Are you ready to be twisted/turned/made cynical once again?

Bruce Levine reports that Ryan Dempster is perfectly willing to consider a deal to a team *other* than the Los Angeles Dodgers, if the Cubs simple present him with it before Tuesday’s Trade Deadline. From Levine:

The Los Angeles Dodgers are not the only team Chicago Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster would accept a trade to, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Dempster will consider a number of teams, including the Atlanta Braves and Dodgers, if the Cubs come to him with a deal in place, the source said.

“He has not said that he wouldn’t go to Atlanta or anywhere else for that matter,” the source said. “He wants to take his time and has earned the right to wait on approving a deal having his 10-5 rights.”

So, there are a number of reactions to this that I’d expect from folks.

The first is probably something like, “RRRAAAAA THEN WHY DIDN’T YOU ACCEPT THE BRAVES DEAL ON MONDAY!?!?”

The second is probably something like, “Baa, this is just another cheap attempt to help the Cubs get some leverage with the Dodgers.”

The third is probably something like, “Baa, this is just Dempster trying to save face in Chicago.”

I’m not saying all of those reactions are wrong, but I think something in the middle of all three of them is probably where the truth lies. Yes, this “revelation” certainly makes Dempster look slightly better, and definitely could help the Cubs in their discussions with the Dodgers. And, yes, it does make you a little annoyed that Dempster didn’t just green light the Atlanta deal on Monday.

But at least it’s something. We came into the day without any hope. This is something.

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: it really could be the case that Dempster has been willing to go other places all along, but simply wanted to give the Cubs as much time as possible to extract the best possible offer from the Dodgers before deciding what to do. That stance would be simultaneously beneficial to him in his efforts to get to LA, and harmful to him – on the one hand, it gives the Cubs leverage in discussions with LA, but on the other hand it makes it possible for the Cubs to once again bring him a better offer from another team. Further, if the Dodgers don’t really want Dempster all that much – as has been reported – this “revelation” doesn’t really help bring Dempster to LA at all.

In other words, I’m not so sure this is just a self-serving leak by the Dempster camp.

This doesn’t explain why Dempster apparently initially told the Cubs – and Braves players – that he was willing to to go Atlanta in the Randall Delgado deal, and then changed his mind. Maybe he made a mistake, and realized how badly he wanted to go to LA. Maybe he decided he would only go somewhere else if it was at the last possible minute, and no decent deal was forthcoming from LA. Maybe that’s how this will play out.

For now, it sure would be nice to believe that Dempster simply made a mistake in being overly amenable to an Atlanta trade, changed his mind – temporarily – and then the Braves, understandably, pulled the offer. From there, Dempster has been pushing the Cubs to get a deal done with LA, but, if they can’t, he’ll be willing to go elsewhere. And that’s not just Atlanta, mind you – it could be a number of teams looking for a pitcher.

Maybe I’m just being hopeful.

UPDATE (at 5:18pm CT): Jayson Stark says that a deal between the Cubs and Dodgers isn’t dead, but, from the Dodgers’ perspective, they may be waiting to see if the price on Josh Johnson drops (the price is said to be extreme, by the way). Buster Olney reiterates, though, that things are at a stalemate between the Cubs and Dodgers, with each side knowing full well where the other stands, and neither moving right now.

UPDATE 2 (at 5:27pm CT): Dave Kaplan files a new report, which squares with everything Levine reported above – I suspect the Cubs/Dempster were working hard to get this story out there. Here’s the most important point, which is essentially a restatement of my “hope” from the original post: “Sources also confirmed to me today that Dempster has not told Cubs management that he will only play for the Los Angeles Dodgers. His position appears to be that he will consider any option that sends him to a team with a chance to win a World Series. The sticking point with the original deal with Atlanta was the fact that by making the trade early in the week it eliminated any chance for LA to increase its offer and Dempster wanted time to give the Dodgers a chance to increase their proposal so that he could play out west and with Ted Lilly.” Again, it doesn’t absolve the apparent flip-flop, but it’s a best-case scenario right now. Once again, I want to point out: say what you will about Kap, but I’ve now been told by two sources that Kap’s sources on this the last two days (despite apparent conflicts) must be good ones. Is that meta enough for you? In other words, I trust my sources, and they’re saying Kap knows what he’s talking about right now. So there you go.

UPDATE 3 (at 6:31pm CT): Zack Greinke was just traded to the Angels, which is almost certainly good news for the Cubs. Among other reasons, the Braves (and possibly the Dodgers) were interested in Greinke, so that’s one more option off the table for them. Full reaction and implications to the Greinke deal here.

UPDATE 4 (at 7:16pm CT): A couple Braves’ beat writers have checked in with thoughts on the Greinke deal. Dave O’Brien says the price on starters may have just gone up for the Braves. Mark Bowman says the Braves will have to continue to evaluate their options, including Dempster. He adds, though, that the team is trying to be creative, and might go after Wade Davis from the Rays.

UPDATE 5 (at 7:51pm CT): Jerry Crasnick reports that the Cubs and Dodgers are talking about a Dempster/Josh Lindblom swap, which should trouble you. Lindblom is 25-year-old reliever with decent numbers for the Dodgers this year. But, like, he’s a middle reliever. A good one, maybe, but a middle reliever. Crasnick adds that he doesn’t know what other pieces would be involved in such a deal. Let’s hope the answer is “many much better ones.”

UPDATE 6 (at 8:09pm CT): Phil Rogers talks about how badly the Braves want Ryan Dempster now that Zack Greinke is off the market, which is all well and good, but it doesn’t much matter if Dempster is going to keep waiting on LA, and the Cubs are seriously entertaining the possibility of taking less from LA just to get the deal done. Let’s hope they aren’t, and that Dempster will indeed reconsider.

UPDATE 7 (at 8:12pm CT): You can’t make this stuff up. A “second source” tells Crasnick that Lindblom as part of a package to the Cubs is “completely unfounded.” Dude, ask around before you tweet, maybe?

  • HawkClone

    “The Cubs are offering to absorb all but $2MM of Alfonso Soriano’s contract, Stark writes. The left fielder earns $18MM per season through 2014 and the Cubs might take it all on for the right prospect.”

    • Brett

      Haven’t had a chance to write about that yet, but I really loved seeing it.

      • HawkClone

        Yeah, I figured something was forthcoming from you on that, I was just too excited when I saw it to not share. If true, it seems like that would have to be a recent development, otherwise I have no idea how no one has taken them up on that to this point.

        • Brett

          I had the exact same thought.

  • Brian Peters

    I got news for Dempster…’s too late to save face. Period.

    • spearman


  • Carew

    Im sick of this

    • Steve

      I’m sicker. i just took a dumpster in my pants.

  • MaxM1908

    What’s that saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…”

  • spearman

    Nothing different than what was already said. Doesn’t mean he will accept a trade. He’ll “consider” a trade. He can just sit on it till the other team “moves on”.

  • rcleven

    Demp not feeling the love from the Dodgers?

    • J R

      Lilly may have broke up with him. Who knows at this point. Ridiculous…

      • matt

        They’ve unfriended eachother on facebook.. I don’t believe it until I see it. This whole process has been a joke

  • J R

    Well said Brett. Who really knows… I am ready for it to be over with though. I thought the deadline would be more fun that this.. This blows.

  • BluBlud

    Blah blah blah. Once you burn a bridge, its impossible to walk back across. Even if he does go to ATL, it won’t change my anger towards him. If I’m Chicago, I trade him to Japan.

  • Patrick G

    Also heard Atlanta is cooling off on Greinke and are focusing on bullpen help. If they still wanted Dempster, I’d package him and Russell/Camp/Marmol for Delgado straight up. Even if its more in favor for Atlanta, I’d take the risk.

    • Brad

      throw in Wood!

  • Matt

    I disagree that it makes Dempster look better, even if slightly, and the Dodgers know where he wants to be…so I’m not seeing any leverage to be gained either.

  • Timmy

    I’ve been pretty hard on Dempster this week but I don’t think it’s too late. In the scheme of the ‘old days’ of newspaper reporting not much time has passed, but with the constant barrage of updates these 3 days have seemed like a long haul, especially with an impending deadline.

    Anyway my point is if he agrees and the deal gets done then we can forgive his personal concerns and this lapse. That said, I have no sympathy whatsoever for a multi-millionaire whining that he’ll be forced to pitch for a contender for a few months at the expense of the team he claims loyalty for.

  • Ben in Nebraska

    I’m sure the news that the Dodgers would have rather had Garza must be playing some factor here. Honestly, as Brett pointed out earlier, we need Zach Grienke to head to Texas, the Angels or the White Sux and quickly. Then, the price for Dempster goes back up for Dempster…

    • Brett

      I’m watching the Greinke story with EXTREME interest. You all should be, too. Incredibly important to the Cubs.

  • Evolution

    Remember…you gotta first figure out whether or not the bridge has been completely burned.

    Inside baseball…my guess is that they have a slightly different take on one player’s (or team’s) public posturing.

    Besides…Dempster has a house in Arizona, and a child with health issues…I think it’s reasonable for him to try and get the best situation he possibly can for his family.

    • BluBlud

      Using his child’s sickness as an excuse is even more sickening. I understand he wants great coverage for his kid. I also want the best for mine. The difference between me and him, with his salary level and (probably) insurance package, his child will get the best coverage from the best doctors, whether in ATL, LA or elsewhere.

      • Sosa23

        agree 100 % he really almost blames his bad play on his kid, im sorry but i would leave my child out of the spotlight and let the charity do that side of the work. Not out in the press…

      • Evolution

        I don’t recall that he’s done that…however, unless you are the parent of a special needs kid, it might not be too easy to understand the associated issues.

        • Sosa23

          point taken, but in fact he acutally did at the end of the 2009 or 10 season i do not recall but he openly admitted to going through problems with his child which i understand. But he could have easily just stated i’m having health issues with one of the members of my family and have had a lot on my plate.

          • Evolution

            I appreciate the civil tone, but I do disagree…

            Life happens…we can’t ever truly know what it’s like to walk in another person’s shoes. If someone who has shown a history of decency reveals something of this nature…I’m inclined to give him some room.

            • Sosa23

              yes and i think we are wandering from the real point here people are generally going to be pissed no matter what the reason is, he deterred our chances of helping us out in the future. Everyones really on edge right now if you are a cubs fan. 3 Seasons of low production with little rebuildinh pieces leaves tensions high.

      • Edwin

        Maybe he likes the doctors in Chicago better. Or maybe by staying with the Cubs he gets to see his daughter more often. Either way, I don’t think it’s “sickening” that his daughter’s health is a factor in his decision as to where he wants to go.

        • Sosa23

          Still gets better medcal care then any of us would in the same position anywhere he goes though…

          • Evolution

            There’s more to it than that…

    • rcleven

      The point is Demp can no longer pitch for the Cubs in Wrigley. The fans will boo the hell out him.
      Got to believe the door is still open in Atlanta. No body as cheap or as good as Demp to make that last push unless they are willing to accept Shields.
      Haven’t heard much what the Brewers want for Greinke but it has to be an arm and leg. Miami asking for 3 top prospects for Johnson.
      If Demp is true to his word this still can get done.

  • EQ76

    Maybe he just wants options to choose from.. so Theo/Jed should say “here’s your choices, go to ATL or we’ll pitch you 9 innings every start from here on out this year, and you’ll be starting every other game for us”

    • Edwin

      Wouldn’t it be tough to sign free agents going forward?

  • Other other JP

    He’s trying to save face since he’s stuck in Chicago now for the unforeseeable future. I don’t know about him being the “hammer” but he’s definitely a TOOL

  • Kevin


  • anotherjp

    Other than Wandy Rodriguez, all other pitchers are still available and Dempster is the cheapest option going. If nobody pulls the trigger on a trade until next week, I think the Cubs will still get a good return for Dempster and he’ll prolly accept a trade whether it’s the Braves, Angels, Rangers, Washington, or Dodgers. None of these teams want anything other than a cheap rental for this year.

  • Leo L

    Sounds like a leak to me. trying to get some leverage for the cubs Who knows what happened but i see it as he said he would go anywhere to help the cubs bargaining but really did have a list. was really excited about dodgers but would consider other options. would have considered braves if he had no other choice. Leak ruined his plans to stall braves and give dodgers more time to reconsider. Now braves feel like he doesnet want to be there. dodgers now know they have leverage. Cubs not wanting to settle. Dempster trying to get some leverage to make LA possible wiht this leak. But nothing really has changed. Hopefully a third team comes into the picture because as the trade dealine gets closer the braves gain leverage. Also hopefully cubs stick to thier guns and Dempster realizes he cant go to dodgers (assuming dodgers dont change thier mind). I dont think dempster can stay in chicago.

  • cking

    Hey Brett just read that Atlanta has moved on from rotation to bullpen and bench help .Considering the plethora of those guys we have any chance that we could sweeten the pot and bring Delgado back to the table for Dempster with either Baker Johnson or Camp? If Demp is really willing to accept.

    • Brett

      I wouldn’t be too worried about the Braves moving on from the rotation – it’s pretty much a lock that they’re going to want to add a starter no matter what happens. They might not be desperate enough to come crawling back to the Cubs, but they still want a starter. Can’t trust Ben Sheets.

  • Jared

    Right…”I dont have to go to the Dodgers, I would also be willing to go to the NL club that plays in LA, see guys…Im totally flexible!!!”

  • leroy k.

    unrelated Matt Sczcur got promoted to Tennessee.

  • Sosa23

    unrelated jim hendry openly admits to cursing the cubs.

    • spearman

      Then Theo, Jed, & JIm may have somthing in common.

      • Sosa23

        difference being theo actually broke a curse

  • Jason “Thundermug”

    I’m so sick of Cub fans who are going out of there way and making fun of Dempster. He is a human being things have gotten complicated with him the past week but there is more to think about than baseball. He has earned 10/5 rights bottomline. Yes I would like to see the Cubs get something for him but it’s not the end of the world like alot of you seem it to be right now. Geez alot of you are acting like he deserves to be in a jail cell with Jerry Sandusky and the guy who did that shooting in Colorado

    • MaxM1908

      Oh, come on. It is totally expected that Cubs fans would be cursing Dempster right now. He really screwed up. Big time. He said one thing, and then took it back. That made a mess of the entire situation. Now, he’s backtracking again. That wishy-washiness deserves vitriol comments from the fanbase. It’s not the end of the world, but it sure is a pile of dung. We have every right to be angry with him.

      • Sosa23


  • Oswego chris

    Is it too simple that Dempster just wanted to milk his time in Chicago…one more weekend at home….

  • Sosa23

    thundermug the dempster apologist in cheif

  • calicubsfan007

    “Latest update has the Braves cooling on Grienke and starting to go back to Dempster.”
    “There is a slim chance the Cubs stand pat at the deadline. ”
    Pretty good news, in my opinion.

    • Sosa23


    • Gcheezpuff

      I wouldn’t put a whole lot of stock into that site… From what I have seen the dude running it pretty much reposts what is on bleacher nation and what some of the other media speculation is and claims sources told him. You can always tell when he just makes something up because it is always completely far fetched. I have tweeted him on why trades he has proposed wouldn’t work and he has retweeted as his own thought…. Maybe he considers me a source too. Mostly he just rehashes what you can find here. I’d stick with what Brett tells you here, this site is the most credible and entertaining by leaps and bounds.

  • Sosascorkedbat

    I feel like my head just keeps spinning round and round like the beetlegeuse movie and i really hope this ship dempster out if chicago because of so much respect he has lost from the cubs fans, and i really can’t wait until the day where i no longer have to hear that name again i have heard it enough this week to last me a lifetime.

    • Sosa23

      haha couldnt agree more

    • calicubsfan007

      “Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!!!” (=

  • calicubsfan007

    And :”A source recently told me the big hold up on moves is the Cubs and several other teams are trying to complete a multi-team trade that would involve several big pieces from the Cubs going elsewhere. This is something David Kaplan suggested on twitter yesterday as well. ”

  • BD

    “Yes, this “revelation” certainly makes Dempster look slightly better…”

    I’m not sure how it makes him look better. Doesn’t it just prove that he screwed up the trade with Atlanta?

    • Brett

      You don’t think he looks “slightly” better if he’s willing to accept a trade elsewhere than LA, rather than holding only to going to LA?

      • BD

        IMO- no, it doesn’t. It would’ve helped if he had been willing on Monday when the Cubs had a great offer in place.

        However, it might make him slightly more valuable on the market if the Cubs can negotiate with more than 1 team.

      • MaxM1908

        I think it helps to calm us down, but I don’t think it excuses his prior behavior. Obviously, we’ll all be happier if he’s eventually traded for decent pieces, but all he’s accomplishing is helping to clean up the mess he created.

      • Cheryl

        It’s a little late. It probably helps a little but why should Theo and Company trust him? They’ve already been burned once. He probably realizes he went too far and is trying to find a way out of the corner he painted himself into.

      • MaxM1908

        Also, we can’t forget the opportunity costs that have been expended because of the situation he created. The FO has probably been almost solely focused on cleaning up the Dempster mess for the past five days. If a trade was finalized on Monday, imagine how much farther along they’d be with teams in negotiations for the other pieces on the team. They must have expended an unimaginable amount of time and energy on JUST Dempster, and that no doubt has weakened our trade deadline performance no matter what eventually becomes of Dempster or whatever he now says he’s willing to do.

        • Edwin

          Why should Dempster (or any player) care about the opportunity cost for a team?

          • MaxM1908

            He doesn’t have to, but we should as fans. And, it should completely color or sentiments toward him. It’s just further evidence of how much he screwed us regardless of what happens these next few days.

  • Cubs1967

    Off the topic of bashing 2faced Demp; looks like I was right on Marshall trade; wood sucks. 4/5 starter at best!

    • Fishin Phil

      Yup, cause at age 25 everyone is as good as they will ever get.

    • rcleven

      Kid has had 4 to 5 crappy starts. He also has 9 quality starts. I got to say the jury is still out.