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).

  • emrac

    this is unbelievable how Dempster made himself public enemy 1. I can’t believe how he is acting he knew he was going to be traded eventually he had months to prepare his family for a move. Just a shame how he destroyed his image overnight

  • Vladimir

    I would not trade Dempster to LA without a great return. It says something to him, and any other potential guy that you can’t pull the crap Demp has and get your way. Confine him to this crappy team the rest of the year. It’s obvious he is already uncomfortable here. It’s what he deserves.

  • T Larson

    All along I thought that Ryan Dempster was a class act. The media reported that he was very thankful to the Cubs for taking a chance on him after his surgery. He really sounded like he loved and cared for the Cub organization. Ryan wanted to do what was best for the organization.
    It appears and again I say appears that Dempster has no intention of backing up his words with actions. That seems to be a clear case of lying and deceiving all of his supports over the years. He just isn’t who we thought he was. To that end all Cubdom is in mourning.

  • Jlindell

    Can he be sent to AAA?

  • Tommy

    Has anything like this ever happened before? I swear this is a carnival. At this point, I would keep him for the rest of the year and let him walk. Definitely wouldn’t bring him back on a 1 year contract. Let him finish it out and cut him loose – doesn’t look like we’re getting squat for him now anyhow.

    I’m very disappointed – really like Dempster, but now he is just acting like a prima donna. For crying out loud, he only needs to play out 2-3 months and he coulda moved wherever he wanted. What a joke.

  • mooks

    2 days ago I wrote about Dempster being a guy that I root for and how I love him as a Cub..yada time goes on my mind is rapidly changing. I mean maybe he felt like Theo and co. were trying to push him into this or whatever but not only has he hurt the Cubs..he’s hurt is own value and not that it would have happened but ruined any chance of re-signing next year. At least Aramis last year pretty much said I ain’t going no where…not just disappointed in what we are going get..if we get..but just the guy I liked a lot has really changed my opinion of him…I hope he speaks sometime when this is over and restores some of my faith in him as a stand up guy.

  • Ted

    Reading these updates is not good for my blood pressure.

  • Dean

    The Cubs should keep Dempster and make him a complete game pitcher for the rest of the year. He wants to remain a Cub this season. Check. He never wants to come out of a game, apparently. Check.

    I’m sure the 2.11 ERA will be up around 5 this way, but at least Ryan Dempster will be happy. And, after what he just pulled, that’s all that really matters.

  • mooks

    sadly the haul we are possibly going to get is still necessary seeing the lack of arms in the minors..I mean I think Gould,Withrow or whoever would still be a slight upgrade…possibly??

    • Luke

      They’d give the Cubs a little more to work with in the upper minors, but neither of them stand out over what the Cubs already have. Neither would come remotely close to cracking the Cubs’ Top 10 list. Gould might be one of the five best pitching prospect, but I’m not even sure of that.

      By comparison, Delgado would have been an easy Top 3 pitching prospect in the system, and almost certainly on the Top 10 list.

  • thejackal

    theres that damn billy goat again…………… the curseeeeeeeee

  • 34275

    I’m sorry, but it’s clear at this point that this is nothing but pure hubris on Dempster’s part. His ego was bruised because someone, in the age of twitter, leaked the deal before he could hit that figurative approve button. Unless he offers up a compelling reason otherwise, which he hasn’t, I hope he enjoys the toxic atmosphere of his own creation at Wrigley when he pitches to finish out the season.

    He can also enjoy ruining his 8 1/2 year “legacy” on the team because his ego wasn’t stroked. If Delgado turns out to be even decent, he can enjoy joining Milton Bradley and Todd Hundley on the “universally hated” Cubs list.

    Pure hubris.

  • Cheryl

    Before I mentioned not dealing with LA. Shut the whole thing down with Dempster. It makes the cubs look rediculous. Put him on leave and drop him at the end of the season. Pay him, but either do that or DFA him immediately. He isn’t worth this.

  • anotherjp

    Ironic isn’t it? Dempster stiffs the Braves and the Dodgers stiff Dempster. No way does Theo deal him to LA now… and unless Dempster was able to go to LAA or the A’s we won’t be sending him anywhere else.

    And I don’t think he’ll be offered arbitration either. Total waste of leverage, a top 100 prospect, the whole enchilada. If the Dodgers want Garza then Theo should say it’ll cost them Lee, Reed, and Webster at minimum. They don’t want to deal go straight to San Fran with a great deal for Sori, Marmol, or anyone else that can stick it to them. Demp & the Dodgers are at the top of my shit list right now.

    • 34275

      The Cubs have very little to lose by offering him a qualifying offer. What’s the chance he’s gonna take it after (1) the toxic atmosphere he’s created in Chicago (2) he can get a multiyear deal somewhere else (3) being relegated to the bullpen

      • rcleven

        Cubs have 12.5 mm to loose. Just cut your losses and let him walk.

        • gutshot5820

          If you factor only money, then Dempster may accept arb. But you have to realize Dempster will be totally vilified by the fans and media. He would not be able to go to restaurants or anywhere without getting heckled and harassed by over zealous fans. There is zero chance he would accept arb.

        • 34275

          There’s no way he would take it though. Would you take $12.5M when you’re going to get booed at home every time you pitch, and when there are multiyear offers on the table?

      • anotherjp

        He doesn’t give a damn. After the way this has played out I don’t see who’d want to pay $12.5M for him… the picky fool doesn’t know what he wants. And the Cubs stand to lose $12.5M for a guy they clearly don’t want anymore. When the Cub fans get thru with him, he won’t enjoy it here much, so we might have another Big Z on our hands next year. Theo won’t have him back, I can guarantee that. If you consider the WAR value that someone with Delgado’s talent will bring over the next nine years for about $6.1M of Demp’s salary + Delgado’s salary, I wouldn’t doubt if the Cubs will lose tens of millions of dollars of value with Dempster’s stunt.

        And if anyone thinks this won’t affect the way the Cubs deal with future players contracts in the future they’re mistaken. So when you think about it, Demp also screwed his teammates. Nice guy.

    • quintz

      We would give the Giants Sori and Marmol for a bag of balls and a new water cooler if they actually wanted them.

  • supergeek24

    I wish this was just a bad joke , I’m starting to wonder if we really are cursed. And I’m hopeing garza can throw a side session Friday and is good to go Monday

  • Jlindell

    What a big bag of shit. I can’t wait to boo this prick for the rest of the season.

  • Tommy

    They should dock his pay for the water cooler.

  • Jared

    I have admittedly been what everyone has been calling a “Dempster apologist”…well, that’s over with! Gloves are off, and Demp is gonna make a good speed bag!!! How in the heck can he pull this type of crap on the team that he “wanted to help”… Get over yourself Demp, you’re a mediocre pitcher at best, and NOT worth what you’re being pid… Pony up and do what you said! Help the F’ing TEAM!!!

    I feel somewhat better!!!

  • pfk

    Ladies and gentlemen, meet “Aramis R. Dempster.” He has a right to be picky but then he shouldn’t have ever let on that he would go to Atlanta. What a bummer!

  • Kevin

    And I felt bad for the Magic with Howard.

  • Ashley

    Have always loved Dempster been one of my favorite cubs for a long time. But he is really hurting himself with cubs fans. I mean he said he would do what was best to help the team and then he turned down what was a really good deal for cubs.

    Maybe I am wrong but the reminds me of when Lee turned down that trade a few years ago and cubs fans never forgave him. Dempster should have accepted the trade if he really wanted to help the cubs because this could really hurt them.

    Am I wrong for feeling this way? I mean he has earned the right to make his decision and what is best for his family. Still does mean I have to like it. I left for vacation thinking we were getting a great deal and Dempster was gone. Really sucks coming to the board to see everything that has gone on.

    Thanks to Brett for keeping updated, don’t know where I would be without the board keep me updated. Truly amazing work, keep up the great work. 😉

  • cubnut

    Dempster as it turns out is just another greedy, spolied, lying athlete. Ryan don’t let the door hit you on the way out. What a piece of crap.

  • quintz

    I figured it out……Dempster’s agent is Craig Landis, Craig Landis has a father named Jim Landis, Jim Landis spent the majority of his career playing for…you guessed it, the White Sox. It’s clear Dempster’s agent is “cross contaminating” his mind with Cub killing advice.

  • Fastball

    We should DFA Demster. F Him. Rhis is going to blow up in his face. What GM is going ro sign him in the off season. Its collusion if they band together as GM’s. I wouldnt hire the SOB to pitch fir my team. If I’m Theo he gets black balled. I would run him out of Chicago on a rail s

    • @cubsfantroy

      I think that deserves this.


  • Joker

    I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.

  • CubbieBlue

    Dempster…burned bridges in both Atlanta and Chicago. Hero to zero in just a few days.

    • Jared

      I think you can add LA to that list as well…even his BFF Ted Lilly can’t get him on the team…I guess it’s all true…even LA can see him for the not good pitcher that he really is…

      He best pitch his arse off he wants ANY team to sign him in free agency this off season…he will prolly accept the QO he gets from the Cubs and royally screw us again next year… I love misery!!!

    • quintz

      A cow burned down Chicago, then General Sherman burned Atlanta. Now Dempster kills two birds with one stone.

  • Tommy

    I wonder if Dempster will get booed in his next start at Wrigley.

    • 34275

      I think that’s a foregone conclusion at this point.

      • Ashley

        I would be stunned if he isn’t booed. Cubs fans are loyal to their guys but not guys that burned the team like he has you will feel the wrath.

  • dudeski

    the moral of the story: even when the cubs win, they lose

  • J R

    Dempster is an absolute dbag. Can’t stand that guy at this point.

  • Vladimir

    What sickens me is Kaplan is defending him like Dump is one of “his guys” or something. “HE EARNED THE RIGHT, HE EARNED THE RIGHT”. Well guess what, Kap didn’t have as nice of words in a simular situation where Ramirez wouldn’t allow a trade. There is NO defending what Dumpster did. He is a hypocrite. He wanted to sound all goody goody in the media, but he didn’t follow through with his words. That’s a hypocrite. Craplan you sicken me.

    • J R

      Kap’s an idiot. He does have some good sources, but he’s always been a hypocrite blow hard… No surprise there.

  • Dean

    Since the Nationals are about to shut down Strasburg, the Cubs should dangle Dempster to the Nationals for next to nothing. While he likely wouldn’t accept the deal, it may make the Braves return to the table or encourage the Dodgers to up their offer.

    At this point, the Cubs have nothing to lose. There’s no trading Dempster at the deadline since he wouldn’t clear waivers and there would be no incentive for the claiming team to offer anything in trade.

    • J R

      Why would any other team waste their time to even consider a trade for Demp at this point? I sure hope who ever signs him in the offseason doesn’ give him a NTC.