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I guess I’m not sure what I expected.

This is only my second Trade Deadline Blogathon, and I don’t know that one prior experience is sufficient to build expectations.

And, yet, here I sit – struggling to form sentences – and I find that the expectations I didn’t form have been wildly exceeded. I’m speaking not of the Cubs’ deals, but instead, I’m speaking of your participation. And support. And contributions. And fun. Things like this don’t just happen all the time, and, forgive my sleep-deprivation-induced sentimentality, I think it was quite special.

Thank you for your comments, for your tweets, for your eyes. I had an incredible time, and I hope you found the process both fun and useful. It was hard, but it was worth it.

As for the Cubs’ Trade Deadline, this is just about what should have been reasonably expected. Without Matt Garza’s injury, he probably gets traded. But, once that happened, moving Ryan Dempster and Paul Maholm was probably the best the Cubs could do. They also got a nice piece for Geovany Soto, a guy they probably weren’t going to keep beyond this year, and used Reed Johnson to enhance the Maholm return. You can’t argue that the Cubs didn’t do well, generally-speaking, in their deals. Indeed, the Dempster return ended up being far better than I expected, given how things deteriorated since last Monday. No, it isn’t Randall Delgado, but that world ceased to exist probably before it was even born. We’re best not thinking of it. Well, or, at a minimum, we’re best not thinking that the fact that Delgado isn’t here is somehow a failing on the part of the front office.

Let me sum up the Deadline this way: two months ago, would you have ever envisioned this haul of prospects for Ryan Dempster, Paul Maholm, Geovany Soto, and Reed Johnson? I will say candidly, I did not.

I will have much, much more on the deals of the last two days (including quotes and reactions), and on the prospects the Cubs received, over the coming days (I suspect Luke will have a word or two on the prospects, as well). We’ll also talk about where the Cubs’ trade strategy stands now that we’ve entered August – trades can still happen, and we’ll get to that.

And, to the extent it isn’t obvious, although I’ll get a Pre-Gamin’ up in a little bit, the Enhanced Box Score will be all kinds of delayed.

Now for the final tallies.

Total Posts During the Blogathon: 

39. In case you missed any of those 39 posts, I tried to place them all in the “Cubs Rumors” category. Click there to flip through them all.

Total BN Tweets During the Blogathon:

Ha. Not even reasonable to count. Many, many hundreds. Check out the #BNBlogathon tweets, too. You guys are amazing.

Total Comments During the Blogathon:

3800+ and counting.

Total Visitors During the Blogathon:

180,000+ (and counting).

Total Cubs Transactions at the Deadline:

Three, assuming you’re counting last nights’ deals, which I am.

Total Caffeinated Beverages Imbibed:

Two Coke Zeroes.

One Extra Large Mr. Spokacola.

Two Starbucks mocha frappuccinos.

One Rockstar Energy drink.

One chai latte.

Hours I Plan on Sleeping Now:

Eleventy-billion.

Total Times I Scooped the Litter at the Request of The Wife As Soon As She Woke Up From a Good Night’s Sleep

Once.

  • Al

    Thanks Brett. You did a great job, keep up the good work !!
    I follow your stories & comments every day, & appreciate your work.
    Go Cubs !!!!

  • Katie

    Nice job Brett, as always.

  • Cooper

    Hey guys! Did I miss anything in the last day or two?

    • Ogyu

      Brett emptied the kitty litter. Other than that, nothing much.

      • cjdubbya

        Well played.

  • Ogyu

    Texas was able to get Dempster because they had greater depth of high-upside prospects at lower levels of their organization. LAD, in contrast, could offer nothing of interest below Lee or Webster. Good illustration of the value of a deep farm system. Hopefully, in a year or two, it will be the Cubs dealing A-level prospects for big-league contributors.

  • rhino70

    Great job Brett! Thanks for the ride!

  • MoistasAlou

    Great job Brett!!! Go CUBS!!!!!!!!!

  • Chad C

    Well done Brett! My refresh button will never be the same…

  • Chauncey

    Good on you Brett. You were able to keep me informed while I dealt with crashed servers over the weekend, Thanks for putting all my important cubs knowledge at my fingertips.

  • Edward

    Nice work Brett. Really enjoyed it. I’m sure Hendry would have tried to trade Baez for Vernon Wells…

  • ColoCubFan

    Good work Brett. I look forward to your non-sleep-deprived remarks in the next day or two. Sweetdreams!

  • Prophet75

    Very nice job Brett. Enjoyed your coverage and the lively discussion. Go Cubs!!

  • Harry Ramirez

    This is my third day as a member of this site (I was so bored a few days ago when the Dempster deal fell apart and Garza got injured that I googled “cubs trade” and chose last 24 hours and it led me to this site!).Thanks Brett for everything, you’re a cool guy. Go Cubs! Go Theo! go Jed Hoyer! Go Garza! go Marmol! go Rizzo! go Starlin! go LaHair! go Sori! and why not…Go Dempster! it feels good to be a cubs fan!

    • Cyranojoe

      Welcome, Harry!

      • Harry Ramirez

        Thanks!

  • http://www.cwsnaturally.com Evolution

    Brett…you did wonderfully. Aside from the fun of rooting for you to wither into something physically and emotionally unrecognizable, you continued to prove that you’re one of the best (and most level-headed) baseball writers on the beat. You may not have press box access, but your game-by-game, issue-by-issue analysis remains among the best in baseball…with no hyperbole attached. Well done, friend.

    For the rest of us…can I just say? Watching the Dempster saga was pretty rough. Even if (at worst) he reneged, or made an error in judgment…this is one guy who has earned a bit of currency with us. And, a lot of us were far too willing to trust the reports of guys who (as they proved today) leaned on hearsay from those who know very little.

    Dempster was good for us…and to us. He deserves a bit more respect.

    • mudge

      Amen. thanks, Brett, a great window into the whole process.

  • EB

    Thanks so much Brett! That was flat out incredible. You are the man!

  • Njriv

    ‏@Buster_ESPN

    Diamondbacks were grinding away at Matt Garza deal, came close, but didn’t get it done.

    I wonder how close this really was.

    • nkniacc13

      Yeah it would be intersting especially if Upton was in it considering he had the Cubs on his no trade list

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

      Im guessing Theo and Jed wouldn’t do a deal without Skaggs involved, and Arizona probably didn’t want to risk losing a potential ace lefty.

      • nkniacc13

        Be interesting if they were looking at Skaggs, bauers, and some of their other top arms or if they were looking at taking Upton and making it a really big deal with prospects going back and forth

  • Daniel

    One stat I’m looking for

    How many of Assman’s “sources” we’re correct.

    Or if he was just blowing smoke up our ass.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Assman has been remarkably accurate about things. Whatever his source is, that source has some knowledge of what is happening. It is to the point that when AM is “wrong,” then I suspect that it’s something that almost happened. (The number of things that actually happen concerning trades, etc., obviously is smaller than the number the things that nearly happen….)

      • Dan

        Assman strikes again!

  • notcubbiewubbie

    the best part of the overpaid baby saga or what really is the difference between texas and atlanta; charlie choker has burned his cub bridges for sure!! adios!! he really screwed the cubs and their fans.

    • nkniacc13

      if he really wanted to burn his bridge for sure he wouldn’t have accepted a trade to anyone but LA atleast he allowed the cubs to get a couple players with ok upside for him. I expect the Cubs to look at a couple SP in the offseason and it will be interesting since the market isn’t very deep

  • notcubbiewubbie

    oh yea i forgot thanx brett for your effort and for a great place to discuss our beloved cubbies.

  • Edward

    I’m hugely concerned about our rotation going forward. Anybody have ideas on how to make it competitive by 2014? The top talent in baseball does not make it to free agency anymore. They are either locked up long term at a young age or traded and signed before they hit free agency. Our future offense looks very promising with Rizzo, Castro, Baez, Soler, Almora, Jackson, and Szczur. But our pitching…not so much. We really screwed up by not getting a sure thing MLB starter for Garza before this season, and now risk having his value diminish even further with his injury concerns. Elbow cramps often lead to Tommy John surgery within a year. I know nobody wants to trade away any of our core future prospects, but I am worried we will have to if we ever want a true ace on our staff. Unless we want to be horrible for 5 years straight (like the Nats and Rays were before their pitching finally developed), developing prospects into ML starters is too risky and takes too long. I’m just worried our pitching prospect window and our offense prospect window are not lined up. Kinda need to put the pitching in place before the offense comes in, no? Pitchers usually need 2-3 seasons in the bigs before they are good. I’m just thinking our rebuilding has a LONG way to go. Do we have ANYBODY currently in the system that projects as a sure thing MLB starter?

    • MichiganGoat

      the hope is that we trade for some good close prospects, maybe couple of our draft picks comes up quickly, we pick up a few free agents and/or we trade for a big name. In a couple of years we will become buyers at the trade deadline, there are many ways to build up a team I’m not worried we have the time and the FO to make this happen. It looks bleak right now but the future will be beautiful.

    • J R

      Yes our pitching prospects are garbage, and improving the systems pitching is going to be by far the toughest job for our front office. They still have a long way to go, but they know that. I hope they can flip some of our positional depth for some good young pitching in the next year.

    • Mick

      I think the Cubs FO were counting on a Garza deal to net the next wave of SPs but due to his injury weren’t getting the prospects they were looking for. Buster Olney reported the DBacks were putting something together which included Patrick Corbin, who’s currently in AAA, but the deal never came to fruition. We have to hope Garza pitches a stellar 2nd half of the season to prove that he’s healthy and raise his stock so that we can yield multiple front-line SP prospects. I’m sure our 2014 rotation and lineup for that matter won’t resemble anything we’ve got currently. This whole thing is being gutted which is a good thing.

  • nkniacc13

    Im a little curious to see what they do but I still think Garza gets traded this offseason and brings back atleast 1 pitcher to fill in that rotation. You have Shark and Wood so that’s 3 lets see what Germano does tho i don’ think he is the answer. I expect them to sign atleast 1 player to a 1 year with an option for another this offseason. There are some intriguing pitchers but unfortuantly its going to be 2014/2015 before they are really ready to contibute.

    • Njriv

      If they trade Garza the Cubs would have to get at least a potential #1/#2 starter and a solid regular and a high upside guy or two.

  • LOCAL IDIOT

    Very well done. Thanks

  • Sam

    The main idea(s) I have gathered from this Blog-A-Thon is that this webpage needs a like and editing button. I have seen many hilarious posts that I have wanted to give a “+1/Like” to but sadly that is not possible.

    It would be another amazing feature that should be considered (if at all possible) and would make this webpage even more popular/entertaining.

  • Dustin S

    I have to give the FO credit for pulling off the deals that were able to get done. Soriano and Marmol will easily clear waivers so they weren’t really under the same trade deadline. The good news is that the farm system is now leaps and bounds better than it was this time last year. It’s nice to feel like the team is finally starting to get pretty respectable in that area.

    • Mick

      And we still have our best prospect-yielding asset in Matt Garza. Awesome returns though, Theo basically just flipped scrap-heap FAs for our #1 pitching prospect.

  • Njriv

    I’m satisfied with the FO did, but damn, knowing there was a chance to get Delgado just wont go away…what could have been, so close but yet so far.

    • Njriv

      It would have been perfect if Demp accepted the trade at that time, it would have given the FO more time to work on trading Garza and it wold have set the bar high, but due to his injury who knows. Okay I’m done, living in the past.

  • Assman22

    Good Lord, has anyone mentioned/posted the mega-blockbuster trade the Cubs were involved in but dissolved last minute?

    • Njriv

      With the D-backs and Matt Garza? What happened? who was involved?

  • Shea Thompson

    I am all for the rebuild, cleaning the slate and starting new. In addition, I like the Cubs culture change and thoroughness with which the new FO operates. The new FO brings a methodical, comprehensive, fresh perspective. It was great that the FO didn’t cave to the Dodgers demands or take less for Garza’s true worth just to unload him to pander to media/fans. I also hope and almost wholly trust that the scouting/trades that Theo, Jed, and Jason are doing are sound. Even so, the Cubs will almost certainly be bottom of the NL Central next year and in 2014.

    A question I pose is: at what point does impunity end for these guys? 2014? 2015? It’s important to build a strong foundation of arms and trade-able prospects and it doesn’t happen overnight; Rome wasn’t built in a day. Yet, with the third largest market in the US, one of the oldest franchises in the league, a restless fan base, and an annual payroll that should hover around $135-150 million, when is the honeymoon period over for the new FO? Not trying to be too critical, impatient this early in the Epstein/Hoyer/McLeod era but with lots of question marks around “top” prospects, just curious what my fellow Cubs’ fans think? How long are we giving the new Epstein-led Cubs FO to turn things around?

    • Hawkeye

      I feel that free agency must be utilized heavily this off season. I’m not talking about talking A+ guys, but someone like A. Sanchez. I will be disappointed if we don’t at least attempt to be competitive next season.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        The question is, who will those free agents be? We heard a lot of that last winter: but the available FAs did not really fill the Cubs needs. This winter will have a still sparser crop.

        • nkniacc13

          Which is why I think your going to see a few trades for the Cubs to try and get what they need. I fully expect the Cubs to trade atleast 3 of Garza, Lahair, Lake, Vitters, Dejesus, Jackson and Marmol

    • Mick

      I disagree with both of your stances. First, I don’t believe the Dodgers were lauding anything over or using their “leverage” to strong-arm the Cubs in the Dempster negotiations. They remained consistent from start to finish that they weren’t going to pay any top prospects for a rental pitcher. And erasing their first half stats, or don’t erase them, do you think Dempster is Alan Webster better than Chris Capuano or Aaron Harang?

      Secondly, I don’t like what you’re implying about how much time we’re alloting Theo and Co. to win us a championship. We’ll give them enough time to ride her hard and put her away wet, I say. Hell, they haven’t even taken this thing down to the studs yet, we’ve still got Garza, Soriano, and Marmol on the books. If you had to nail me down on a year…2022. I’ll give this SOB 10 years and if he can’t figure it out by then, on to the next 30-something GM prodigy. But I have a really good feeling about this one.

  • Assman22

    “Arizona, Oakland and Reds involved… Had Demp to Arizona, Garza to Reds with Coco Crisp, Drew plus to Oakland and some serious prospects coming back to Chicago…”

    - Direct quote from a very reliable source, whom you should all follow on twitter btw… @TyYoungfelt

    Like I said before, I’m a nobody and just hear things and pass them along. He’s a somebody and he’s legit.

    • Njriv

      serious prospects like the amount or the talent?

      • Assman22

        Talent. Quality prospects over quantity prospects, always. Part of me what’s to know who and part of me doesn’t…

        • Njriv

          Yeah I know me too. Like with the Dempster deal, if it wasn’t for the Delgado offer, I’d be satisfied, but it keeps bugging me.

          • Mick

            What do you know about Delgado that leads you to believe he’s a better prospect than what we got in Vizcaino? According to every scout I’ve seen evaluate the two, Vizcaino has the higher upside. And if Dempster would’ve accepted the trade to the Braves, we wouldn’t have netted Villanueva and Hendricks. So, get over it dude, it was over a week ago, and it all worked out in the end.

            • nkniacc13

              So what if Delgado could be in rotation this year and Vizczino won’t be ready for that role until atleast July next year they were both in the braves system and Viz was rated higher and had a higher ceiling. The Cubs were going to be bad the rest of this year anyway so why not get the higher upside guy.

              • bbmoney

                I totally agree with that. Give my high upside at this point for the Cubs over close to MLB ready. We’re talking 2014 at least before serious contention probably 2015. Vizcaino just coming back from TJ, I’m guessing will need at least 1 full year, probably more like 1.5 or 2 in the minors yet, but that lines up just fine with the Cubs timeline.

          • WGNstatic

            I think it is important to consider the failed Dempster to Atlanta deal in the context of all the moves the Cubs made.

            Sure, the Cubs would have gotten more for Dempster had the Delgado deal gone through. However, they also then wouldn’t have made the Maholm deal they did.

            So, we need to think of the difference between the returns on Dempster with what the Cubs received for Maholm and what they might have gotten from someone else.

            All in all, I bet it was either a wash, or possibly even that the Cubs came out ahead for the way things worked.

            • nkniacc13

              Yeah im not sure the Cubs trade maholm for anything near what they got for Demp and may not have moved him at all

  • florida Al

    well done sir!!

  • The Dude Abides

    You have got to feel sorry for the Dodgers and their new owners. They totally skipped the tearing the team apart and building up their lower level minor’s stage. They foolishly are taking the approach of trying to build a winner now & trying to rebuild their system at the same time. They just didn’t get the memo I guess. Maybe LA fans aren’t as understanding as us Chicago fans who are prepared to wait another three to four years to see if all of our signings and moves pay off with the players we got back. Silly Dodgers, they will be sorry.

  • nkniacc13

    I fully expect to see the Cubs go sign atleast 1 SP in the Liriano/Sanchez mode maybe to a 1 year with option. I also expect to see them sign 2 or 3 starters that have options and basically hold a tryout in ST and the 2 that don’t make it go to Iowa for depth. You have to give the FO atleast until 2016 as they said it would be until 2014/15 before any of those lower level prospects go ready to Chi. What Im really going o be interested in will be to see after being here a year this offseason what does Theo and Jed do with some of those top position prospects Jackson,Vitters, Lake among them do they keep them, trade them or in lakes case move them to a different postion

    • J R

      I am sure the Cubs will sign more Paul Maholms types this offseason. And use them as trade bait again at the deadline to the contendors.

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