The Bullets will come later this morning. For now, there’s a number of important transactions to discuss …

  • The Dodgers reportedly just acquired Hanley Ramirez and lefty reliever Randy Choate from the Marlins for Nate Eovaldi and minor league pitcher Scott McGough. The move doesn’t directly impact the Cubs insofar as they weren’t going to be sending a third baseman (or shortstop, however the Dodgers decide to use Ramirez) to the Dodgers any time soon (though they may have tried to send a lefty reliever), but there are implications here. For one thing, sending along Eovaldi could make the Dodgers even more pressed to pick up a starting pitcher, like Ryan Dempster or Matt Garza. It also means, obviously, that in any deal with the Dodgers, you’re not getting Eovaldi anymore.
  • The Dodgers won’t be getting Cole Hamels, by the way, nor will any other team. He’s about to sign a huge, six-year, $144 million extension with the Phillies. The move is good for the Cubs inasmuch as it takes the most attractive pitcher off the market this trade season, but is a bummer for those holding out hope that the Cubs would make a serious run at the lefty in the offseason.
  • Jon Morosi reports that there are ways that the Dodgers could get Dempster from the Cubs without giving up top prospect Zach Lee (given the current status of the leverage in the talks – namely, that Ryan Dempster has all but told the world he strongly prefers to go to LA – I can believe that), and that a source tells him the Cubs are interested in building a package around number two prospect, Allen Webster. For me, the difference between 20-year-old AA pitcher Zach Lee (who made it to AA in just his second professional year), and 22-year-old AA pitcher Allen Webster (who is pitching for the second time at AA) is stark. If a package is built around Webster, it would have to include a number of attractive other prospects for it to match Randall Delgado in my head. For what it’s worth, Webster was a fringe top 100 prospect in baseball before the season started, so it’s not like he’s a total clunker of a prospect. He’s a good one. But he’s no Zach Lee or Randall Delgado in the eyes of the experts.
  • In case you missed the latest on Dempster, you can start here. The gist is: he hasn’t officially rejected the Braves deal, but clearly wants the Cubs to try harder to work something out with the Dodgers. He plans to start today, but, man, that would be such an unnecessary risk.
  • Zack Greinke returned to the mound last night in a dominant start against the Phillies after a 10-day layoff to “recharge his batteries.” A number of teams had scouts in attendance, and among the interested teams is the Braves. Greinke would certainly cost more than Dempster, but the Braves – and other teams – certainly like Greinke more than Dempster.
  • The Pirates picked up Wandy Rodriguez last night, which takes them out of the Paul Maholm market. They were his most seriously-rumored suitor, but it’s hard to imagine their aren’t others, considering Maholm’s repeatedly dominant performances over the past month and a half, and his modest contract (which includes a $6.5 million option for 2013).
  • Rich

    Don’t you think the Cubs should keep Maholm? A good lefty starter under team control for another year.

    • Leroy K.

      agreed. Don’t ged rid of Maholm.

  • Gcheezpuff

    Could including Eovaldi signal a trade is close for Demp? I’d imagine, even if LA and the Cubs have agreed to terms we won’t hear about it until Demp accepts…. Gotta think after the Braves mess both FOs are staying pretty tight lipped.

    • Brett

      Trading Eovaldi is certainly consistent with picking up another pitcher.

      • Gcheezpuff

        They have to be close, I can’t imagine a scenario where starting Demp today makes sense unless they have given up and plan to keep him.

  • CubFan Paul

    Dempster has shown his true colors – he’s a selfish prick ..hopefully he’s traded before 12:30est

    • ShootTheGoat

      Of course he’s selfish…This situation has to do with himSELF. Even if he told FO he wouldn’t block trade to a contender. Ultimately, he put in his time with the Cubs(10/5), so he has a right to find the best fit for him. Not saying that I wouldn’t LOVE to see Delgado in our system, but sometimes we have to take off our rose-colored FAN glasses and see the situtation from the Persons point of view. Yeh, we would need a little time to think it over as well.

      • Boogens

        So Dempster needs time to think about this now? So what has he been thinking about for, oh say, the last couple of months? What was he thinking about when he was on the 15 day disabled list? It’s not like getting traded creeped up on him. He submitted the list of teams that he’d waive his no trade rights.

        I think that once the process started going he got his heart set on LA and now he’s feeling deflated and using his 10/5 to get what he wants. Bully for him but that doesn’t mean that I have to like it, that I can’t change my opinion of him and it doesn’t mean that I have to take off my rose-colored fan glasses.

        He’s the guy out there in Wrigley posing with his buddies after the Red Sox game, playing on the field with his kid last week, soaking up his last experiences as a Cub. Maybe he should consider taking off his rose-colored glasses and not present himself as the next Mr. Cub.

        • ShootTheGoat

          Yeah, he does need time to think about this now. So would you or I. Even if he gave a list of 5-10 teams he would waive his 10/5 for, when it comes down to a couple of teams, would you not think about which one is best for you? Exactly. And who cares if he has his heart set on LA? Thats right, fans do. So many times we get caught up in our fandom that we fail to realize that just because its our team and thats what he should do for THEM, Its a little more about the individual player making his own decision. I’m guilty of it myself. To hate a guy in a span of 48 hrs just because he didnt do what we wanted him to do shows ignorance on our part. Just saying that we need to step back and look at it from his persepective. No matter if LA is his preferred destination. Think about this: If the FO gave you two choices with one having a close friend of yours on the roster but the other being the “for the better of the team”, which one would you choose? Yeah, thats what I thought.

  • King Jeff

    So much for changing the course of baseball in Miami. This will be the Marlins 3rd fire sale in less than 20 years of existence, and less than a year after getting Miami/Dade County to foot a new stadium, promising increased player payroll. I would not be surprised if Loria and Selig face some sort of investigation or lawsuit over they way they’ve handled things in South Florida.

    • Lou

      Sure seems like that stadium deal was kinda shady.

  • TonyP

    My optimism is fading very fast. I hope everything works out for the best but I’m starting to feel like it isn’t going to. :-(

  • Steve

    FML !!!!!

  • Rich

    All the energy and time to work on Dempster when Garza is the biggest return. I hope it does not hurt the Cubs.

  • gutshot5820

    Why would you trade Maholm and then trade Dempster for a guy who may or may not become as good as Maholm. I’m not too excited.

    • BleedingCubbieBlue

      It would just depend on he return Maholm would get. If the Braves offered up Ddelgado for Maholm and let’s say Russell we would have to say ok. We would not trade him for nothing.

  • Luke

    Let me reiterate that Webster is not just a crappy consolation prize. For a guy who did not start pitching until after he was drafted, making it to Double A at the age of 21 is nothing short of remarkable. He is a great ground ball pitcher with three pitches that have graded plus or higher. His change up has the chance to be something special. He easily projects as a No 3 starter, and I would not rule out No 2.

    His ceiling is not as as high as Lee or Delgado, but I think he is a safer pick than Lee. Regardless, a package built around Webster would not mean the Cubs have failed, or that Theo and Jed should be fired, or that Dempster forced the Cubs into trading him for spare parts and crap, or anything of that nature. Webster is a legit Top 100 candidate pitching prospect on the rise who reached Double A at the age of 21 despite not becoming a full time pitcher until he was 18. That is far, far from a bad guy to have in your farm system.

    • jr5

      Preseason, Keith Law had Webster 61st, and Delgado 95th, for whatever that’s worth. (Eovaldi was 79th.)

      • jr5

        Edit: meant 98th on Delgado. Sorry. It’s early in the day.

    • ColoCubFan

      I really like ground ball pitchers at Wrigley, especially when the wind is blowing out! I don’t see this as bad.

      • ETS

        Which is why we need Brandon McCarthy!

        • Lou

          I would second the Brandon McCarthy argument. He should be someone the Cubs should consider signing this offseason.

    • Brett

      Also fair to say that a Webster package is more than we thought the Cubs would get when this all started.

      But he’s no Delgado, a kid who’s already league average in the bigs at the same age as Webster. That’s where the sour taste starts.

      • Jonski

        I would love to get Reed to ,but you me both no that isn’t going to happen maybe a Webster/Gould package will allow Hoyer/Epstien to pull the trigger!

      • Master Dan

        My thoughts on this trade as it relates to woman.[img][/img]

      • Wester

        Wait the dodgers are trading me to the cubs?

      • Scotti

        But he’s no Delgado, a kid who’s already league average in the bigs at the same age as Webster. That’s where the sour taste starts.

        Age relative to league is thrown out the window when you have a player like Webster who started with much less pitching experience. The reason to get excited about a player who is young for their league (and having some success) is because that means that their skills are further along then their experience (not age) indicates they should be (i.e. they are progressing at an accelerated rate). Both Delgado and Webster (Delgado is one day older) have progressed at an accelerated rate. Delgado, however, has the advantage of having an extra professional season under his belt, extra instructional work in the DR, an extra extended spring and likely a couple years working full-time as a pitcher under a buscón. Delgado signed two years before Webster was drafted. He should be more advanced. If you like how fast Delgado progressed then you should like how fast Webster has progressed just as much, if not more, IMHO.

        FWIW, Lee is a 20-y/o in AA who is getting his ass handed to him in a paper bag. The Cubs could send 20-y/o Gerardo Concepcion to AA. Would that be impressive? No. Why? Because he wouldn’t have earned the promotion and neither did Lee.

        So, in terms of ARL, Lee’s getting the crap beat out of him at AA (the league is hitting .360 against him) at 20-y/o is not as impressive as 22-y/o Webster dominating that same league over his last ten games (nine starts) when all things are considered. Lee is 20-y/o and was mediocre at A+ (before his AA promotion). Last year Webster dominated A+ and was promoted to AA where he was much better than Lee is this year.

        FWIW, Webster could easily be called up to the majors now if a team were pressed into it. That is how Delgado was moved up last year (his first two starts were spot starts). He might find success or he might get pounded. But, if the team he pitches for decides not to rush him that doesn’t reflect on his ability any more than it reflects on the ability of a guy who IS rushed.

        My preference of the three is 1) Webster 2) Delgado 3) Lee but all are good gets. And the icing on the cake is that Webster gets ground balls, can pitch to contact, keeps the ball in the park far better than either Delgado or Lee and he can still miss bats. The kind of pitcher that could handle Wrigley.

        Here is a decent video of Webster from his last A+ game.

  • ColoCubFan

    I kind of hate to give up Maholm. The last really good lefty starter the Cubs had that I remember was Ken Holtzman back in the 60’s. (There was probably someone else in there, I just can’t remember one.) Not that Maholm is a Holtzman, but a decent lefty starter at a decent price under control for another year is hard to come by. Especially now that Hamels is off the market. Besides, SOMEBODY has to take the mound that isn’t a minor league hopeful. (Actually 5 somebodys)

    • Jonski

      I seem to remember people telling me Lee was a flat out stud highley ranked and he is in the 60 also and rushed to boot …Dempster fucked us period.

    • PJ

      Think you’d have to include Steve Trout and Ted Lilly in the conversation of good Cub lefties.

  • Master Dan

    I’m a sad panda now because of the Ryan Dempster situation.[img][/img]

  • ichabod

    someone really screwed this all up with regards to demp. trying to understand where he is coming from though. hes earned our patience and respect. dont forget hes been a good cub, and once a cub always a cub.

    • Harry-Jack-Ronnie

      WRONG!………….look at sammy.

      demp is not the GM. he should not be acting like he is. cubs and braves made a trade. if he does not like atlanta then void it. allen webster-are you kidding me!…….delgado could start this weekend.

      demp’s a putz. last guy i thought would ever pull this crap.

    • Jonski

      We gave Dempster a job when nobody else would followed by a lengthy and well compensated contract …He’s earned the right to kiss my dick!

    • rhino70

      The leak out of Atlanta is what screwed this all up. If you’re looking to place blame, there’s your target.

      As far as the “Once a Cub, always a Cub” line of thought, that doesn’t apply here. That’s reserved for players like Ron Santo, Ryne Sandberg, Billy Williams and Ernie Banks who had all their success as Cubs.

      No matter how much you like him, it doesn’t apply to Dempster, or guys like him, that have only spent a part of their career with the Cubs.

      • PJ

        It also seems to me that it is the Cubs who are initiating the trade, not Dempster. If given the opportunity I think Demp would be elated to play out his career in Chicago.
        It’s rather ironic that you should mention Santo and Williams and a previous post mentioned Holtzman. If I’m not mistaken, in ’73 ’74 ’75 the Cubs were one of the first teams to hold a fire sale. Didn’t happen at trade deadline but dI’d occur. Santo and Williams were at the end of their careers so no one doubts they bled Cubby blue. Williams had a little success with the A’s including his only post season appearances. Holtzman and Jenkins were the most notable that had success elsewhere.
        If given the chance – do you think Williams would have. Prided the trade? ThAt would have cost us Manny Trillo. I would guess that Santo would have – that would have cost us Steve Stone (ok laugh here). Jenkins, though I don’t think he would have quite been a 10/5 guy, would have ost us Bill Madlock but netted another 100+ wins.

        • PJ

          Williams would have voided the trade that is…

    • Mat B.

      You’re right. The people who screwed this up are in Atlanta. I believe all they had to do was keep their mouths shut. Then either the deal in Atlanta would be done or the Dodgers would have come back and said, “Wait a minute! How about this?”

      • Cedlandrum

        Just remember that the beloved Ron Santo was one of the first to use his 10/5 rights when he vetoed a trade that would have sent him to the Angels years ago. Dempster has the right because he earned it.

        • Jack Weiland

          What people have a problem with is him saying all year that he was going to accept a trade if it helped the Cubs and gave him a chance to win. Then he got that very chance, and scuttled it. If he’d said nothing I’m guessing fewer people would be upset about this.

          Him using his 10/5 rights as granted by his contract is not the issue whatsoever. Him soaking in all the positive attention he got from those comments and then going back on them is the issue.

          As such, it’s a moot point now. Deals over, time to move on.

          • Pat

            Did he say he would accept a trade anywhere, or that he would consider one if it was in the best interests of the club. I recall it being the latter.

          • Cedlandrum

            I think he said if it was a good move for him, and the club.

            • 34275

              I can’t see a reason why going to ATL isn’t “good for him”….

              • Whiteflag

                Probably because you don’t know his life. None of us do. I think Dempster knows more about whats good for him than the rest of us. Maybe he likes LA better for family reasons or maybe just because he just likes the food better. Does it really matter? It’s a decision we have no control over.

                • 34275

                  It matters because Dempster was so willing and open to be traded if it helped the team, had Atlanta on his list, and then backs out because he got his panties in a knot over someone leaking it and ends up screwing the Cubs over in the process.

        • 34275

          Santo never said that he’d be open to a trade.

  • Abe Froman

    If Miami pulls Johnson from the market and Grienke gets traded that leaves Garza as the best option on the market as long as he gets one more start in. If the Dodgers pair another good young arm with Webster it may not be too far off from the Delgado value. On top of that there may be a couple other trades, its nerve wracking constantly following this but its not over yet.

  • Rich

    On a side note watching espn
    A’s highlight why does an outfielder need a mouthpiece ??

  • Barry

    I hope that Jedstein wasn’t so preoccupied with the Dempster situation that they missed an opportunity to get Hanley Ramirez. He would look a lot better at third than Valbuena. Rizzo, Barney, Castro, Ramirez could have been a formidable infield for years to come.

  • Derrick

    Inasmuch/insofar? Thanks for helping build my vocabulay, I had to look both of those words up =D

  • Curt

    come on already dempster either take or reject the Atlanta but do something and fo should def make him skip his start the cubs have nothing to gain by letting him take it. other teams make harder trades why must even this be so hard for the cubs, today get something done.

  • wayner21

    Hanley Ramirez for a pitching prospect! I know he is having a down year and his attitude isn’t always the greatest, but this guy can be one of the top position-players in the game. I hope our FO tried to put a package together to send to the Marlins for him. I know we are in “sell-mode” this season, but we could use a 3rd base player of his calibur for many seasons to come. How old is he? mid-to-late 20’s? Doesn’t he fit the mold that Theo and Jed are looking for in finding players who are entering their prime years?

    • Barry

      Agreed. Ramirez is only 28.

    • bbmoney

      28. He’s under contract through 2014. If they could have worked out something to keep him there beyond 2014 it may have made sense. And I would have thought the Marlins would have gotten more than a pitching prospect ~#70, but I guess the $31.5M hes due the next two years hurt his value.

      But unless they could keep him past 2014, what’s the point, I think the goals are longer term.

  • fortyonenorth

    Is there a limit to how long can Dempster string this along? I have to imagine the 10/5 provision has some time limit for saying “no.” Right now, you have three teams in limbo with the deadline fast approaching.

    • rhino70

      According to the Trib website, Dempster technically has until the trading deadline to make his decision.

      Dempster technically has until July 31 to let the Cubs know if he would go to the Braves in the proposed deal for 22-year-old starter Randall Delgado, though his hesitation gives the Braves a chance to back out and the Cubs an opportunity to rekindle talks with Dempster’s preferred team, the Dodgers.

      Full article:

      • rhino70

        Oops… Full article is here….

        • rhino70

          Or not. Can’t get the link to work properly.

          It’s in Paul Sullivan’s story this morning.

      • Aaron

        I don’t see any reason for Atlanta to not pull their offer before then and go after someone else who actually wants to pitch there.

      • fortyonenorth

        Wow. The owners might think about renegotiating that provision next time the CBA is up for renewal. That puts way too much power in the hands of the players. Maybe it’s not an issue in too many deals, but when it is (e.g. RD) it really cogs up the works.

  • auggie1955

    I wish people who are calling Dempster names would grow up and quit calling him names. He has earned the right to reject a trade being a 5 and 10 player. Everyone knew it, so please be more mature and accept Dempster’s rights.

  • hansman1982 beat writer was on the radio this morning basucally stated that the Cubs should be able to get Delgado even next Tuesday.

    • cubs4life

      i sure hope that is the case..

    • bbmoney

      Do we really trust Braves sources right now?

      • rhino70

        Why shouldn’t we. The guy who broke the story got it right.

        The fact that he broke it gummed things up, but what he said online is exactly what went down.

    • JoeyCollins

      That would be great. My hope is that Demp gave them some sort of a timelne, take the next three days and try to leverage the dodgers into topping the braves deal, if they dont ill go to Atlanta then.

  • cubs4life

    i think people need to lay off demp a little.. he probably wouldnt be holding anything up if it wasnt for the the leak in the braves front office, if they hadnt made everything public before the trade was officially done, but a deal on the table we could have been asking for lee from the dodgers, we would have had the leverage, instead we dont have shit.. He has earned the right to go where he wants or to veto a trade, and he doesnt have to go anywhere if he doesnt want to, if everyone wants to blame someone for the current mess that trade is, it shouldnt be demp… just sayin…

  • Aaron

    Let’s be honest here. Ryan Dempster was never going to net a Zach Lee-type prospect in a trade. Hanley Ramirez couldn’t even do that.

    Allen Webster will be a fine prize, probably on par with where Delgado is with projections. Delgado may be more polished now, but Webster’s potential is there (according to the reports).

    All of these events do help one thing though: Getting Matt Garza to the Rangers. Hamels is locked up, Atlanta is more than likely going to go for Greinke, and Dempster will go to the Dodgers (assumptions of course). This leaves Texas with a bag of prospects that they’re looking to deal for a top quality pitcher. Sure, they could go for Josh Johnson, which is also a likely scenario, but all this doesn’t hurt Garza’s chances.

  • andrew

    Dempster deserves to do whatever he wants because if not for how freaking amazing hes been this year, none of these rumors would be within the realm of possibility. Honestly, before the year started, he looked like another Hendry albatross that we had to just wait to lose at the end of the year for nothing. Now hes freaking leading the world in ERA. He’s done everything and more than he agreed to in his contract yet now he’s selfish for wanting to take his time to decide whether to go to atlanta when the dodgers are still interested?!? Ridiculous.

    • rhino70

      Dempster “earned the right to do whatever he wants” because he’s a 10 year veteran who has spent the last 5 years with the Cubs.

      If Dempster had only been a Cub for 4 seasons, or only been in the league for 9, he wouldn’t have any say in this process, no matter how well he’s pitched.

      The fact that he’s pitched so well this season increased his trade value and influenced the value of his *next* contract. Nothing more, nothing less.

      • andrew

        If he hadnt pitched well for the Cubs ever since they took a flyer on him, he wouldnt have been able to get 5 years with them. Alas, hes been great ever since hes been a cub and has been compensated by the cubs to keep him and that gives him security. This isnt a guy like Samardzija that was just handed a no trade clausebefore throwing a profesional pitch, he had to throw 661 innings of 3.61 ERA ball for the cubs before he obtained 5-10 rights. That is a guy who earned his rights through his performance.

        The fact that he’s pitched so well this year has made the cubs a much better team. He was untradeable at the begining of the year and wouldnt have even gotten a compensation pick if he performed according to people’s expectations.

  • Rizzonkulous

    The logical part of me says that Demp earned the 10/5 rights and him using those rights to veto the trade doesn’t make him a dick/a-hole/pompous or whatever names people are calling him. He’s looking out for him and his family despite the venom coming his way from the fans that once loved him, and for that no one can fault him, but…..The fan in me wants to tell him to take the trade or he can suck a bag of dicks.

  • Fastball

    I think it’s quite possible that Theo is talking to the other LA team. The Angels need a starting pitcher. I would bet there are conversations going on with teams other than just the Dodgers and Braves. Well there isn’t really anything to discuss with the Braves at this point. If I’m Theo I don’t have blinders on at this point. Just guessing… But I don’t see Maholm getting traded nor do I see Garza getting traded. I can see LaHair going to Baltimore though. My LaHair observation. He hasn’t even showed up since Rizzo got called up. I think his getting booted off 1b and moved to a platoon role has messed with his confidence. Something has thrown him completely off. At this point in time he doesn’t have that much value. If he doesn’t get traded he becomes a left handed pinch hitter with power off the Cubs bench. If he isn’t traded I would send him down to Iowa and let him get his confidence back.

  • Tim

    Evidence of the Cubs curse — when even players with only a couple months left on their contract try to sabotage the future prospects of the team.

    • OlderStyle

      or… evidence of the debbie downer mindset of Cubs fans to always assume the worst when things don’t go exactly as they would wish.

  • Gcheezpuff

    At this point I just want a decision on Demp.. He isn’t the big fish and the Cubs have a lot more work to do and I feel like this is holding things up. Garza to the Rangers would be good, hope be pitches well in his next start. I am also starting to think Soriano might have value, but he probably wouldn’t get moved until after the deadline… Lock to clear waivers

    • JoeyCollins

      Garzas trade isnt going to happen until he starts again. Unless Dempster is still around on monday he isnt holding up a Graza trade hes just taking attention away from it.

      • rhino70

        Exactly! Don’t think for a minute that the front office is just sitting around waiting to see whatn happes with Ryan Dempster.

        They’re working on finding value for all of their trade-able “assets”.

        If Garza doesn’t start before the deadline, a decision on him won’t be made until the off season.

        Beyond that, almost everyone else on the roster is fair game. Deals will be made thru August 31. Expect to see guys like Reed Johnson and Jeff Baker moved after the “trading deadline”, but in time for them to be included on playoff rosters.

  • bbmoney

    The contract Hamels got is huge. 6 yrs 144 and reportedly a 7th year could vest automatically at 24M if he isn’t on the DL, and pitches 200+ innings in the last two years of his contract. Yikes.

    I’m a big Cole Hamels fan, but that is an enormous contract.

  • EQ76

    Remember how every pundit out there was saying that Dempster would be the first trade and it would open up the floodgates?