Lukewarm Stove: Dempster, Dempster, (Dempster), Soriano, Lee, Maholm, More

Whew, the rumors, if not the deals, are flying quickly …

  • Cliff Lee’s sudden availability on the trade market has thrown all of the prognosticators into a tizzy. He’s set to make $25 million in each season from 2013 to 2015, and has a $27.5 million vesting option for 2016, so the market for him is probably somewhat small (unless the Phillies want to eat a huuuuge amount of money, and maybe they will for a prospect haul). He’s also got a partial no-trade clause, which could impact things. The team you hear the most is the Rangers, but there is also some talk about the Dodgers, who’ve got money to burn. A deal to the Rangers probably wouldn’t impact the Cubs too much, as they still don’t seem a legitimate suitor for any of Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, or Paul Maholm. The Dodgers, on the other hand, could be problematic. If they get Lee, you can be certain that their already tepid interest in Ryan Dempster would wilt completely. The same would be true of Matt Garza. We should be watching this very closely. Jon Heyman says, for what it’s worth, that the Dodgers aren’t currently in on Lee, and the Rangers are a longshot due to the money.
  • Speaking of Dempster, Jayson Stark suggests that the Nationals – a team we heard connected to Dempster a few weeks ago – could be lying in the weeds, waiting to see if Dempster falls into their lap. They would really like to acquire a veteran to bolster their rotation when Stephen Strasburg is shut down, and Dempster certainly fits the bill. Thing is, no one knows if Dempster would be willing to go to DC.
  • More Dempster. I offer this not because Bowden has always been particularly reliable (the issue with Bowden is that most of his sources are GMs, who notoriously use the media for their own ends), but because it’s the first time a media member has said this. From Jim Bowden: “If the Cubs call the Braves with the same Dempster deal and have a signed document from Dempster approving it….it could still get done.”
  • And still more Dempster. Scott Miller reports that Cubs/Dodgers talks are “gaining momentum.” It seems an odd phrasing, given that both sides seem to know where the other stands – unless the Dodgers are starting to talk about the Zach Lee’s, Allen Webster’s, or Chris Reed’s of the system, I’m not sure I see how there could be momentum. Maybe they are. And/or maybe the Alfonso Soriano angle is really heating up and helping things.
  • Then again, Ken Rosenthal says the Cubs are “bending over backwards” to try and get Dempster to the Dodgers, which suggests they’re the ones breaking, not the Dodgers. Somehow I doubt the Cubs would do that as a courtesy to the Dodgers or to Dempster. So, if the Cubs bend, it’s because they know Dempster won’t really go anywhere but LA.
  • Buster Olney was on SportsCenter this morning saying that both Josh Johnson and James Shields are likely not to be traded by tomorrow. Obviously that would be very good news for the Cubs. Josh Beckett’s name comes up from time to time, but he’s got a big contract, has attitude issues, has 10/5 rights, has had inconsistent performance, and has a GM who’s said repeatedly that he’s not going to be traded.
  • Carrie Muskat, not usually a rumor monger, says the Pirates have been keeping tabs on Reed Johnson and David DeJesus. Hmm.
  • Jeff Samardzija says he hopes Ryan Dempster isn’t traded, and he doesn’t know much about Dempster’s thinking. No surprises.
  • The Orioles, who won’t deal top prospects Dillon Bundy or Manny Machado, and who don’t have much beyond that, are looking at second tier starting pitchers like Joe Blanton. To which I say: why not consider Paul Maholm?
  • The Giants are looking for an outfield bat, but can’t take on a lot of salary. If, as we’ve heard, the Cubs are willing to eat almost all of Alfonso Soriano’s salary in exchange for a nice prospect, it kind of seems like there’s a fit there.

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

100 responses to “Lukewarm Stove: Dempster, Dempster, (Dempster), Soriano, Lee, Maholm, More”

  1. dudeski

    i will lose a lot of respect for theo and jed if they fold. if you don’t get anything worthwhile i say keep him and roll the dice on the qualifying offer

    1. Max Miller

      I, for one, will play may part to make sure Dempster NEVER even considers staying in Chicago.

      1. Cub Style

        You’re going to torment Dempster? How classy.

        1. Cyranojoe


          1. Max Miller

            Proudly. I have no respect for prima donna’s who objectively hurt the team.

            1. Cyranojoe

              I didn’t say you gotta like him, but tormenting? That’s classy. And attractive in a fanbase, too.

              There’s a middle ground between accepting miserable performance and making threats over humans’ imperfect actions. I’d like to think that in-between is the space we’re talking about, but then I’m not so sure when you say “proudly” in response to “so you’ll torment the guy?”

              1. Max Miller

                First off, I never said the word “torment” you and Lou started fondly using that term. I said I would do my part to make sure he doesn’t want to sign for a qualifying offer. Does that probably mean booing when he starts? Absolutely. But, I think I’m more than justified in booing a player who put the team in a worse off position for really no justifiable reason other than personal preference. He wants to act like a Diva, he can be treated like one.

                1. notcubbiewubbie

                  watch out you will upset dumpsters fan club.

                2. Cyranojoe

                  Oh, if all you’re gonna do is boo, then sure, boo away. Still doesn’t categorize as classy, but I can’t really blame you, way things have gone. And yes, we used “torment”, but you didn’t disagree. Had you said “no I’m not going to stalk him you numbnuts” then I at least would have shrugged and walked away.

                  That said, I think you’re silly if you think a bunch of boos will drive a guy like Dempster to leave $12+ mill on the table. What *will* make him leave is a much better offer at another team.

      2. Lou

        I just wonder with your attitude how long you’ll be behind the long rebuilding plans of the Cubs.

        1. dudeski

          what does not wanting theo to pull a jim hendry have to do with rebuilding?

          1. Lou

            What does this comment have to do with tormenting a player?

            1. dudeski

              oh, whoops. sorry

              1. Lou

                Hmmm…troll much?

                1. Ogyu

                  Overreact much?

                  1. Lou

                    Look, I’m not the one who’s into tormenting a player. So to speak bluntly…ummm….no!

                  2. Cyranojoe

                    Deep breaths. Deep breaths.

        2. Max Miller

          Lou, your point is a complete non-sequitur. I cheer for a team. You appear to cheer for an individual. When an individual hurts my team, I will no longer be a fan of him no matter what he’s done in the past. Based on your comments on here, I’m not so sure you won’t become a Dodgers fan when Dempster gets traded there for a 2008 NLDS T-shirt.

          1. Lou

            Just because I support a guy for exercising his 10-5 rights in light of what appears to be a rough family situation doesn’t mean a support one individual. So, now I’m a Dodgers fan. Make you can join me…it’ll give you another vehicle through which to torment the man. As others have posted here earlier, how classy, right?

            1. Max Miller

              You know what’s classy? Telling the fans you want to help the team and then completely destroying any and all leverage the team may have in trading you. Telling your bosses that you’ll accept A or B, and then changing your mind when the time comes to live up to your word. You may get all warm and fuzzy when a multi-millionaire starts complaining about how tough his life is to have to professionally play a child’s game, but I don’t have much sympathy. And, let’s never forget this horrible, awful trade that he would have had to accept? Two months on a playoff contending team. The team wasn’t asking the world from Demp. He was just too selfish to acquiesce.

              1. Lou

                So, it’s the end of the world isn’t it? Wow.

                1. Max Miller

                  Lou, we’re done. Address the substance of what I said or move on.

                  1. Lou

                    Then why do you continue to make comments to others’ post if were done? Again, it’s one player’s actions with the Cubs caught in a bad situation regardless (the Garza injury, for example). Yep, exactly, move on.

                  2. Cub Style

                    Why are you the angry one? All I see are a bunch of straw man arguments from you.

            2. EvenBetterNewsV2.0

              Yeah, the 10/5 rule isn’t Dempsters fault, it is on Curt Flood. That said, I am not upset he did/didn’t envoke it, he didn’t stay true to his word. He had made both parties aware of his intention to accept a deal to the Braves. If he was up front, and said the only team I will accept a trade from is the Dodgers, we would have had no leverage, and he would have 0 chance of being traded. But, atleast he would have been honest. You can tell by our FO response to everything they were caught of guard. I don’t care to boo him, but he went down quite a few notches because of it.

    2. Ben

      Not only that, but if you fold now, future trading partners will remember it. I’d rather not get anything for Dempster if it means future returns could be higher. Plus, I don’t really like Dempster holding the Cubs over a barrel here. If we don’t get a decent return, then I’d rather keep him than letting him get his way.

  2. CubFan Paul

    I still see Garza going to the Rangers..

    1. ncsujuri

      As long as Olt is coming back, I’d be all for that!

      1. EQ76

        yeah, we really “Olt to” make that trade :)

  3. BD

    “So, if the Cubs bend, it’s because they know Dempster won’t really go anywhere but LA.”

    We think… or che could change his mind again. We’re really not sure.

  4. rbreeze

    I hope we don’t bend over for the Dodgers and Dempster as well. Hold on tight Theo and Jed!

  5. MichiganGoat

    Hmmm Soriano to the Giants… I sense Dick Tidrow is involved.

  6. Mdel78

    Some sites have posted Allen Webster was pulled from his start tonight. Anyone hearing anything similar? With my limited number of ‘sources’, I can’t find anything to substantiate that rumor, and could be precautionary as anything.

  7. Turn Two

    Brett, I brought this up earlier, any chance we see Soriano shipped to San Fran for Belt? They don’t have time or patience apparently for him to develop and we can give them a free, very big bat.

    1. Drew7

      I’d be very happy if all it took was the Cubs sending a ton of cash for Belt. I really think he would turn out to be a very good player in the right organization.

  8. BleedingCubbieBlue

    Soriano (contract paid ) to the Giants for Brandon Belt.

    Dempster and Belt to the Dodgers for Lee and Reed (or another prospect)

  9. Turn Two

    No one the Dodgers give us 2 of their top 3 pitching prospects for a project and a rental. Belt makes sense for the Cubs because we can give him time to develop at a new position. He makes very little sense on a contender.

  10. Brad

    Don’t forget sori can veto the trade :( unfortunately, that is a real possibility (damn it).

    1. Cyranojoe

      I think Sori would like it here in LA. Dude, bring that big (slightly smaller than you used to swing) bat on down to Chavez Ravine! Lotta Cubbie transplants here to cheer you on!

    2. BleedingCubbieBlue

      I just hope Soriano was watching the Cubs fans bash Dempster when he didnt accept the trade. (not saying he vetoed it but he never accepted it yet). Soriano should be watching and learning.

      1. Sandberg

        Pretty sure Soriano vetoed a trade to the Orioles in the offseason. But since he never claimed he’d do what was best for the team, it blew over. Funny how that works.

        1. Cyranojoe

          Yeah, I think Sori’s out on the lead in terms of setting fans’ expectations re: trades.

  11. loyal100more

    CALL THE BRAVES!!! make it happen lets bring in the guy we were already squealing over!

  12. Adam

    Has anyone else made the point that even though Dempster wants to go to LA to “pitch” with Ted Lilly, that Ted Lilly hasn’t pitched in over two months, and is not a sure thing to return. If I’m in the front office I’d be pretty pissed I have to trade the guy to LA so he can bro out with Lilly for 2 months.

    1. Cubbie Blues

      Lilly is doing his rehab assignment in the Minors this week.

  13. jim

    The CUBS are a bunch of “screwups” Oh yes, they
    are going to make all these deals, yeah right. RYAN
    DEMPSTER, like many others i am sure, has lost
    my respect (even though he is a fierce competitor & a nice guy)
    He’s telling everyone, YES, I will agree to a trade to a
    team that is in a good position to get into the playoffs.
    Then, he turns ATLANTA down! HELLO, RYAN! ATLANTA
    is one of the best teams in the NL. IF I had the money,
    I would bet tons of $$$ that the CUBS do NOTHING
    by trade deadline! MORE REASON TO ROOT AGAINST

    1. Brad

      Hendry is that you?

      1. dreese


    2. MichiganGoat

      WHY are you posts ALWAYS full of CAPS, your TONE tells US how angry you really ARE. And yes this could be Hendry.

    3. loyal100more

      actually thats big z… can tell by the almost in tears anger toward the team. your in a cubs blog site with all that. thanks for the thoughts. go root for the sox

  14. North Side Irish

    Kevin Goldstein ‏@Kevin_Goldstein
    Heard that Zach Lee, Allen Webster and Chris Reed are all off the table in any Dempster talks.

    Sounds promising…

    1. MichiganGoat

      ah well great

    2. Ted

      At least we can get Ryan Dempster’s eternal gratitude in return.

    3. dudeski

      ugh. just keep him

    4. Max Miller

      We really need to just keep him. It’s not worth giving LA a superb deal just so Demp can have his way.

  15. Jim Hendry

    Comeon Guys!!!! I wasn’t THAT bad of a GM!!!!!!!!!! LOL!!!!

    1. ETS

      I really liked your work with the Aramis, Derrik Lee and Rich Harden trades.

      1. Jim Hendry

        who knew that there would be such a problem with 10-5 rights???!!!! Am I right???

    2. Cyranojoe

      Aw, Jimmy, you know we all love you!

  16. J R

    “bending over backwards” I don’t like to hear bending over in any sort of manner. I really hope Thed stick to their guns, and still pull it off.

    1. Duke Silver

      Are you sure there isn’t one manner that you would like to hear it in?

    2. Frank

      I guess bending over backwards would be better than just bending over . . .

      1. Kansas Cubs Fan


      2. cubmig

        ….as long as in either case, you don’t end up kissing your own ass…..

  17. Engine 78

    This must be what it would have been like if Charlie Donovan tried to trade Roger Dorn.

  18. Leroy K.

    I don’t care what you do but Keep Maholm!!!

    1. Frank

      Leroy–I too, woudn’t mind keeping Maholm. He’s still relatively young and inexpensive, and is a pretty good left-handed starter.

      1. cubmig

        It also says something about Theo&Jed’s evaluating of talent. I think Maholm & DeJesus have really paid off in their acquiring them.

  19. Fastball

    either these guys are morons or gluttons for punishment I can’t figure it out. but why in Gods name do we keep seeing updates from these reporters who aren’t getting any info out of our FO but say they Cubs are bending over backwards. I don’t think they are bending over in either direction with regards to Dempster. If I was Theo I would be so over this by now. Tell Coletti that if his pitchers aren’t in the deal then don’t call until they are.

  20. HateDemp

    This is nuts. It is 2.5 months and half the time he would be traveling regardless of where he plays. He is either an idiot or getting bad advice. I agree – would not give him a trade unless good for the Cubs. Would rather they take less to make the pt that won’t be held up by a player or other team.

  21. Leo

    Buster Olney is saying the Cubs will be the biggest loser at this deadline. Don’t expect any major moves if any it will be players like Reed Johnson…… Brett just get some sleep nothing is going to happen.

    1. EQ76

      eh… someone should tell Buster Olney to go milk a cow.

      1. D.G.Lang

        Nah, go tell him to milk a bull instead.

    2. Ogyu

      First really sensible post I have seen.

    3. Cyranojoe

      That’s the risk when you demand full/high value for whatever you’re selling. Anybody not on board with this can get off at the Dempster-for-crap station. All aboard!

    4. TobaccopouchinIvy

      Not sure that accepting less in trade value would be classified as a ‘loser’.

  22. Leroy K.

    you know what’s going on right? Theo is “putting” out feelers all over. They have been tightlipped the entire year and 92% of the deals they have made have worked out. I will put my blind allegiance in Thed Hoystein.

  23. Ryan Dempster Trade Saga: If It’s the Dodgers, You Can Almost Certainly Forget Zach Lee, Allen Webster, or Chris Reed | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

    [...] A little bit ago in the latest Lukewarm Stove, I noted that, unless the Los Angeles Dodgers were suddenly willing to include top pitching prospects Zach Lee, Allen Webster or Chris Reed in a deal for Ryan Dempster, it would be hard to argue that the talks between the Cubs and Dodgers were “gaining momentum” unless the Cubs were capitulating. And then Ken Rosenthal reported that the Cubs were “bending over backwards” to make a Dempster/L.A. deal happen. [...]

  24. Rizzofanclub

    maybe the cubs can get a Ryan O Sullivan and Garrett Gould…. This just in Dodgers make O Sullivan and Garrett Gould untouchable as well.

  25. J R

    So could all of this Demp drama be from him getting caught railing the maid? I know that comment is going to piss a lot of people off. Something changed…

    1. J R

      I wanted to say something has changed with him, to change his mind. Could it be this type of drama?

    2. MaxM1908

      Dempster getting confronted on his indiscretions:

      1. J R

        That’s hillarious max. I hope theo would allow that type of behavior to waive future no trade clauses!

  26. BeyondFukudome

    Nanny, not maid. If you’re going to post stuff like this, please get your facts straight. ;)

    1. J R

      My bad.. Nanny.

  27. Don

    Don’t be surprised if another team such as the Red Sox, Yankees or Reds step up to the plate at the wire and give the Cubs a couple top prospects for Dempster. There are other contenders looking for pitching.

  28. Ogyu

    Hey, Assman22 promised us a deal this afternoon. The day is wearing on and your reputation is at stake, Assman!

  29. J R

    Assman we’ll come thru. He always does. He is just finishing his latest adult film.

    1. J R

      Assman will come thru. Sorry I have been drinking..

    2. MaxM1908

      Or maybe he’s a proctologist.

    3. Ogyu

      I think I heard about that film. It’s based on a long-lost manuscript by Eugene O’Neill called: “The Assman Cometh.”

  30. Adam

    This is a perfect example of leverage. A. The Cubs don’t have many valuable pieces. B. Other teams know the Cubs have to sell pieces.

    Cubs only leverage is time, and the potential to say F you. The longer they hold out on these teams, make them sweat, etc, they can gain back some leverage, or ultimately just say F you.