Thankfully (or not, depending on your perspective), today’s been a relatively quiet Ryan Dempster day. Don’t get me wrong: I know we’re getting close to the Trade Deadline, and, yes, I definitely fall on the please-trade-him-and-get-quality-prospects side of things. But, man, I’m glad to have gotten a day largely off from the frustration, obsession, an acrimony that has followed this story.

It wasn’t a completely silent day, however, and I don’t expect it to be a completely silent night. Right now, things are pretty much underground (here’s last night’s set of updates, with the latest until now). We know that Dempster has not officially, formally rejected the Atlanta trade (which would have sent Randall Delgado to the Cubs), and we know that the Braves have not completely and irrevocably said that talks with the Cubs are dead. But we also know that Dempster isn’t crazy about going to the Braves, and we know that the Cubs are scrambling to try and work out a deal with the Dodgers that doesn’t require a subsequent hospital visit. For his part, Dempster says he’s thinking things over today, but we don’t know that there’s anything to think about right now.

Here are the latest tidbits on the Ryan Dempster Saga (with updates, if applicable, to follow below) …

  • Jayson Stark reports that the Dodgers remain optimistic that they can get Dempster from the Cubs. I could be perfectly satisfied (more than) with a Zach Lee deal, or an Allen Webster/Garrett Gould/Chris Withrow type return. But, right now, I don’t see any reason the Dodgers would give up that much, given how things have played out. Maybe if they can get an extension out of Dempster?
  • At least one executive tells Ken Rosenthal that there’s “no way” the Cubs will keep Dempster through the deadline, and then make him a qualifying offer after the season, for the reasons I’ve said before. For one thing, the return in that scenario is merely one pick, after the first round (a pick you have to then sign), and it requires Dempster actually turning down some $12.5 million for 2013 from the Cubs. That’s a risk that I doubt the Cubs want to take. Hence my doubt that the Cubs can extract quite as much value out of the Dodgers as they were about to get from Atlanta.
  • For what it’s worth, I’ve heard that the Cubs haven’t totally given up on the Atlanta deal, and instead hope to be able to convince Dempster to head there, if they can’t work things out with LA. There could be very little there, though.
  • Joel Sherman cites an exec who wonders whether the Cubs might “kick in $1M extra to convince Dempster to go to ATL.” Does he mean, give Dempster $1 million as, like, go-away money? If the Dodgers’ offer is Garrett Gould and Chris Withrow, and the Braves’ offer is Randall Delgado, of *course* that difference is worth $1 million. But, I mean, can you do that? Can you just give a dude $1 million, not as salary, just as a one-time bonus, to forgo blocking a trade?

UPDATE (at 3:43pm CT): Ken Rosenthal reports that the Cubs and Dodgers “might” be getting close on a deal. (Which necessarily means they might “not” be getting close, which is kind of like saying nothing at all.) If true, here’s hoping the Cubs have been able to persuade the Dodgers that the Braves’ deal is still on the table, and, if the Dodgers don’t match it, Demp will go there. Probably a really, really tough sell at this point (unless it’s true, that is).

UPDATE 2 (at 4:57pm CT): The Brewers’ GM just confirmed what we all already knew – the Brewers are going to be trading Zack Greinke by the deadline. The Braves are very interested, so your rooting interest on Greinke is that the White Sox somehow magically pull the pieces out of nowhere to land him.

UPDATE 3 (at 5:10pm CT): Dave Kaplan says the deal with the Dodgers is getting close. Various options are still being discussed between those teams, and they’ve even talked about the possibility of bringing in a third team (which always sounds like a great idea, but complicates things exponentially). I’m still suspect that the Cubs can get even close to a Delgado-like deal here, but we’ll see.

UPDATE 4 (at 5:26pm CT): Here’s a more complete take from Kaplan, which goes into a bit of the backstory on the Braves’ deal. The gist is, the Cubs thought they had an understanding with Dempster that they could negotiating with either the Braves or Dodgers, and then they got a better offer from the Braves. When Dempster through up a roadblock (albeit possibly temporary), asking the Cubs to try once more with the Dodgers, the Braves pulled their offer so they could explore other options. Theo was apparently furious. And that’s where we stand, as the Cubs try to get an acceptable deal from the Dodgers. The Cubs, Kap says, are trying to net a “handful” of pitching prospects, which suggests they will generally be of a lesser tier than Delgado.

UPDATE 5 (at 7:12pm CT): A really, really crappy update. Jon Heyman reports that the Cubs resorted to offering Dempster to the Dodgers for Allen Webster straight up. And the Dodgers said, “no.” Two weeks ago, that would have been an understandable offer and rejection. Webster, a fringe top 100 guy, is in the range of what the Cubs could have hoped for, we thought, but it wouldn’t be unreasonable to have that offer rejected. But after the way things have played out? Knowing that Dempster’s value in this market is considerably higher? I can almost taste the balls that were just kicked up into my stomach. To date, Heyman says, the Dodgers have stuck to offering lesser prospects who might project as relievers (Gould and Withrow, perhaps?). Part of the reason the Dodgers are lowballing the Cubs – in addition to their extreme leverage, of course – is the fact that they still prefer Matt Garza. But don’t think the Cubs can just deal Garza to the Dodgers and then force Dempster to go to the Braves – Heyman reports Dempster TOLD some Braves players that he was going to come there, and then changed his mind. Now, the Braves are upset, and view Dempster as a guy who doesn’t want to be there – and the Braves culture doesn’t really look kindly on guys who don’t want to be there. What a crapshow.

UPDATE 6 (at 7:20pm CT): Big surprise, Buster Olney says Dempster is holding firm on his desire to go to LA. Increasingly, I’m growing irked not only that Dempster rejected the trade to Atlanta after apparently telling everyone that he would go, but also that he apparently – literally – will go nowhere but LA. It’s a complete 180 from everything he’s said this year about what would happen when the Cubs looked to deal him. I’m not saying there might not be a good reason – a personal, family reason, for example – but, as a fan, it’s deeply frustrating. And saddening.

UPDATE 7 (at 7:26pm CT): Something else from that Heyman article that bears particular mention – maybe it isn’t just that LA is making crappy offers because they have all the leverage. Maybe, as Heyman suggests, they don’t actually want Dempster all that much.

UPDATE 8 (at 7:32pm CT): Still stewing about this latest report. At this point, a few things are apparent, and I’m ready to adopt them into my official narrative. The Cubs negotiated with the Braves AND the Dodgers for a while. Dempster was aware. The Dodgers offered crap, consistently, because they don’t love Dempster. The Braves got desperate, and offered Delgado. The Cubs leapt to take the offer, and informed Dempster, who spoke to some Braves players and suggested that he’d be taking the deal. Then he changed his mind. We don’t know the reasons (blaming the media leak is so totally bogus at this point). Now, the only reason he hasn’t formally rejected the deal is because he knows that, if he does, the Cubs can’t even *pretend* they have an offer on the table from the Braves when they negotiate with the Dodgers, which makes his chances of going there even less.

UPDATE 9 (at 8:39pm CT): And now Kaplan goes back on his earlier report, and essentially adopts the Heyman line: “Just spoke with a great source who told me that the Dodgers are balking at including what the Cubs need to make a Dempster deal.” Kap adds that Theo and Jed aren’t looking to appease Dempster here – they’ll only make the deal if it makes sense for the Cubs.

UPDATE 10 (at 8:52pm CT): Kap tweets out a few more things that are identical to the Heyman story (I’m not saying Kap lifted them, I’m saying Kap is obviously hearing the same thing as Heyman, which makes it more likely to be true). In sum, the Dodgers don’t want to include Webster in the deal, and the Cubs won’t do it without Webster (well, or, presumably, Zach Lee). Kap calls the Dodgers’ offer “very suspect,” and says the Cubs aren’t going to cave. He adds, though, that it would be very uncomfortable for Dempster to still be on the roster come August 1 (you think?), and neither side is going to want that. But, like I asked Kap, at this point, what choice do the Cubs have?

UPDATE 11 (at 9:52pm CT): Kap expands on that tweet with another article, basically explaining that the Cubs and Dodgers are, presently, at a stalemate (look, you can rip on Kap all you want for quick changes in his stories, but at least he’s covering this – and, here’s the thing, sometimes the story DOES change rapidly, as we saw on Monday).

  • WGNstatic

    I don’t see any reason that the Cubs couldn’t kick in an extra $1M as go away money. Guys add big market teams to their no-trade lists all the time just so they can get something extra in case they are traded there.

    Looked at from another angle, there would be nothing stopping the Cubs and Dempster from renegotiating his current contract to be $1M richer.

  • Josh

    Interesting thought on the $1 million one time bonus to convince him to not block the trade. Maybe all cubs fans should just put in $5-10 and wire transfer it to Dempster’s account and be done with it

  • rhino70

    I’ve been trying to come up with the best and worst case outcomes of the Dempster debacle from the Cubs perspective. Here’s what I’ve come up with.

    Best Case – The Delgado deal is still available and Dempster agrees to the trade.

    Worst Case – Dempster rejects all trades and stays for the rest of the season. The Cubs make a qualifying offer and Dempster accepts.

    If these are the best and worst outcomes, then at worst, we’re in this same exact position next year at this time. That delays the Cubs plans a year, but we still get a decent starting pitcher for the rest of this season and half of next.

    Is there anything I’ve missed? (From the Cubs point of view)

    • Cub Style

      I’d rather have Zach Lee than Randall Delgado.

      • rhino70

        I guess that would actually be the best case, Dempster to LA for Lee. I believe in Theo/Jed, but I can’t fathom them actually being able to convince LA to send Lee back for Ryan Dempster.

      • Dumpgobbler

        I like Delgado a bit more then Lee, and way more then Webster. The fact that our FO agreed to a Delgado for Dempster deal is a testament to how much better our FO is now. Our old front office would have just sent Dempster to the LA Dodgers for scraps because of “respect”. Love it.

    • MaxM1908

      We trade Dempster to the Dodgers for a B prospect and a bucket of practice balls.

      • rhino70

        Hendry’s gone….

        • TWC

          I blame Hendry for that.

    • Jared

      My concern would be that Demp pitches the way everyone would expect him to for the next year…which would be mediocre at best…

  • Barry

    Just in case Wren is still waiting, you can count me in for a $20 contribution to ship his sorry ass to ATL.

    • Sandberg

      Someone should start a kickstarter-like campaign that would donate a bunch of money to his charity if he accepts the trade.

      • Brett


      • Matt

        I’m in

      • Sandberg

        I started one but not sure I want the hassle of dealing with the fallout. 😛

  • quintz

    My guess (and it’s just a guess) is that they can’t just give him a million dollars. I have no concrete evidence as to why, just feels like something we would have heard about being done before if that was the case. I hope they can (and do).

    • Brett

      My gut said the same thing. But, I guess that came from a baseball exec, so they’d probably know better than we, right?

      (Not always the case, I suppose…)

      • quintz

        I believe that the A’s bought out Rickey Henderson’s no trade clause when he was traded from Oakland to Toronto. Though I don’t know if the buyout has to be negotiated as part of the original contract. Logic tells me they can, but logic is not always the best way to evaluate these type of situations.

        • Whiteflag

          Could they maybe just donate a the money to his charity? I know the money wouldn’t be going directly to Dempster, but it seems like a way to sweeten the deal.

          • JoeyCollins

            This feels like it would be a kickback and I can see the MLB considering it a way to go around the CBA. It could also raise some ethical issues if a spouse runs the charity and draws a salary(don’t know if that’s the case with dempsters charities).

            • Whiteflag

              Good point.

      • Cheryl

        Couldn’t the cubs just pay off the rest of his contract and put him on leave in such a way that he can’t pitch for anyone else and then drop him at the end of the season? It’d be best for all concerned if he just went away.

        • Mick

          That sounds sort of like what they did to Old Yeller.

          • stillmisskennyhubbs

            Except Old Yeller was the rabid one there. Here, it’s the mob who want Dempster’s neck.

            • RabidCubsFan


  • Kansas Cubs Fan

    I’ll go to ATL for a million. Please?

    • TWC

      Dude. Where the hell YOU been?

      • Kansas Cubs Fan

        Working and fishing. I’ve just been reading, the off season wore me out on commenting. Haha.

        Also I’m more obsessed with my car than the Cubbies lately. I got an old car and now I can’t think straight.

  • Stevelee

    Please. Tuesday cannot be here soon enough. I wish we get someone.

  • Dustin

    Why wouldnt the Braves be interested in Garza? I say trade Garza to ATL for Delgado,then trade Dumpster,yes I said Dumpster to LAD for Garrett Gould and Chris Withrow

    • rhino70

      Garza is worth a lot more than just Delgado.

      • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

        I would hope we could bring back three Delgado’s for Garza. At minimum 2 better Delgado’s. Had to.

  • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

    Maybe we could throw the million into his organization???

    • Whiteflag

      Good idea. I didn’t mean to steal your thunder by suggest the same thing after you did. Just hadn’t seen your comment yet.

  • Steve Koteff

    At the very least, couldn’t the Cubs and Dempster restructure his contract for the rest of the year? I.e., the Cubs increase his salary by $1 million (or however much) and the restructuring possibly includes the provision that he accept a trade to Atlanta? And then the Cubs agree to send $1 million to Atlanta?

    Unless Dempster’s 10 and 5 rights preclude such a contract provision, in which case that part of the deal, the agreement to go to ATL, would have to be under the table.

  • Dustin

    I agree with that. Then we should be able to get Delgado and another prospect or 2 as well

  • MaxM1908

    Ken Rosenthal: Source: #Dodgers, #Cubs “might” be getting closer on Dempster. Teams remain in dialogue.

    God dangit.

    • MaxM1908

      Worst of all, I just keep imagining the smug smile on Coletti’s face as we have to go hat in hand to him in these negotiations. The whole thing just stinks. And, I just can’t forgive Dempster for putting us in this situation.

      • TWC

        The “Celozzi-Ettleson” smile?

        Where he always saves more money.

      • Cheryl

        Whatever the cubs do, don’t go back to the Dodgers. It’ll be even worse if Dempster dictates where he wants to go. He can turn down a deal but he can’t force the cubs to make a deal with them and that’s what he’s trying to do. If he wants to pitch for the Dodgers let him negotiate it at the end of the season when he’s a free agent.

        • Kevin

          Two can play at this game.

  • Dustin

    I keep hearing once Greinke is traded, Dempster will be traded. Just heard The White Sox seem completely focused on trying to get Greinke, Danny Knobler of reports

    • Brett

      Obviously the White Sox getting Greinke would be incredibly good news for the Cubs.

      • rhino70

        What do the White Sox have left that Milwaukee could possibly want? Isn’t the Sox farm system pretty much barren at this point?

        • Karena

          I’m looking for a 3 team trade between the White Sox, Jays and Brewers

  • W_Francisco

    I’m optimistic the Cubs get something done, regardless I’m thinking its going to be an exciting and anxiety ridden couple of days. Theo was born for this and hes gonna make damn sure his first trade deadline is the start of many a great things for Cubs future.

    • Ben in Nebraska

      Yeah, he did that very well… right up until the point where Dempster had to put the brakes on, which has possibly thrown any leverage the Cubs had right out the window.

  • Kevin

    Sounds like some great ideas to move players for prospects per our long term goal. I’m in favor of doing anything to move both Dempster and Garza. Theo & Jed. Please make it happen.

  • Mysterious4th


    I knew you couldn’t go the day without a ryan dempster situation stalk and update!

    I am glad you couldn’t, I was getting anxiouss since its an off day for the team and I know the FO has probably called dempster 1.2 million times wondering if he has made up his mind, agan.

  • anotherjp

    It’s definitely a plus to have Dempster back in Chicago where he can meet with the Cub brass if necessary. I’ve always believed it’s better to do business face-to-face and get all options out in the open if possible and if he’s serious about working with Theo to help all parties involved then maybe he can get some assurances that the Cubs will try to get him back from Atlanta after the season is over (since the Braves aren’t demanding an extension) or some other arrangement (bonus to accept the trade, etc.) Reasonable people can always come to an agreement.

    • Mitch

      Then Cubs can trade him again next year and keep adding prospects. Sounds like a great plan.

      • Mysterious4th


        Trade him every year after we sign him to 1yr deals, wonder if teams would catch on? We know the white sox aren’t smart enough to catch on to that lol

      • cubmig

        LOL Mitch! Sounds like a Double Whammy scenario!

  • Jon

    Even though mid-season trades have helped the Cubs in years for the post season; I would still rather see no trades in MLB during the regular season. You should have to get into the post season with the team you began the regular season with and then let everything else be settled after the season with trades, free agency etc.

    • T Wags

      This is actually a good proposition but the only issue I would have with it is the injury factor. The option to trade players mid-season gives teams that assembled a great roster,but have had some really bad luck injury wise, the chance to make some moves to keep their season alive. It would definitely add some purity to the game though.

  • Steve


  • KWD22

    I could actually see them keeping Dempster offering him a qualifying offer. With the new CBA they would be looking at close to $1mil more in their draft spending budget if he declined. If all the Dodgers are offering is Gould and Withrow they should be able to get close to that in return from another club next year even if he does excepts it. We need to start looking at the positives of all this.

    • Drew7

      “…if he declined”

      That’s the biggest issue: I just don’t see a scenario where a 36 yr old, obviously pitching way over his head, would reject a $12.5mil offer. I really don’t see teams lining up to give him 2-3 years.

  • MightyBear

    I’ve been saying all along the Cubs aren’t going to make Dempster a qualifying offer. They have to trade him now for something. Hopefully to the Braves for Delgado or to the Dodgers for Lee or Webster.

    What about Garza to the Braves for Delgado and Teheran? Possible?

    • Drake

      Not a chance the Cubs get both Delgado and Teheran for Garza. I am not so sure Atlanta would give up Teheran alone for Garza.

      • quintz

        No way the Braves would do a straight up swap Teheran for Garza. That’s why his name has yet to surface in any realistic possibilities.

      • Toby

        If Cubs couldn’t get Braves to budge on Teheran then just have a deal centered around Delgado and others. Would a deal that would send Garza, Lake, and Sappelt for Delgado, Spruill, Salcedo, Carlos Perez, and a PTBNL be a fair deal with Cubs picking up the rest of Garza’s contract?

        • quintz

          That’s a lot of moving pieces, hard (for me) to evaluate. Jim Bowden suggested this earlier on ESPN….Garza for Delgado, Spruill, and JR Graham. That is reasonable to me. Which means nobody on here will think it’s enough:)

          • Toby

            It’s a reasonable deal, but Cubs could sweeten the deal by including the two I mentioned if it meant bringing back a couple more pieces.

  • sosa23

    One of the best cubs of all time is jeff samardzjia

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      Is this why we haven’t won a World Series in over 100 years?

      • sosa23

        It’s quite possible :)

  • Don

    The Dodgers are 6-7 since the break. It is time to panic in LA and give Z Lee to the Cubs for Dump I mean Dempster!

  • Barry

    Dodgers have now lost 3 straight and their pitching has faltered. LA needs to try harder to pull off this deal. It will happen!

  • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

    At this point haven’t we seen the Braves will give the best deal for a pitcher? Wouldn’t Garza to the Braves be better suited for us than Dempster to the Braves?

    • Tim

      I was just going to say the same thing. ATL would have an extra year of control over a pitcher who has a better long-term forecast than Dempster. It would seem the only drawback for the braves would be the haul Garza would command.

    • dabynsky

      The word from the reporters out of Atlanta is that the Braves don’t view Garza as a dependable upgrade for this season which is their bigger concern at this point. They are probably all in on Greinke at this point.

  • Stop The Insanity

    I would love to see us get Alex Castellanos back as part of a Dempster deal even if we have to kick in one of our bench mob. Castellanos, although a little old (25) to be considered a prospect, has absolutely been raking it the last 2+ years. He plays average defense at 2b and 3b, but has the potential to hit 20+ bombs, and the Dodgers seem intent on playing the Scott Van Sykes of the world before him. Also, would love to see Garza go to Arizona for one of their big 3 pitching prospects and either Adam Eaton or AJ Pollock

    • Stop The Insanity

      Should add: get Castellanos in addition to pitching specs

    • Jonski

      Well Bauer is down with dead arm issues and velocity drop.It is sickening how these top end pitching prospects all over mlb are getting rushed and either getting blown up or hurt.

  • MightyBear

    Boy this is really frustrating. If I see the Braves reporter that leaked that story, I’ll punch him right in the nose. Before that story was leaked, it looked like Hamels was going to get extended, possibly Greinke would get extended and marlins and rays were’nt selling. Dempster was the premier pitcher on the market. Now Johnson, Greinke, Shields are all out there and there are less buyers ie Tigers and Pirates. Cubs lost a lot of leverage in three days.

    • Drake

      The reporter is the one who was doing his job, get mad at the front office personnel in Atlanta who leaked it.

  • Mr. Gonzo

    My apologies if this has already been covered but wouldn’t it benefit our situation if Greinke is dealt before Garza/Dempster? Sure, the Braves are in on them, but so are the Rangers, Angels and White Sox. If he goes to any of the latter, for a huge return, that raises the bar for a 2-month rental, which could in turn bump up the value of our guys.

  • Toddleevon

    Still hoping for it to be the Braves as well.If it is the Dodgers and Zach Lee in not included,then hoping for Allen Webster and Chris Reed deal. Any thoughts ?

    • someday…2015?

      Agree 100%

  • TheJDawg

    this is all so frustrating and as much as I love reading your site, I may impose a moritorium on myself to take a break from the site and the Dempster rumors flying about…