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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?

  • Dan

    Brett,
    Are you ever planning on creating an App for people to use on their mobile devices?
    That would great if you would at least consider it in the future. /:
    (Don’t know how realistic it is though)

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      There are quite a few obstacles on the way there, but it is something that has been looked at.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yup, definitely on the list. But I’d be lying if I said it was a top priority before the late season or offseason.

  • quintz

    It’s kinda funny to read the fan comments on the Braves blog sites. The overwhelming majority strongly disliked the original Dempster/Delgado swap. While and on here Theo was the toast of the town for pulling it off……..until Dempster went all “Sybil” on us. I don’t need to tell you what they think of revisiting the deal.

    Hopefully Wren doesn’t share their sentiment and he’ll still ship him if Dempster changes his mind.

  • TKO

    Can I be a source? I’ll make stuff up and tell it to you so you can report it.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thankfully I don’t report things like that.

  • Atfinch

    Anyone see Chris Volstad’s line tonight?

    8IP, 4 hits, 3 walks, 5K’s and ZERO runs!!

    Maybe he’ll fit into the rotation quite nicely after all when Dempster is relegated to long relief after the trade deadline??? I kid, I kid. Maybe.

    • Professional_High_A

      I was at the game, and while volstad looked good he didn’t dominate. Don’t give the redhawks lineup more credit than they are due.

  • Wester

    As much as everyone’s been talking about Dempster, I think more of what’s going on than his decision is Hoystein really just sticking to their guns. There aren’t just two teams in baseball that could use a quali starter…and the only deal that wasn’t worth waiting til the last moment in their mind was the Delgado deal…that was an obvious one. Here’s to hoping I’m right and their patience nets us a Greene like haul for someone.

    • Wester

      Should read greinke…stupid ipad

  • http://bleachernation.com IAcubbyfan

    I would also like a mobile friendly website. I know its weird but my wife and I don’t have internet in our home only on our phones. I know its not an easy task, but maybe hopefully in the future it could be made possible. GO CUBBIES!!

    • Dob2812

      You’re possibly just using the wrong browser. The site is very mobile friendly for me using Opera.

  • Jonski

    Rick Sutcliffe on baseball tonight saying he talked to Dempster .He makes Brave deal sound dead says Nationals might be involved and I don’t even no what kinda pitching prospects they have if this is a legit trade rumor.

    • Atfinch

      Thnka a lot. Now I have to go to baseball reference to check on Washington’s minor league players’ stats for no reason. Lol.

      • Jonski

        Well then you probaly don’t want to hear Buster Olney saying the Cubs might let him pitch out the year and the Cubs still holding out hope for Dempster to take trade to Braves. Two different stories on the same show …how stupid is that shit.

  • LouCub

    Sutcliffe should have bitch slapped Dumpster!!!!

  • Jason “Thundermug”

    I’m curious why the Cubs can’t trade Maholm to the Braves in order to get Delgado.

    Maholm has pitched pretty well lately

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      If they traded Maholm for Delgado, Wren would be lynched within a hour by Braves fans.

      • Jonski

        What about Maholm,,Dempster and Lake for tearhan and Delgado or hell even Brett Jackson .Bourn is a free agent and for the Cubs they get 2 pitchers Put Delgado in the rotation send the other 1 down to AAA call up Rusin and keep Garza.

        • gutshot5820

          Personally, I’d like to keep Maholm and extend him next year if he continues to pitch well. He is young enough to definitely be a part of the future.

          • Jonski

            Well sometimes you have to lose a few good ones to get what you want . That isn’t even a realistic trade the Cubs wouldn’t eat that much money.I just no the Braves have a lot of god pieces that are f/a next year and they are cheap now.

            • Jonski

              good pieces sorry .

              • Dob2812

                It’s not a great idea to trade a guy six months after he signed a two year deal. I know Maholm was injured and the Cubs took a small amount of risk with him but Thoyer surely recognise that they’re going to have to sign some free agents this winter again and the winter after that and so on. Baseball players share agents. They talk to each other. Mahogany can be traded next summer months or else he can continue to soak up innings first what will be an otherwise bad team. I see little advantage too trading him now unless a massive offer comes in. Which it won’t.

                • nkniacc13

                  he signed a 1 year deal with aa club option

  • Nick

    Baez just hit a game winning homerun

    • Atfinch

      Time to move him up. I know there’s other SS above him but the kid is just too talented!

  • BeyondFukudome

    So Dumpster thinks that his divine 10-5 rights entitle him to determine the timing of everything the Cubs can do for the entire trading period, eh? Who died and made him the f-ing general manager? He can take his stinking 10-5 rights and cram them up his hairy red rectum.

    • Ree

      It seems like 10-5 rights give the right to be a real dickhead. Cubs always get these guys…. D. Lee comes to mind. If being in Chicago wasn’t so awesome it would be easier probably.

  • IACub

    Can somebody please fix my Twitter account, it still hasn’t said anything about Dempster being traded for prospects…I’m so tired of all the speculating

  • Ogyu

    I fail to see how it is that the Angels paying a lot for Greinke makes it more likely that other teams will be willing to pay a lot for Garza or Dempster. Just because some guy who’s richer than me is willing to pay $200,000 for a Ferrari, it doesn’t mean that I’m more likely to pay $75,000, rather than $50,000, for a Volvo.

    • Jonski

      I don’t see that either,but I could however see us adding a bench player or 1 of our prospects for better prospects.

    • Gcheezpuff

      It’s setting the market for players of the same position… Sure Greinke is better, but him going for such a high price gives the Cubs a favorable comparable when trying to trade Dempster or Garza…. That is if they can even be traded at this point. It has nothing to do with how much money you have, it has to do more with what a certain commodity is valued at in the market.

    • mark

      Not really comparable, there’s a limited number of pitchers, and when one of the better ones are gone, that means the price of others go up. Supply and demand. Doesn’t work in your scenario unless there’s a Ferrari, a Volvo, and a couple cavaliers left on earth and 20 people that need cars. Then you pay more than it’s worth.

      • Ogyu

        It’s a tiny market and as soon as one pitcher is removed from the stock available for sale one potential buyer also leaves the market so, while it’s true that the remaining buyers compete for a smaller pool of pitchers, it’s also true that there are now fewer buyers competing for those pitchers. Also, the first buyer may have paid a high price because they did not have a decent stock of potential substitute players, whereas the remaining buyers might have a better stock of substitutes and hence less incentive to bid as high. In any event, the laws of supply and demand only enable you to accurately predict prices in a large market with idealized competitive conditions, which the baseball trade market certainly is not.

        • Scotti

          The deadline market has never, literally never, been this big.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That analogy doesn’t work, if you’re implying that the rich guy overpaid for the Ferrari simply because he’s rich.

      Fortunately, the baseball trade market is more akin to an actual capitalistic market, where the prices are determined by supply and demand, and by precedent. Greinke is much better than Dempster, but the value of the former will absolutely have an impact on the reasonable asking price for the latter. If you fail to see that, well, then, you fail to see that.

  • gutshot5820

    How come the Brewers can get a trade done in a day and the Cubs who have been in sell mode for weeks can;t get ONE TRADE done? Trade somebody, anybody, a Reed, a Baker, Soto, Marmol…. Anyone!!!

    • Internet Random

      I think Greike’s rights to block a trade were limited. Also, Dempster is a flake.

  • J R

    I don’t care if Dempster is traded for Babe Ruth in his prime. Demp is still a turd for all of this drama..

  • AJ

    Its Ryan Dempster bobble head doll night on Wednesday. To make thing authentic the doll comes with two faces.

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    •Brewers GM Doug Melvin told reporters (including Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) that the Rangers were the other finalist for Greinke’s services. The Rangers offered Leury Garcia, Chad Bell and Justin Grimm to the Brewers.

    Wow. That is a lot but that package intrigues me. The Rangers wouldn’t offer one of their top 4 prospects for Grienke after going to two straight world series and being one strike from winning it all. Knowing Theo and Jed they would demand at least one of the top 4 (Profar, Olt, Buckel, Perez) for Garza… Dealing with the Rangers may be unrealistic at this point.

    • djriz

      That would be REALLY inappropriate for a GM to talk about other teams players. If I was Texas, I would be pissed.

    • nkniacc13

      the difference is that Garza is under control next year and Grenkie isn’t

  • John (ibcnu2222)

    We are getting our non-stop blog-o-thon early. LOL

    • Vladimir

      it’s going to be like this until tuesday (just the sheer # of fan posts), and probably alot longer if we get some good guys back.

  • Chris

    Brett,

    This trade deadline season is near inanity from a Cubs perspective…

    • Vladimir

      I can attest to this. My nerves are shot, I cussed out my uncle on the phone because I’m so on edge, and just a tad sick.

  • Gcheezpuff

    It’s setting the market for players of the same position… Sure Greinke is better, but him going for such a high price gives the Cubs a favorable comparable when trying to trade Dempster or Garza…. That is if they can even be traded at this point. It has nothing to do with how much money you have, it has to do more with what a certain commodity is valued at in the market.

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    Greinke is a rent a player with a higher price. His value is higher than Dempster. If and it’s a big Dempster gets or agrees to a reasonable in length maybe the value gets a little closer for Dempster. But is a different story. He has another year on his deal and his value according to all the experts was higher than Greinke’s. The only issue is the elbow, and if the test were as the Cubs present and we have no reason to doubt that, I think Garza even now brings a top prospect, a second prospect of similar quality to the best of the Texas offer their 5-10 type and probably another top 25 of someone’s system. For example I see no way that the Cubs would trade Garza for less than someone like Miller or Lee and then at least a couple of top 20 from either the Cards or Dodgers, just won’t happen. Garza’s value today is only tied to the medical report, beyond that he’s the most valuable pitcher on the market. And he’s got the rest of this season if he’s whole and next, most of the other guys like Greinke don’t.

  • leroy k.

    Wait you want me to go to Atlanta??? Isn’t it hot there? Um…I’ll go, no I won’t, yes I will, uh…no I won’t…um….

  • http://bleachernation Dean

    Brett,
    Baez keeps raking. So once the trade deadline trades are completed and the Cubs have moved Lake, Baez gets moved up? You have to figure the way Lake is playing lately that there’s a real good chance he’s a name that’s included to get a trade done. Having said that, I don’t think anyone in the organization should be blocking this kid though. It’ll be interesting to see the way things shake out.

    • nkniacc13

      I think its more likely to see him traded in the offseason than at the deadline

  • thejackal

    us my opinion but i dnt think maholm wants to be here n would be happy to be traded. i could be off the markhere

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      He’s said things that made me think that, and then other things that make me think no. Hard to read.

  • quintz

    What kind of value does Wade Davis hold? Young, very cost controlled with decent stuff. I realize he he’[s been pitching out of the pen, but it’s assumed if he is moved he will either be stretched out this season or at worst be in the pen this season and then go back to starting.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’ve never seen the allure. He’s been great out of the pen this year, but as a starter the last two years, he had an FIP over 4.60. He’s got value, but I suspect there are teams out there that aren’t confident he’s an upgrade in their rotation (and the Rays are probably going to demand “starter” trade price, not “reliever” trade price).

      • J R

        Brett, what is going on with the Rays. They have a very legit shot at making the playoffs, but seem only worried about selling. A guy like Sori with the Cubs paying for everything makes a ton of sense for them. But they have no interest? That team would be very difficult to follow..

  • Jonski

    Good morning Brett I admitted to my mistake on the Grienke trade last night as far as the prospects are concerned.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      And, no prob – it all moves fast.

  • Brett

    Whatever…. Your an idiot

    • Tim

      everybody knows you arent the real brett. his picture isnt there

    • Jonski

      ok?

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Yeah, that wasn’t me. Just, FYI. My comments will have my picture next to them (also I know the difference between “you’re” and “your”).

  • Brett

    Ok.

  • Brett

    Everyone knows u aren’t the real Tim.

  • MichiganGoat

    Um is it safe to take my head out of the sand?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      In the mornings, yes.

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