs fans show up in Pitsburg with pitchforks and flaming torches.

  • TSB

    Ceasar had his Brutus, the Cubs have

    • RoughRiider

      Some Cub fans.

  • gdub

    Brett – the continuous 30 hours of coverage at the trade deadline will look like child’s play for you compared to the past couple of days!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Seems like.

  • TheJDawg

    Update 14: Dump strains his V and is out for the season…

  • HateDemp

    USED to be a big fan, but he has proven to be no better than the majority of players who would use the 10/5 as leverage. Of course he has earned the right to do so, but his image WAS someone who was not like the majority and that he loved Chicago and loved the Cubs. Apparently loves em so much he is unwilling to “sacrifice” 2.5 months of time (1/2 of which would be travel regardless of where he goes), potential to make the playoffs and then come back to Chicago next year. Amazing how wrong people were about him.

    • TheJDawg

      ^
      Well Put!

  • MikeL

    I wanted to mention that there is a rumor that Dempster is getting death threats on twitter…..not cool people, and not funny. I have been one of the biggest Dempster bashers here the last couple of days……but you cannot justify sending him death threats. Secondly, he is worried about what this fallout will do to his charity….I wouldn’t take your anger out on his charity and the cause that he fights for, you would be punishing people that have had nothing to do with the situation.

    • Sandberg

      Death threats are not acceptable behavior, but if this affects his charity, sadly that’s the nature of the beast. His charity is popular because of the goodwill he’s built up among Cub fans. He then said one thing and did another, resulting in the Cubs getting screwed out of a great trade. Now he’s lost his goodwill, and I his charity may suffer a bit.

      You can’t use your popularity to make something successful and then cry foul when your popularity takes a hit.

    • Martin

      Anyone who does anything even remotely controversial in the public eye gets death threats on Twitter. There are idiots everywhere, and the internet gives them a megaphone. That’s just the way it goes.

      • TheJDawg

        Agreed. Too many crazies out there now a days.

        • Martin

          I think they were always there, but were easier to ignore 20 years ago.

          • Sandberg

            20 years ago, you had to send your death threat through the mail. That gives you a lot of time to cool down compared to typing for 5 seconds and hitting the enter key.

            • calicubsfan007

              Sandberg: “Hang on, hang on! Wait three to 5 business days for you to get my death threat!” Quote of a crazy person 20 years ago. Now, these crazies do not have to leave the comfort of their parents’ basement to send their sentiments. (=

      • MIkeL

        That still justify sending someone a death threat….

        • MIkeL

          Meant to say DOESN’t justify

          • calicubsfan007

            Heh, I was worried there for a sec MikeL. (=

        • Martin

          Who’s trying to justify it? It happens–nutjobs send death threats. 99% of the people don’t. That’s just the way it is.

  • MightyBear

    No death threats please. As far as the charity goes, that’s everyone’s personal choice. I for one think he should take his charity to LA.

  • MightyBear

    The Rizzo Machine

  • RWakild

    I have a theory. Maybe Dempster told the Cubs he would accept a trade to the Dodgers and only the Dodgers. He didn’t want to ruin the Cubs leverage so he said all the right things to help the Cubs get the best prospects out of the Dodgers. Then this leaks out of Atlanta making him look bad and looking like he is going back on his word to accept any trade, which is why he seemed so pissed at the news. Not so sure I blame Demp anymore. He is just excercising his 10/5 rights and was trying to help the Cubs get the best deal out of the Dodgers and only the Dodgers.

    • 34275

      you Dempster apologists sure are coming up with some convoluted theories….

    • MaxM1908

      Why would the Cubs go to all the effort to agree to a deal with Atlanta if they knew all along that Dempster would only go to LA? I’d believe that they’d have talks, they may even discuss specific pieces to drive up his price with the Dodgers, but I don’t think anything leaks out of Atlanta unless there was a meeting of the minds on the trade between the FOs. I can’t see our FO going to all that effort unless they were under the impression from Dempster that he would accept an Atlanta trade.

  • Poloy

    As usual Cubs get screwed by a player!

    So much for helping the club! Its not like the move was permanent without an extension.

    All the rumors for months now and seems like there won’t be any trades or they will have to settle for crap!

    I say they should keep Maholm and trade Garza ahead of Dempster.
    Be lucky if Garza makes a start before deadline and trade gets executed.
    If no Garza trade just extend him. Dump Soriano while he has some value; pay to move him.

  • MichaelD

    Wouldn’t Dempster’s contract after the season go down if he does not get traded? Assuming he is not traded, the team that signs him would lose their first-round pick*. So the value of Dempster would be lowered by the value of that pick, and presumably lead to a lower contract for Dempster.

    *This all assumes the Cubs make a qualifying offer and the teams involved do not have protected first-round picks.

  • EQ76

    has anyone considered this possibility: maybe he does fully intend to sign with the Cubs again next year for a nice hometown discount, so the Cubs FO will try to get him to where he wants. If so, ANYTHING we get for Demp is a plus since we’ll have him right back next year. I for one, would trade him only where he wants to go if he will sign right back with us next year.

    Really, the only reason we are all mad is because ATL leaked this trade. We weren’t supposed to know about any of this anyways.

    Not sure if I believe this or not, but it is a possibility.

    • MightyBear

      Cubs aren’t going to re-sign Dempster next year. He’s not in the future plans.

    • 34275

      What use would the Cubs, a rebuilding team, have for a 36 year old SP?

      • EQ76

        Didn’t i just write words like “possibility” and “not sure if I believe this” . Can the “I act like I am in the Cubs front office and read their minds” police back off and understand context of a comment?

        Of course a 36 year old isn’t in the future of the organization overall picture.. but we also have virtually no pitching at all and damn right it is a POSSIBILITY that he could come back for a year or two more..

  • Ralph Baer

    [Ed. - That disgusting crap has no place here.]

    • Ted

      really.

    • bbmoney

      Go fuck yourself asshole.

      • MikeL

        Guys,

        don’t even respond to that….it is obvious why he wrote that…..

      • Ralph Baer

        [Ed. - He said something about hugging you.]

      • Ralph Baer

        [Ed. - This is not particularly fun.]

    • Sandberg

      I’m going to have to assume this one will be gone shortly. smh

    • rhino70

      Rod Blagojevich?

      Otherwise, WOW.

      • calicubsfan007

        rhino70: Ha, Blago?!?! That’s hilarious! But the other one is way too soon and just way too dark.

    • Sosa23

      ha “too soon” i think

    • The Show

      C’mon man, that is really low. All in all this is just a game for our entertainment, and I’m sure you and all of us have bigger and better things to worry about than what team Dempster plays for. Wishing for death and other violent acts to be acted upon him really doesn’t make you too far off from that shooter in Colorado.

      • MikeL

        The person only said it because of the comments that we were making about Dempster getting death threats and he is a wanna-be “shock jock” hoping to piss some people off.

        • Mysterious4th

          Aww way to use your low grade intellect! They say the ones that bash gay people the most are usually the closted homosexual.
          What if he is in the closet? That makes him terrible? The only thing terrible at this point are your comments. If you want him dead, you want to “fuck” site users, and just be an A+ douche bag, and not a respectful cub fan, then don’t come to this site. We really do not need somebody of your dirty caliber! And do not try to say anything about your right to free speech because your just being disrespectful.

    • Njriv

      Why did you think posting this was a good idea?

      • MikeL

        Are you talking to me?

  • RWakild

    Not apologist but couldn’t figure out why he would be pissed when the news leaked out. If Atlanta is his second choice there is no reason to be mad about the news being leaked out. At least this isn’t ruining his performance today.

  • Mdel78

    I mentioned this when the news broke this week, but I think more than ever I would ask Demp about the Atl deal one more time, then tell him they are moving on. I would start shopping Garza. The Cubs leverage appears so low with Demp right now that I think they need to see what they can get for Garza and let the market play out a little bit. Maybe Dempster’s value, and willingness to go elsewhere, increase as we get closer to the deadline when there are less options for teams. You may have to move Garza then make a quick decision on Demp, but I don’t know how else to salvage this unless he changes his mind quickly (which, since he is pitching today, leads me to believe isn’t going to happen).

    • atfinch

      Problem with that is who is going to take a leap of faith that Garza’s tricep cramping isn’t serious? If I’m a GM, I want to see Garza pitch again before the trade deadline. If he doesn’t pitch Monday, which appears to be the last chance for him to showcase before the deadline, then I go after either Greinke or Josh Johnson or whomever is available instead of Garza. If Garza is traded, it’s probably going to be because he pitches Monday and looks healthy in doing so.

      • Mdel78

        I don’t disagree, which is why I think this approach is going to require a lot of quick activity near the deadline. There also is some risk you can’t move one or both of them, but that is a real possibility at this point anyway. My only thought is how can I maximize the value of my assets right now, and I don’t see Dempster’s value increasing at best until until the deadline approaches.

        Still stinks either way.

  • Ralph

    I have been so impressed with Rizzo’s re-worked swing this year… he has been so quick to the ball. Last year with San Diego his swing looked completely different, and I am looking forward to him being in this lineup for many years to come. Glad I got a chance to see him at AAA this year. What the hell was Campana doing in the second, chasing that pitch at his eyeballs? Also, LaHair looks lost right now…. bummer. By the way that link (thank you much) to Albert Almora’s first pro homer in one of yesterday’s posts was a glimpse of the Cubs bright future. That was an absolute bomb. Castro, Rizzo, Baez, and Almora, wow. Need some pitching depth now, I’m bummed to see Whitenack struggling after surgery and McNutt not in a starting role anymore (though he will be valuable out of the pen… not bad for a 30 something round pick).

    • MaxM1908

      Don’t forget Soler who had his second bomb last night. 2HRs in 16ABs.

      • Ralph

        Absolutely, MaxM

  • http://bleachernation.com TherealPattyP

    Demps is trash. A full blown drama queen. The only good of all this is if he isn’t traded, there’s no way in hell he re-signs with the Cubs.

  • RoughRiider

    I am out of here.

  • calicubsfan007

    We have young hitting talent, that isn’t the problem. What the problem is is that we have little to no young pitching. Drafting to get these guys is one way to go, and it might be our best option now, considering what has gone down in the past 72 hours.

  • MightyBear

    Rumors are the Brewers are shopping Greinke. Worst Case Scenario: Brewers trade Greinke to Brewers for Delgado. Delgado turns into Bob Gibson and beats our brains in three to four times a year for the next 15 years. Delgados wins several Cy Young awards and Brewers win division 15 years in a row led by Delgado.

  • MightyBear

    Sorry Greinke to Braves. I wish they’d fix that edit button.

    • calicubsfan007

      Might be possible to trade a player from the original team to the original team. (= But if he got traded to the Braves and Delgado to the Brewers, then Delgado just plain dominates, then it would be time for the comments that would be literally made up of me slamming my head into the keys. You know, “asjkdahskjdhaksjdhk”, stuff like that. Kinda (= right now, Kinda )= if that actually happened.

  • Oswego chris

    Here is my crazy prediction…Dempster accepts deal to Braves after today’s game

    • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

      We both have the same crazy prediction. I don’t think we get Delgado though.

      • calicubsfan007

        Someday…2015, nope we get a hug from the Braves. At this point though, I would not mind getting a hug in return. Just not from the people making the death threats. (=

        • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

          I guess I’ll take the hug if the Braves throw in some cash:)

          • calicubsfan007

            Hahaha, that’s good someday…2015! I think we would be better off if the Braves gave us Klondike bars instead. Would cool the anger… (=

            • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

              Mint chocolate chip for me.:)

              • calicubsfan007

                Ooo, sorry. We just ran out of mint chocolate chip. (someday…2015 turns into the hulk) (=

                • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

                  Damn it. Ok original then lol.

                  • calicubsfan007

                    Good sport someday…2015. I was kinda hoping for some hulk though, would totally make my day. With all the anger on this site right now, at least there were still some laughs. (=

  • TWC

    WTF. Is Ace taking a nap? Wake up, man. You’ve got kids posting violence against other people. That’s a pretty clear violation of the site’s TOS (and good taste).

    • calicubsfan007

      I definetly agree TWC.

      • Jack Weiland

        +1

      • Whiteflag

        Yep. Terrible taste. This has all gotten why out of hand. Its good the site is getting so many hits, but it has also brought a lot of childish behavior.

        • Jack Weiland

          Being upset is totally cool. Debating stuff is totally cool. Posting THAT is neither funny nor cool and has no place here. We’re better than that, as humans. Or at least I’d like to think we are.

        • calicubsfan007

          Some of these people I have never seen before on this site.

          • Whiteflag

            Most of them…

            Weiland you got it. Be upset all you want, but there is a way to constructively express your opinion.

            • BeyondFukudome

              said the person who has criticized every upset opinion that has been expressed here in the past two days, without regard to the manner in which it was expressed

              • Whiteflag

                Sorry you think I have been rude. Not my attention. Just trying to show the other side of the coin. I have a feeling your angry post out number mine, but that is neither here nor there. I like to debate and that’s all I was trying to do. I doubt I have called anyone a name.

                • Whiteflag

                  intention.*

    • MichiganGoat

      Just popped and and now I’m leaving, this has been a couple of the more vile days I’ve ever seen on here. It’s an odd person who says nothing and them decides to pop and get aggressive OVER BASEBALL. Relax people IT’S JUST BASEBALL.

      • calicubsfan007

        Hey, Michigan!

        • MichiganGoat

          Hey buddy I’m laying low while this drama unfolds too much spite and ignorant anger bring passed around.

          • calicubsfan007

            I understand Michigan, I really do. There are some cool people on here still, that’s the only reason I am not following suit.

            • MichiganGoat

              Yes BN has the greatest community around until big news hits then this happens.

              • calicubsfan007

                After what I have seen, I couldn’t agree more.

              • Ogyu

                Yes, we need a gated community to protect the superior baseball fans from the reality of what sports fans are like.

                • TWC

                  Larf.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’m trying to keep up with it. A little slack is appreciated.

      • TWC

        Ha. I’m just surprised. You seem to have a preternatural ability to slam down on crap like that almost the second it gets posted.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Like a dunce, this time, I was minding my own business watching the Cubs game … :)

          We good now.

          • calicubsfan007

            That sucks Brett, I am sorry. I like the edit that talks about hugs, or something like that.

            • Whiteflag

              Very clever.

        • Internet Random

          You seem to have a preternatural ability to slam down on crap . . . .

          Given Bert’s paternal status, there’s a diaper joke in there somewhere.

      • MaxM1908

        Glad I missed whatever went down. I just keep popping in every so often, but I’m not too surprised to find out that some people are going over the line. I fully expect people to be angry and don’t think some reasonable venting is over the line. But, some are definitely new here and don’t seem to know where the line is and when they’ve crossed it. I’m sorry, Brett, that you have to play nanny to the site with the increased traffic.

        • Edwin

          I know, right? This isn’t Nam, this is blogging. There are rules.

          • MaxM1908

            I dabbled in pacifism once…not in Nam, of course.

    • Carew

      Kumbaya, my lord, kumbaya…

  • Sosa23

    Dempster is a jerk, get him out of chi-town send him to toronto, maybe then he will feel “closer” to his family.

  • cccubfan

    It’s so hard to believe how fast we can turn on somebody. C’mon folks – give Demp a break. He has to do what’s right for his family and himself and I, for one, and maybe the only one, am behind him 100%. Calling a man a jerk because he didn’t approve the deal is unfair to him. Let’s get what we can the rest of the season if he’s here and if he goes I wish him all the best.

    • MichiganGoat

      Classy, intelligent, mature post, keep up the great work there buddy, your fingerprint here is so refreshing.

      • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

        Just stop replying to these trolls. They get the thrill out of people responding to their posts. They’re all just attention getters. Probably all under the age of 10.

      • Ogyu

        You see, Goat? When you respond to trolls, you end up leaving behind an isolated non sequitur that makes you look senile. ;-)

    • Sosa23

      i agree with you ralph baer

    • Greyfury

      I’m with ya. Its a GAME. Sure they get paid tons but its still a GAME.

      I’d be willing to bet most of those who have been really outspoken against Demp would do exactly the same as he did if put in the same scenario.

  • 2much2say

    A Pirates loss is a plus for Braves. Why not let him pitch against them.
    He actually has another start against them in Chicago b4 deadline.

  • Mike S

    The Cubs could regain some leverage in trade talks with Dempster if Greinke is dealt to an NL team not named the Braves (although the Braves are the only NL team linked to Greinke so far).

  • nick cafardo

    Demp to the red sox for luccino’s mom?

    • calicubsfan007

      Why would we want a person who was around when the dinosaurs existed? Ha, I am sorry, I couldn’t resist!

      • nick cafardo

        Well apparently she throws a mean spitball..

        • calicubsfan007

          Hahaha, ooohhhh, that’s hilarious nick!

  • TonyP

    I’m done, I will read Brett’s posting but I’m done reading or makings comments until the Dempster situation is over. This is all getting way out of hand and isn’t what I come to this site for.

    • calicubsfan007

      I am sorry TonyP. I hope you return. You are a cool dude. (=

    • Internet Random

      I’m done, I will read Brett’s posting but I’m done reading or makings comments until the Dempster situation is over. This is all getting way out of hand and isn’t what I come to this site for.

      I routinely take extended breaks from the comments. My tolerance for cretinism gets lower and lower with each passing year.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        That’s because you’re old.

        • Internet Random

          I wish I had any grounds (*any*) to argue that point.

  • morgan

    The 10-5 right has to be the stupidest thing in all of sports, now were seeing the old dempster right now and his trade value has decreased now

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