This flies in the face of a great deal of what we’ve heard, but I’ve been told by a source to trust Dave Kaplan’s sources, so, by that game of telephone, I trust the following …

Dave Kaplan reports that, not only have two additional teams – aside from the Los Angeles Dodgers – emerged as suitors for Ryan Dempster, but also that Dempster is willing to approve a deal to any of the three teams. From Kap:

Baseball sources have confirmed to me that three teams are in play for Ryan Dempster and he will approve a deal to any of the three teams if the Cubs can agree on a suitable return in exchange for the veteran right-hander who is enjoying one of the best seasons of his career. The Los Angeles Dodgers, who have long been Dempster’s preferred destination will have to increase their offer as the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees have stepped up their pursuit over the last 48 hours.

Kap adds some quotes from baseball sources, who reiterate that Dempster is willing to go to a number of teams besides the Dodgers.

Once again, this smacks of an attempt to pressure the Dodgers into increasing their offer (heck, Kaplan even says it), but that doesn’t mean it isn’t also true. Why wouldn’t the Cubs want the Dodgers to feel pressured to increase their offer?

UPDATE: I know you’re going to go nuts thinking about the Rangers possibilities, but allow guys like Mike Olt, Jurickson Profar, and Martin Perez to fall far, far from your minds. Probably even the next tier of guys, too (that’s how good the Rangers’ system is).

UPDATE 2 (at 8:56am CT): Multiple reports have Shane Victorino going to the Dodgers for reliever Josh Lindblom and another pitcher. You’re wondering, why is this a Ryan Dempster update? Well, if the Dodgers land Victorino, they’re out on Alfonso Soriano. And, without Soriano’s inclusion, the Cubs may not be able to swing a decent deal with the Dodgers. Maybe it won’t matter if all of the above is true, but more bidders is always better, even if one of them is LA.

UPDATE 3 (at 9:25am CT): And, quickly, the national guys swoop in to say the Yankees have no interest in Ryan Dempster. Clearly someone in the Yankees’ front office wanted to get that word out quickly. Why exactly, I’m not sure. Danny Knobler suggests this entire angle is, indeed, just a ploy to gain leverage with the Dodgers (which has been contended for days).

UPDATE 4 (at 9:29am CT): Kaplan quickly comes back, “Yankees have talked about Dempster with the Cubs. They are not as motivated as Texas and the LA Dodgers.”

UPDATE 5 (at 9:46am CT): Phil Rogers describes the Rangers’ interest in Dempster as “at least tire-kicking.” That’s not altogether encouraging.

UPDATE 6 (at 9:54am CT): In the most transparently bogus leak of the season, which could apply to both Dempster and Matt Garza, a source tells Ken Rosenthal, “Rangers consider quality of available starting pitchers to be ‘minimal.’ May wait until August waiver period to see if that changes.” Come on, Rangers. Do you really expect us to believe you think the starting pitching market is going to go appreciably up in August?

UPDATE 7 (at 10:00am CT): Ken didn’t agree with me, saying that more teams might fall out of the race in August, and make more players available. That’s all well and good, but those players have to clear waivers to be dealt in August (or can be dealt only to the team who claimed them). How many big-money pitchers are out there, not currently available, are much better than who’s out there now, and who would clear waivers? That Venn Diagram looks awfully small to me.

UPDATE 8 (at 10:03am CT): Ken concedes that he probably could have worded his originally tweet better, saying that his source told him that the Rangers see “minimal attractive talent” right now. So, the Rangers weren’t necessarily saying there might be better talent in August, they were saying there might be more talent in August. Which could be true.

UPDATE 9 (at 10:59am CT): Tim Brown says Shane Victorino to the Dodgers is done for reliever Josh Lindblom and AA starter Ethan Martin. So, Soriano to the Dodgers is toast. Interestingly, that package was briefly rumored a few days ago to be the offer for Ryan Dempster. I think someone got their signals crossed.

UPDATE 10 (at 11:06am CT): Now this is interesting. Ken Rosenthal says the Dodgers “remain focused” on getting Ryan Dempster, and want him even if they acquire another pitcher. That cuts against various reports that the Dodgers don’t even really like Dempster that much. Hmm.

UPDATE 11 (at 11:15am CT): Multiple additional sources say the Dodgers are now pushing hard for Dempster. Does that mean they will finally put one of their three untouchables – Zach Lee, Allen Webster, or Chris Reed – back on the table? The pessimist in me doubts it.

  • Joker

    At this point, I’d take a trade for the Yankees’ Assistant to the Traveling Secretary.

    • MaxM1908

      Who wouldn’t want George Costanza?

      • EB

        Too late. He’s already been traded to Tyler Chicken lol

  • Jack Weiland

    GREAT news. Finally some leverage back.

  • cjdubbya

    Put all three GMs on the phone on a conference call. Best offer wins. And…go!

  • Engine 78

    but I’ve been told by a source to trust Dave Kaplan’s sources

    I’ve long been skeptical of Kaplan but over the past 9 months he’s been as reliable of a Cubs source as we’ve had. That said, Dempster would be a high risk playing in both Texas and New York’s ballparks. Very surprised the Yankees are interested because they’ve been on the path of moving to cost controlled players now that the core of their roster is very much aging. Texas seems like a better fit for Garza with the division rival Angels acquiring Greinke. Don’t see how Dempster tips the scales any more in their favor with LAA having Wilson, Weaver, Haren and Greinke now. But hey, if Thedson McHoystein can convince them he’d help, more power to them.

  • David

    After reading the article please add Mitch Williams to the list of people who can bite me.

  • SFC_CubbieFan

    What would be the best case for return from the Rangers, Yankees?

  • Quinn

    Do the Yankees have the prospects to make any thing worth while?

    • Engine 78

      Pitching wise, it’s always been the twins Bs. Betances and Banuelos. Banuelos had an elbow injury in May and has really been pretty bad since it happened. Betances has the stuff, it’s the command that he completely lacks. Started the year at AAA ball and the command problems forced NY to send him back to AA.

      Now, if the Cubs could somehow convince the Yankees to talk about Gary Sanchez now that we’ve traded Soto…

  • Ted

    According to a reliable source — my cubs fan cyncisim — In 2 hours, the rangers will offer profrar and olt. Dempster will ask to think about it. At 3:59 EST he will say he wants to “go to Vancouver or nowhere.”

  • Nomar’s Left Glove

    …yeah, but he’d have to think about it for 3 days first.

  • Mac Salk

    I want george Costanza

  • JP cubed

    I’d say it’s safe to say he would be an upgrade as there #4 starter over Oswalt who’d not nearly the pitcher he was 3 years ago.

  • Mitch

    Don’t like hearing victorino to dodgers is getting close. Was really hoping to package dempster and soriano there for a better return.

  • J R

    I find it shocking Dempster would be willing to play in Arlington and the Bronx in a contract year. Probably the 2 worse pitcher places in the majors. Dempster is a strange dude.

    • Cub Style

      I think he’d like to add to his jewelry collection.

    • hansman1982

      pennant race and he does NOT want to be the last Cub standing come 5:00 today.

  • Evolution

    Mitch Williams is dead-on…I’m no apologist for any player, but the way people have reacted to Dempster has been friggin’ ridiculous.

    Not only can we not pretend to know all the particulars…we can’t even begin to know the finite details behind his motivation.

    And…it’s his right. He earned it. Period. If he’s got a better deal in life than the rest of us…tough.

    • JP cubed

      I agree it’s his right… That doesn’t take away the fact he’s been a douche about it.

      • Cub Style

        At least he has put up a good season so these teams would become interested in him. Not like Derrek Lee, who sucked and used his rights.

      • Evolution

        Please…he said “no”, and people got pissed.

        What did we want…”no, thank you”?

        Come on…people are pissed because THEY didn’t get what they wanted. No one ever tries to walk in the other guy’s shoes anymore.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Heh, nobody ever walked in other people’s shoes: most people cannot grasp that we are not all wearing the same pair! But that problem transcends baseball….

          • SFC_CubbieFan

            ^^ Agreed ^^

            • Jack Weiland

              Meh. If I say one thing and then change my mind, and that has an impact on other people and that annoys people, I’d accept the criticism that stems from that. And Dempster has. At this point it’s in the past and it’s time to move on, either way.

          • stillmisskennyhubbs

            If a man irks you, walk a mile in his shoes.
            That way, even if he still irks you, he’s a mile away and you have his shoes……

    • J R

      Yeah but Dempster brought a lot of the hate on himself with all the comments about wanting to help the Cubs and other b.s. If he would have kept his mouth shut, and exercised his 10/5 rights like a normal dude, people would understand a lot more than they do.

      • JP cubed

        Agree with JR completely, I don’t care he won the genetic jackpot and makes $$$$$ millions , I care that he’s ran his mouth like a classic politician and not just shut his mouth and excersised his 10/5 rights like a normal dude does (Soriano for example)

    • David

      I have no problem with Dempster’s righs as a 10/5 guy, and don’t begrudge his “deal in life” a bit. I don’t pretend to know that just because he essentially wins the lottery every year from a compensation standpoint that he doesn’t have problems and issues the same as anyone else.

      I just have a problem with him spouting off saying all of his “for the good of the team” crap and leading everyone to believe that he would act differently than every other athlete. When it came down to it, he didn’t do anything for the Cubs out of his self-professed loyalty for how great he’s been treated by the organization and the fans. He used every bit of the system that was available to him, same as every other athlete does. No loyalty, just business, I get it. Just don’t tell me you’re different.

      And Mitch Williams, can kiss my pasty buttocks if he thinks he’s in any way qualified to tell anyone that they’re wrong for how they feel.

  • KidCubbie

    Cant focus at work Brett. Damn this trade deadline!!!!

    • SFC_CubbieFan

      Me too, Glad I am just grading test this am…

  • Master Dan

    Meh…, I still see Dempster going to the Dodgers or staying with the Cubs. Its just an attempt to make the Dodgers ante up. Dempster seemed to indicate that he wants to go to LA only. I hope I’m wrong in my thinking though. I don’t believe the Cubs will get a great return from the Dodgers. All reports indicate the Dodgers will keep there prized prospects.

  • rbreeze

    Dempster is a good fit for the Rangers and Yankees. He can give them quality starts and get to their bullpens which are strong. They are great hitting teams so he’ll be pitching with the lead more times than not. What we get in return is up in the air of course.
    Both teams could swetten the pot for Dempster and offer an extension. Maybe Dempster goes to one of them with BJAX. Screw the Dodgers! I never liked Colletti. The Cubs have been trying for over a week to work with them. Let them finish in 3rd place in the west behind the Giants and D’Backs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Austin

    Screw the Dodgers. They had their shot at the trade, and they balked. Time to focus on the Rangers and Yankees, and get this thing done by 4 pm.

    • gutshot5820

      I hope the Dodgers miss the playoffs by one game.

  • Sosascorkedbat

    It sounds like the dodgers are being just as stubborn as dempster was being a week ago when we had a chance to get a great return for him, but i have faith in theo and jed that we still will get some if not one great return from these other teams that are now interested.

  • gutshot5820

    I predict he goes to the Rangers. Hopefully, Garza to Toronto and all is forgiven with Dempster.

  • 100 Years of Tears

    Is Coleman up with the Cubs now? Who is going to step in tonight if Dempster gets traded?

    • Brett

      Almost certainly Coleman.

  • anotherjp

    Rangers would be a good fit for Dempster, and since the Oswalt experience isn’t working out they just might go for him. A rental would suit them just fine for the rest of the year– don’t know about the Yankees motives though. Strange that Demp would approve going to two AL teams when he’s only pitched in the NL.

    • Grant

      Isn’t that something of an advantage? Generally he’ll be facing guys who have seen his stuff all of one or two games, if that.

  • Joey Jo Jo Junior

    If the FO can trade Garza in addition to Maholm, then I say keep Dempster. Somebody has to pitch in the 2nd half.

    • rhino70

      The 2nd half doesn’t matter at all. Trade all three of them and restock the farm. Use the rest of the year as auditions for the guys at Iowa and Tennessee.

      • Jack Weiland

        Plus the Cubs have ground to make up to land the #1 pick next year …

        • D.G.Lang

          I suspect that he big guys are also thinking about a high draft pick the year after next as well.

          They had an aotstanding draft both this year and last year. Another year of high draft picks and the money allowed them to get them signed would do wonders in completing most of the restocking and building for the long term sustainable success in the future.

          It would be eally stupid to change path now after such a good start. Before anyone says that we’ve didn’t have a good start, I am referring to the future farm which I fully agree that we do still have a ways to go. We are far from finished rebuilding the farm. We’ve only have a good START to rebuilding it.

  • Mysterious4th

    What about dempster/lahair to the yankees given texiera is having an mri done today

  • Dustin S

    Ken Rosenthal says Dempster is adamant he’ll only go to LA, but Dave Kaplan says he’s open to any of 3 teams. I have a feeling we’ll find out who was right in the next 6 hours or so.

    As luck has it I’m on vacation this week and haven’t had much luck sleeping, so it’s been fun keeping up with the marathon.

    On a side note, I was glad to see Vizcaino is under team control to 2018. Plenty of time for him to come back from TJ.

  • donnie kessinger

    I’d like to hear these rumors verified by more sources before I am all in… especially the part where Dempster would approve a deal to all three. This smells a little… But I love the reporting to get us all the latest information! You are the man Brett!

  • anotherjp

    I say the Cubs take Ramirez from Texas for Dempster and call it a day.

  • FromFenwayPahk

    This is believable primarily because Demp is pitching his ass off. If my team was making a run, I’d absolutely want Dempster on it. What has NOT been believable have been some of the (poor) deals rumored since the Braves proposal was pulled.
    If no one is willing to pony up(and we are finally sensing that someone finally will), then I would be happy to watch Demp work for the next year and a half. The man is a pro.

  • abe

    what would you have preferred? the deal that got us vizcainu or the demster delgado deal?

    • Brett

      Delgado. Less risk, almost as much upside. But we’ll see how this plays out.

  • Kasey Ignarski

    The conspiracy theorist in me has this thought…Dempster wants to go to LA. LA is not giving the Cubs decent return and the Cubs F.O. is telling Dempster this. Dempster tells his friend Kaplan that he would “possibly” expand his agreeable teams to Yankees and Rangers. Kaplan writes about this and it gets wide exposure. LA thinks Cubs might be getting some leverage back and improves its offer for Dempster. Dempster gets to go to LA just like he always wanted to.

    • Brett

      Always a possibility.