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?

  • steve

    I think its obvious to everyone that Dempster to the dodgers isn’t gonna pan out. So they put this story out there to give atlanta another shot at making the deal. Like someone said give them a guy like Reed or Russell to sweeten the pot, & get more out of the deal. Then move on to Garza. While he is having the forearm thing going on, I think with a team looking at him, they’d have their medical staff look at him before hand. If they ok him, then we should still get a good return for him. Follow that up by moving Marmol to the giants for whatever we can get, Soriano can be moved, I don’t know about the return though, LaHair as well. I think Maholm can be moved as well, & bring a surprising return. A lot hangs on Dempster, but shouldn’t hinder other moves, so get to it already

    • Danny B

      Do you guys think that the current “buyer’s market” is just incredibly strong? I feel like it’s responsible for a lot of the drama in the Dempster saga. In short, it seems that every buying team has multiple options for elite talent, namely in trading for SP. We all thought Dempster would be the first domino to fall in this fiasco. All of the buyers know it’s going to take their top prospect(s) to get that one guy (latest: Greinke) so they’re holding on tight to their chips as other teams ante up.

      With all of the names that have already moved, I think we’re in line to see a flurry of moves at this year’s deadline. And I still think Demp is one of them, and the market is strong enough that the return will be worthy. Randall Delgado would be great but he’s not worth throwing tantrums over. And if we hold on to Garza till the offseason, and then could net a Latos-esque return, or even half that, well that’d be swell.

  • Atfinch

    Anyone see on Twiiter that a possible Dempster for Josh Lindblom is in the works? Let me be first to say yuck.

    • Atfinch

      Ok, Brett retweeted it. Lol.

    • quintz

      Wow, talk about losing leverage. Lindblom not only is projecting out as a reliever he actually prefers pitching out of the pen to starting and he doesn’t have closer stuff.

  • 34275

    Dempster for Lindblom? Christ.

    Can we just make it official and say F**K YOU to Dempster?

  • Doug

    And here’s where my fears of making a deal just to make a deal will unfortunately soon be realized.

  • dudeski

    please not lindblom

  • BD

    UPDATE 5: Really?

  • Doug

    I can’t take anymore of this tonight. I guess I’ll have to go watch the opening ceremonies with my wife. Oh joy!!

  • MaxM1908

    Maybe it’s a part of a three team deal with the mystery team sending us their top SP prospect.

  • quintz

    If this is the market for Dempster then the Cubs might actually have to decide if this is any better than a supp. pick.

  • Vinestal

    lol why in the hell would they trade Dempster for a 25 year old reliever? Pointless trade. That’s defiantly caving.

    • ProfessorCub

      How do you defiantly cave? (just messin’ – but that is a funny thought)

      • BD

        “Alright fine- we give up!”


      • FromFenwayPahk

        I think that’s why Will Hunting went with the wrentch.

  • Gcheezpuff

    The Josh Lindblom news is just proof Demp isn’t really willing to consider other options. What a joke after the haul the Brewers just got. I tried to give Demp the benefit of the doubt, but come on!!! Theo should be putting the Brave, Dodgers, and Rangers in an all out cage match to the Death right now (winner picks pitcher they want), but instead he has to deal with an injury and a cry baby. WTF?!?!?

  • Fastball

    Come On Theo Come On Theo Come On Theo we are just getting to the rop of stretch. We are 4 horses back and its just about time to start making our move.

  • Chris

    Linblom HAS to be the thow-in, right? How could he be the focus? Awful turn of events.

  • Vinestal

    Jerry Crasnick


    A second source says Lindblom as part of package to #Cubs is “completely unfounded.” So nothing new with Dempster.

    • dudeski

      excuse me while i do a celebratory dance

    • Chris

      This is really becoming “As The Cubs Turn”…

  • daveyrosello

    This just in–Cubs trade Dempster to LA for a bag of In-N-Out burgers and a dozen milkshakes. Theo Epstein said to be holding out for fries to be included, but Dodgers won’t budge, burgers and shakes only.

    • Nick

      How about a milkshake for all the cub fans that had to endure this madness?

      • BD


      • calicubsfan007


    • cubs4life

      Wow, in-n-out was the best they could do… Wow Yuck, I wouldn’t even feed those things to my dog.

  • ColoCubFan

    MLB fantasy news has Lindblom possible being sent down to AAA when Lilly gets back on Saturday. This is what Dempster considers a good deal for the Cubs?!?!? What a horse’s patoot!

  • http://It'searly Mike F


    Crasnick is now refuting his own story and saying the Lindstrom report he is being told by another source is completely unfounded. In other words the Cubs are telling him Ned’s telling a lie and it won’t stop Atlanta….

  • Spencer

    With every story line that comes out that ends up changing in 20 minutes, and then back again, and then to something totally different i’m becoming less and less interested in what happens.

  • MaxM1908

    I’m going to predict Dempster to the Braves for Delgado and a high upside A ball SP. It will be just fitting that all this drama was all for naught. Demp can act like he did the fans a favor and really WAS just mulling things over. But, I think he comes to the realization that the Dodgers really don’t want him all that much, and it IS only for 2 months. It has to be a blow to his pride that Greinke goes for THREE top ten prospects for two months and he can’t get the Dodgers to give a up a single top ten prospect for him. He accepts an Atlanta re-offer hot on the tail of the Greinke trade and saves SOME face.

    • quintz

      I’d be overjoyed if the Braves were dumb enough to offer Delgado…..again. The game has changed. Dempster took a large chunk out of his value when he all but destroyed the Cubs leverage.. I’d be pissed if I were a Braves fan and they didn’t squeeze the hell out of the Cubs the second time around.

      • someday…2015?

        With Chipper being in his last year and the Braves being desperate to win now I wouldn’t be surprised if Wren did the trade again.

      • Toby

        I’d agree with you, but Greinke set the market value for rental pitchers. Braves might view, if they agree to engage Chicago again for Dempster, that offering Delgado and a B+ prospect would be the best deal without giving up too much.

        • quintz

          I’d be elated if the Cubs can still land Delgado, but this is not the same market as two days ago. Atlanta is not dumb. Dempster rebuffed them once and sandbagged his own stock multiple times in less than 48 hours.

          If the tables were turned I’d want the Cubs to yank that original deal off the table and put the screws to the Braves.

          • Toby

            Demp might have rebuffed them, but they saw what Angels had to give up for Greinke. Delgado and a B+ prospect might be the cheapest deal out there for a starter.

            • quintz

              We all know (including the Braves) the Cubs would do a straight swap for Delgado. Why would they toss in another player? To be nice?

          • MaxM1908

            I really think that the Greinke trade will force them to cough up the same or more. They can’t afford the other pitchers on the market, and they really do want Dempster. If the Cubs are able to engage even one other non-Dodgers team in talks under the guise of Dempster’s new “I’ll go to any contender” policy, than they’ll be motivated to offer the same deal. And, I think Demp, now knowing he’s been spurned by L.A. has no choice but to accept a trade there.

            • Jonski

              I so hope your right Max…I am bummed about Delgado and could you imagine if they got that deal and decided to keep Garza,Garza,Samradzja Delgado Woods ??? Find a 5 rebuild the bullpen and keep adding control able players to Rizzo and Castro with the hope of developing another stud or 2 like a Solar/Vitters/Lake/Almora Baez if you get 2 of them to hit with Castro and Rizzo your cooking with grease and thus might be a short rebuild after all.My guess is 2014 ,but we will see.

    • Kevin

      Well said!

  • Gcheezpuff

    Thank God that rumor was BS!!!!!

  • John

    Ned Colletti is a moron, the guy was able to rip off Jim Hendry in that horrible Blake Dewitt trade and now he thinks he can do the same with Theo and Jed. Guy is crazy!

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    I agree and then the pressure will mount on Ned and his stash to follow threw and beg the Cubs for Garza. It’s really looking like Atlanta.

  • IACub

    Max…I pray you are correct in your thinking

  • gutshot5820

    Please let this end!!!

  • czechxican

    For the love of all that is holy, somebody please make Demp flip the switch to Atlanta

  • Dingo

    Love Demp, but fark off already champ.

    • Evolution

      If you were any prettier, I’d lick your underness clean…

      That said…he doesn’t need to fark.

      • Dingo

        My taint is pretty and clean

    • Brett

      Hey, it’s the Auzzie!

  • G_Racin

    Books will be written about the Dempster Trade Deadline Saga… wait a minute… books have been written about the Dempster Trade Deadline Saga. Bind it up Brett… BTW: How does it end?

    • calicubsfan007

      The book ends with a large meteor crashing towards Earth, I don’t know.

  • steve

    If Ned was trying to make up a package around Lindlom, its only cause he feels like he holds the edge in this negotiation, thanks to Dempster. Thank you Ryan, we couldn’t get screwed in this without you. Anyway, I have been thinking & I think tomorrow or the following day a Dempster deal will get done, probably to atlanta now that the dodgers have made it obvious they don’t really want him, & grienke being moved puts pressure on atlanta to move back to this deal. I’m hoping the rangers get in on this, but they likely would make a move on Garza providing we can show medical proof he’s fine, which I think we will be able to do. The question is what would texas give up to get Garza?

  • steve

    I also think texas may be desperate enough to go after Garza now due to the injury issues they have in the rotation, & the fact that the angels added Greinke. I would love to see Olt coming to chicago, but its a question of how desperate teexas is to go all out for a pitcher & a shot at going to the series again. One more thing, if the dodgers call for any of our other players, id hang the phone up on his sorry ass.

    • someday…2015?

      I’d take Perez, Buckel, and a PTBNL if the Rangers love Olt so much. I’d rather do Olt and Buckel for Garza, that would be BIG.

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    It comes down to the tests, if the test are the Cubs present which is always subject in trades to confirmation he’s a very tradable commodity. As to Dempster, sorry Atlanta could get a rats ass less about what Dempster did or didn’t do earlier this week. If Dempster agrees to go there and Atlanta can’t get a better starter for the same or less, they’ll do that deal. And one more thing, everyone wants an instant answer, I get that, but leverage shifts with each passing hour, especially in terms of sneaking people through. There is no sneaking Demoster through. If someone wants to trade for Dempster other competitors will put a claim in just to kill the deal. Similarly, if they put Garza on waivers, whether or in a solo there would be, oh 28 or 29 teams clamoring to claim him so the Cubs would just be forced to pull him back.

    I don’t like it, but on the contrary time doesn’t lower the value, it just increases it as we approach the deadline as most of these needs teams can’t fill them. Theo is doing a good job and I understand we want it now.