Lukewarm Stove: Dempster, Garza, Greinke, Shields, Johnson, Soriano, Soto, Kottaras

The latest from the Lukewarm Stove, which necessarily now includes a fair bit of Dempster Saga bits …

  • The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s David O’Brien leaves open the possibility that the Braves could still be interested in Ryan Dempster if they don’t end up with another option by Tuesday. He adds that the Dodgers have always preferred Matt Garza. Phil Rogers, by the way, agrees that Dempster to the Braves is still a possibility, if the Braves can’t get Zack Greinke and the Dodgers get Matt Garza.
  • Jon Heyman was on the Score this morning, and spoke at length about Zack Greinke, among other things. The White Sox are trying hard to get Greinke, and Heyman wouldn’t rule out any of the big names on the big league roster being traded. The Rangers, Angels, and Braves are also in, and the Braves may be the biggest threat to get Greinke. Heyman thinks Greinke would probably be fine on the big stage. In non-Greinke-other-pitcher stuff, James Shields is probably going to be dealt, despite his struggles, and despite the Rays’ relative competitiveness.
  • On Dempster, Heyman says it would be pretty risky for the Cubs to keep Dempster and make a qualifying offer after the season. The Cubs are probably not very thrilled with Dempster right now, who almost certainly told the Cubs he would go to Atlanta. Heyman wouldn’t rule out an Allen Webster for Dempster swap (though he says the Dodgers might like Webster even more than Zach Lee), and the Cubs will keep trying to get a deal together. Heyman remains unsure that the Braves would even consider taking Dempster at this point.
  • Heyman also said that there are teams in on Garza still, in addition to the Dodgers – Toronto, Red Sox, maybe Cardinals andOrioles – but they want to see him pitch one more game before committing top prospects. Since that isn’t going to happen now, I’m not sure where that interest stands. My guess? It’s basically gone.
  • Phil Rogers went nuts on the rumor mongering this morning, discussing Alfonso Soriano to the Rays (in the same breath discussing them trading away James Shields – indeed, in one proposal, he has the Cubs picking up Shields (come on, Phil)). Rogers proposes a whopper that would send Soriano, Geovany Soto, and Bryan LaHair (plus a bundle of cash) for a big contract (Luke Scott or Carlos Pena – those are “big” to the Rays), Chris Archer, Tim Beckham and a couple other prospects. It’s the kind of thing you’d read on a message board and scoff at, so I’m really not sure how to receive it, coming from Phil. Maybe Soriano makes some sense for the Rays, but it’s hard to see it all coming together like that.
  • Speaking of Soriano, Danny Knobler notes that the Cubs have discussed him with the Dodgers (as well as Bryan LaHair) in a package deal with Dempster. I suspect that’s one of those things where “discussed” means, in their frantic efforts to put a deal together, the Cubs have said, “well, what about including Soriano somehow? Or LaHair?” and the Dodgers said, “we don’t really want them all that much.” Which kind of sounds like how they react when asked about Dempster now, too …
  • Jerry Crasnick hears that all of the Dodgers, Angels, and Rangers are expected to pick up an impact starter before the deadline. With Greinke, Josh Johnson, and James Shields on the market, though, that doesn’t have to include one of the Cubs’ arms.
  • Ken Rosenthal talks up James’ Shields’ value, despite down numbers overall.
  • As for where things stand with Dempster, he’s already on the field throwing a side session with the Cubs. So, obviously, once again, nothing is imminent. (Or is it?!? (No, it isn’t. (But maybe! (No, seriously.)))) He wants the Dodgers, but the Dodgers don’t particularly want him, unless they can get him for super cheap. If you want rooting interests, here they are: you want to hope that the Cubs work out a great deal with the Dodgers for Dempster. If that’s not possible, you want Zack Greinke to go to a team like the Rangers or White Sox, Josh Johnson to not be traded (the price is “extremely high”) or to go to a team like the Red Sox, and James Shields to go to the Angels. The Rangers and Angels, right now, are not seriously in on Dempster or Garza, so the best the Cubs could hope for would be for the Dodgers and Braves to both be pitcherless when the deadline rolls around, with only Dempster and Garza as the impact arms on the market (though Garza’s injury makes him virtually untradable). But why would things work out that way?
  • You also have to remember – ok, I’m talking to myself here (Brett, you have to remember) – that it’s probably unfair right now to compare the Braves’ offer for Dempster and the Dodgers’ speculated low offer(s). The Braves can’t take on much salary, so they needed the Cubs to eat a bunch of the money owed to Dempster. The Dodgers, flush with cash, don’t need that at all. So, understandably, the Dodgers won’t be offering as much. Obviously that’s not a good thing.
  • The Brewers just designated quality back-up catcher George Kottaras for assignment, which, in his case, means a trade is forthcoming. Wonder where he’ll end up, and whether it will have any kind of impact on the Cubs’ hopes to deal Geovany Soto?

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

120 responses to “Lukewarm Stove: Dempster, Garza, Greinke, Shields, Johnson, Soriano, Soto, Kottaras”

  1. cubs82

    @Buster_ESPN There is no current dialogue between the Dodgers and Cubs about Ryan Dempster. Deadline 3 days, 2 hours away.

  2. cubs82

    Buster_ESPN We’ve reached the point on Dempster LAD-CHC talks where both know what the other wants to do. Now see if something changes.

  3. lou brock lives

    Has anyone out there heard what I just heard on Dempster – he wants an extension from the Cubs before he agrees to a trade ? This guy must be smoking some powerful stuff. I was told his people want a 2 or 3 year deal signed before he’ll agree to go anywhere. This, at least would explain the feet shuffling on Dempster’s part.
    He did not discuss this parameter until management came to him with the Atlanta deal.

    1. someday...2015?

      Ryan Dwight Howard Dempster.

    2. The Pubic LaHairs

      Where did you hear this?

  4. TheJDawg

    Sometimes I get tired of being a Cubs fan… it seems if this were say the Cardinals, that both these guys would have been gone for like 8 top prospects… Instead as the Cubs I’ve come to expect the worst and get the worst… Come on Brett.. make my Friday better!!!

    1. Ben

      yeah there is a lot of truth to what you say….I used to say I never believed in curses but all of this is really trying

  5. Cerambam

    brett, wheres the update about your last tweet?

  6. Chris

    I’m really starting to hate Ryan Dempster. Also am I the only one thinking that the trade deadline is gonna pass and where not gonna have done anything. That was supposed to be one of the biggest parts of this season that and the draft. If the deadline passes and nothing happens im gonna have to say in my eyes Theo is gonna have lost some of my confidence. Oh and I hope if we get stuck with dumpster I hope on his last game of the season he blows his arm out.

    1. Aaron

      No need to lose confidence in our FO. Sometimes the trades just don’t work. We should be glad they’re not just selling for pennies on the dollar, and are looking to maximize value right now. The trade deadline is a good time to force other teams into overpaying due to the buyer’s increased “need” for players going into a playoff hunt. We haven’t made the moves I would have personally liked to see yet, but I don’t forsee us being totally silent this weekend.

      Hang tight.

      1. randy cutright

        good call

    2. Devin

      1) No, I have a bad feeling that nothing will happen now also.

      2) You can’t blame Theo and Jed. It’s hard to market average players, especially when they have been hurt (First Demp, now Garza)

      3) Look, the man has the right to veto any trade he doesn’t want. Did he say he would be alright being sent to the Braves? Yeah, probably. Does it absolutely suck that he didn’t accept the trade? Of course! But that’s his right. It puts the Cubs in a REALLY bad position now (enter Garza’s fluid logged triceps), but personally, it’s hard to be mad at a guy who is exercising his right to choose if he stays or goes, albeit in an incredibly frustrating way.

      1. BeyondFukudome

        Actually, I find it incredibly easy to be mad at him, which I have every right to be.

      2. Cryinmybluecoolaid

        Devin, well said on #3!

      3. Ben

        It is also our right for hating him for hurting the team we all love

    3. dudeski

      why would you lose confidence in theo? it’s not his fault demp bailed on the cubs and garza got hurt

  7. Mr. Gonzo

    If the FO sign Dempster to an extension first, do you think the Dodgers would give up a Reed/Webster or Lee?

    1. Mick

      What makes you think the Dodgers would want to have Dempster past this season?

  8. Ryan G

    Stark saying Braves cooling on Greinke. Like I’ve said, I’m not giving up hope of Dempster to Braves until either they make a move or Dempster is traded.

  9. BeyondFukudome

    MLBTradeRumors.com says: “The Cubs and Dodgers have four days to complete a possible trade involving Ryan Dempster.” Gee, thanks, guys.

  10. rbreeze

    Every player that is a 10-5 has the right to refuse any deal. But every player also has a voice. For centuries, before paper invoices, people made deals with their voice. The voice was sacred and the man was taken at his word that he would stand up to what he said. If he said Atlanta was a place he would go to, then he is a liar and we should coat him in tar and feathers. It looks like Dempster is a liar and went against his word. If I was the FO, I would have someone step on Dempsters foot, put him on the DL and say adios for the rest of the year. Extension my ass!!!!!!

    1. DarthHater

      The Dark Side is strong in this one. Excellent…

    2. MaxM1908

      Guys in my high school used to lie about what trades they would accept all the time. It was no big deal.

  11. Mitch

    Completely off topic but is anyone else done with the Valbuena experiment. He is not a good hitter but keeps getting run out there everyday.

  12. MightyBear

    What I still have a hard time with is why anyone would want to stay with a team that has no shot of winning anything this year instead of going to a team that can make the playoffs and has a chance to win it all. These guys all say it’s about the ring and I think that’s BS. I think all they care about is the ring from all the change they put in their pockets.

    1. Edwin

      Dempster doesn’t get paid more or less depending on if he’s traded or not. So I don’t think it’s the money, at least in this case. It seems he likes his current situation playing in Chicago more than he likes the idea of possibly contending with Atlanta. Maybe it’s the pizza. Who knows.

      Otherwise, I agree, players lie. All the time. As do teams. Both sides do shitty things to try and get the most out of the other. It’s why I don’t really care about what players say, or what teams say.

      1. Cyranojoe

        What must have us all (including me) in a tizzy about this particular lie/turnaround is that Ryan doesn’t have a history of lying to the public. Maybe we’ve just never caught him on it, but fabrications just haven’t been his thing, and everyone around him has unfailingly described him as a stand-up guy. Never a whisper of a problem, with the recent exception of some very personal shit. So we took him on his word that he would seriously consider a trade to a contender, that he wanted to do what would be best for the Cubs and his family/himself — a parity that we believed in, as rare and unlikely as it is. Maybe that just made us more the fools, but damn. It still burns. I think it’ll burn for a while, unless Theo and Jed manage to make miracle lemonade out of shit sandwich…

        That said, we’ve all had to deal with worse than this. We’re Cubs fans.

  13. BD

    I am still so skeptical about T. Wood. Not just because of today, but even when he was looking good, it struck me as a fluke.

  14. Brad

    This pitching performance confirms what we all know. My god do we need pitching prospects!

  15. MaxM1908
  16. Patrick G

    “Also in the Daily Rumble: Braves cooling on Greinke, 2 guys the Marlins would love to deal, Soriano, Victorino & more.”

    Tweeted from Jayson Stark. Also notes the Braves could turn to get bullpen help. Maybe they don’t want to dump top prospects for Greinke and could look for a cheaper upgrade. Maybe a little Dempster, Russell/Camp package?

  17. BeyondFukudome
    1. Sandberg

      You beat me to the punch, but my link caption is better! ;)

      1. BeyondFukudome

        Agreed

    2. BeyondFukudome

      Nothing you say now is going to salvage your reputation, Ryan. The douche is already out of the bag.

  18. Sandberg

    What kind of crap is this? Dempster will accept a trade to the Braves now if the Cubs come to him with a deal in place? Come on, gmafb.

    Dempster’s Mom is the source

    1. Mitch

      If you read the story it seems like it was written a week ago.

    2. Dumpgobbler

      Cant say I believe this. Conventional wisdom says that if this were true, hed be gone already, seeing as how we already had a deal with Atlanta, hes number 2.

  19. Evan

    Ya I saw that to…where was that 3 days ago? If we went back to the braves now and asked for delgado they would laugh in our face since they know the dodgers dont want him so we habe no leverage there either. The braves prob dont even want him anymore sonce je stiffed them.

    1. Aaron

      Our leverage with them will be their need for a SP going into the final 2 months. If Dempster is all they’re able to get, then they’ll still pony up Delgado for him. If we go back and they pull Delgado from the deal, I can see Theo just backing off completely until they get desperate again. These things are very fluid.

  20. Turn Two

    Pretty sure the pressure of the Demp deal is diffused by Garza getting hurt. WE were in a rush last week to get Demp out of the way so we could sell Garza. Now Garza is essentially out of the picture and Demp is our big trade piece. Suddenly it is good to wait to trade him, teams will get more desperate, Greinke will find a home, Johnson will be pulled back by Miami, all the teams that want pitching will want Demp and he doesn’t want to finish the year here anymore, so he will accept or the Dodgers will be forced to counter when they see the other deals on the table. With Garza gone, Dempster is more valuable to the Dodgers you would think, since they really wanted Garza.

  21. Jack Weiland

    Re: the qualifying offer. I still find it VERY hard to believe that if the Cubs make that offer AND make it clear they don’t actually want him, that he’ll accept. If they say “We’re making this offer, and we’re going to put you in the pen” I don’t see any way in which Dempster accepts. He’s not going to be hurting for suitors this winter, especially on the terms that the QO would be (one year contract at $12.5MM?). Tons of teams would give him that same offer, and they would actually want him.

    In a bubble, I agree, they be running a risk. In real life where they can say “Hey but we really don’t want you, and we’re going to put you in the pen if you accept” … no, he doesn’t take the QO. He probably wants a multi-year deal anyway. I doubt Dempster wants to be doing this again next year, if he can avoid it.

    1. Sandberg

      Getting booed every time out for the rest of the season would help keep him from signing too.

  22. cubs82

    Dempster will consider trades to a number of teams, including the Braves and Dodgers, if the Cubs approach him with a deal in place, Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com reports. “He has not said that he wouldn’t go to Atlanta or anywhere else for that matter,” a person familiar with the situation told Levine.

  23. lou brock lives

    My Dodger source is telling me that they have moved off of Dempster & are looking elsewhere. When they got wind that he wanted an extension that is what killed their interest. Colletti had made their FINAL offer the day after the All Star game when he was in Chicago to visit with family – he really wanted Garza anyway.
    Dempster’s stalling tactic is to see if their is ANY TEAM willing to pay him on a 2/3 year extension of his current deal. He will go wherever the MONEY is. Bruce Levine has it right when he says he never turned down the Atlanta deal – they just did not offer the extra money he is looking for.

  24. quintz

    Wow, I wish your two sources could meet and compare notes, because one of them is definitely wrong.

  25. Brad

    I can’t wait for the trade deadline to pass so I can get rid of all this stress.

  26. rbreeze

    So if we can’t trade Garza by Tuesday afternoon, he can be traded (if healthy) in August.
    With the waiver process, the bottom feeders won’t bite but as you move up the ladder and see teams that could be contending for wild cards, Garza might get some looks. Possible?

  27. Cubsin

    There’s very little chance Garza will be tradeable in August. One of the other bottomfeeders would claim him, and offer us crap for him. They can’t lose (other than balance of his 2012 salary), and would have a valuable trade chip this winter.

  28. rbreeze

    Never mind.

  29. TobaccopouchinIvy

    Angels just obtain Zack Geinke[Morosi]