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In a post that’s sure to be met with jokes and a million updates, Jim Bowden reports that the Los Angeles Dodgers are getting Ryan Dempster, and the final i-dotting and t-crossing is all that’s left to do.

I don’t have a good feeling about the Cubs’ return based on what we’ve heard for days, but we’ll see. Theo and Jed weren’t about to be strong-armed on this one, unless they had no other options. Maybe they didn’t.

UPDATE: Phil Rogers says on MLBN that the Cubs really want Allen Webster, and the Cubs might be including multiple pieces to get him, including guys like Shawn Camp or Jeff Baker. And then he said something about Trey McNutt, and I burst into flames.

UPDATE 2 (at 11:49am CT): Kevin Goldstein suggests that James Russell could be involved, to which I’d note that I hope he’s not just a sweetening throw-in. Considering his effectiveness and his contract status, he’s got a lot of value.

UPDATE 3 (at 11:50am CT): George Ofman says the deal is indeed close, and involves multiple players. I’m nervous that it was the Cubs who capitulated, not the Dodgers.

UPDATE 4 (at 11:55am CT): Doug Padilla with a tweet that reinforces my fear: “As Dempster deal to the Dodgers closes in, maybe this ends the idea that Demp & Theo/Jed are on bad terms. Cubs bent over backward for this.”

UPDATE 5 (at 12:15pm CT): Kevin Goldstein hears the same thing as Phil Rogers, but he’s also been saying Dempster and Russell for Webster would be a “steal” for the Cubs. I just don’t see that, given how the starting pitching market has played out, but I get that he’s saying Webster is legit.

UPDATE 6 (at 12:18pm CT): From Jon Morosi: “No agreement yet in Ryan Dempster negotiations. Hardball going on with less than 3 hours before deadline.” Natch.

UPDATE 7 (at 12:30pm CT): Bob Nightengale says that the Cubs and Dodgers are talking, but other teams remain involved with Dempster. Is that posturing by the Cubs, or did Bowden jump the gun?

UPDATE 8 (at 12:52pm CT): Aaaaaand, take-back-sies. Jim Bowden now says Dempster to the Dodgers isn’t a sure thing, but you might be happy about the reason (you’ll have to forgive the frightful way he tweets): “Serious game of chicken between the Dodgers& Cubs on Dempster right now…Cubs believed to have found another team..LA blinks or loses him.” That one doesn’t feel like a shill for the Cubs.

UPDATE 9 (at 12:56pm CT): Tom Verducci reports on MLBN that the Cubs and Dodgers have disengaged, and the Cubs are in talks with the Yankees and a mystery team (Sweet Jesus…) on Dempster.

UPDATE 10 (at 1:07pm CT): Ken Rosenthal says that the Cubs have indeed talked to the Yankees about Dempster (and it was the Yankees contacting the Cubs). This is all very preliminary. At the same time, the MLBN crew is suddenly speculating that the D-Backs are in play for Dempster. Head = spinning.

UPDATE 11 (at 1:25pm CT): Jon Heyman cites a source who tells him Ryan Dempster has told the Cubs he’ll accept a trade to the Yankees. Dave Kaplan reported that earlier today, by the way.

UPDATE 12 (at 1:30pm CT): Joel Sherman, who’s a Yankees reporter, and who always seems to be right, says that although there have been talks, he can’t see the Yankees giving up much to get Dempster, who isn’t much of an upgrade. I just don’t agree with that, but, hey, he knows his stuff.

UPDATE 13 (at 1:35pm CT): Jim Bowden says it’s now or never for the Dodgers. Either they blink (presumably on Webster), or Dempster goes to the Yankees. Here’s the thing: I’m not so sure the return from the Yankees is going to be any good, either.

UPDATE 14 (at 1:45pm CT): Ken Rosenthal hears that Dodgers don’t even want to give up anyone in their top 7 or 8 prospects for a rental like Dempster.

UPDATE 15 (at 2:26pm CT): MLBN report has the Dodgers probably not getting Dempster, and him going to either the Yankees or Rangers. I still think he goes *somewhere,* but I don’t think we’re going to like the return.

  • hansman1982

    I would hate to lose Russell but I trust Goldstein’s prospect evaluation and if we can effectively convert Russell + 2 month’s of a 36 year old into Webster, I think I can survive.

    • bbmoney

      Agreed.

    • CastrotoBarneytoRizzo

      When you look at it that way, I say yes …Though I would stil rather it be Dempster and Camp….

      • bbmoney

        Agreed there too.

  • Njriv

    So the Cubs have 2 and a half hours to close this one out and work on Garza, can they beat the clock?

  • Chris

    I’d love to be a fly on the wall of the Cubs’ FO right now…

    • Brad

      A hardknocks type documentary on this would be great! I hope someone is recording some of this so when they put together the documentary on the first Cubs WS in 110 yrs, the Jed Theo tough talking is given it’s appropriate respect!

      • Wilbur

        I agree with your premise and it would be absolutely fascinating to watch.

        However, I certainly would never want my negotiations or how I approach negotiations openly shared. It would be like talking to all your poker buddies about when you like to bluff and when you’ll fold with two pair thinking your looking into trips …

    • mudge

      Wish they’d film it and let us view in10 years. amazing pressure.

  • alsongs

    Firstly, we have all enjoyed the Cubs playing good baseball this month, and that will probably change, sadly. Secondly, if the Cubs could get a Rizzo quality player in trade from the Dodgers, et al., I would say only one or two current players would be inviolable.

  • mak

    If the knock on the cubs system is lack of impact pitching prospects, than include what you need to acquire one, even if that means russell (who I love). I’d hestitate to include McNutt, because he was one of the few guys with that impact ceiling (last year anyways), and I hate selling low.

  • Chef

    So who’s the stater for the Cub tonight? Coleman?

    • hansman1982

      I believe so.

  • Kyle

    wouldnt it be awesome if the d-backs swooped in with an awesome deal for demp in these last hours. how does demp say no to that, he wants to be in arizona, and they are not out of the race to win the west.

    • Jumbo

      Olney saying a Garza/Upton deal makes sense for both teams.

    • Wester

      I’d rather see them make a pitch for Garza

  • Garrett

    I say we screw the dodgers and hook the dbacks up with demp and garza for upton and bauer

    • bbmoney

      That would be awesome. But I doubt we could get that for just those 2.

    • Gabriel

      We would have to throw in quite a bit more (bjax maybe? I’d do it) but ohhhh man….(getting excited just dreaming about it)

  • Tim Mo

    Another MLB radio rumor, Garza for Upton framework is being discussed between the Cubs and D-Backs

    • Gabriel

      This would be REDIC – don’t get me excited like this. It will never happen but oh man if it does…

    • Brad

      Brett, you think any chance Upton would waive his no trade to cubs request sans an extension in place?

  • MichiganGoat

    JUST MAKE THE DEAL! but I am glad the Cubs are just giving him to LA

  • aCubsFan

    Bowden jump the gun? How about the Dodgers used Bowden to scare off other teams?

  • Leo L

    garza for upton? did that come out of nowhere or was i not paying attention?

    • Jack Weiland

      Out of nowhere. And it seems WAY too good to be true.

  • Dan

    Garza for Upton!
    MAKE IT HAPPEN!

  • North Side Irish

    JIM BOWDEN ‏@JimBowdenESPNxm
    Serious game of chicken between the Dodgers& Cubs on Dempster right now…Cubs believed to have found another team..LA blinks or loses him

    JIM BOWDEN ‏@JimBowdenESPNxm
    Cubs source just told me that a Dempster deal to Dodgers NOT done and that Dempster opened up to other teams & they are working hard w 1 now

    I don’t really like Bowden, but at least he’s giving us stuff to obsess over…

  • @cubsfantroy

    I just got redirected to MySpace while reading stuff on here. Damn you MySpace.

  • czarnicks

    I thought the Cubs were on Upton’s no-trade list.

  • NyN

    Finally!!!!!!! The mystery team has arrived to save the day!!!

  • Turn Two

    We finally get to hear a mystery team!

  • anotherjp

    Love the fact that the Cubs are letting LA twist in the wind. All along I’ve felt that they were trying to pull a fast one with Theo when they acted as if they really didn’t want Dempster– in the end they aren’t even looking at other pitching options and are determined the Cubs will cave for crap prospects. There’s a reason they’re called the Dodgers….

  • EQ76

    My word, trading Dempster has become the hardest thing to do! We may win a world series easier than trading this guy..

    • MaxM1908

      Awesome. Love it.

  • http://bleachernation.com lou brock lives

    Keep your eye on GM Mike Rizzo with Nationals swooping in on Dempster – possible target for Cubs is LHP Sammy Solis also coming off Tommy John surgery this year with a 3B Matthew Skole as a nice added feature of the deal.

  • Matt

    Hey LA, you want Dempster? Pay the F up.

    Stick it to ‘em Theo!

  • BD

    Mystery team!!

  • MaxM1908

    Mystery team, AKA the WHITE KNIGHT!

    • David

      Hans..Boobie…I’m you’re white knight!

  • ReiCow

    T-2 hours!

    Moo!

  • Shawn H

    I think while Theo talks to the Dodoers, Jed is the mystery team.

    • coal

      Yes, Theo sent Jed down to the Starbucks on Racine where all of Theo’s top secret stuff goes down.

  • czechxican

    Is this the most unprecidented would-be trade in Cubs history?

    • ETS

      Apparently you’ve never heard of brian roberts or jake peavy?

      • Steve

        ^ this..man those rumors wore me the F out.

  • MightyBear

    Spinning out of the turn and DOWN THE STRETCH THEY (BRETT AND THE CUBS) COME!!!

  • JB88

    Brett: Question of clarification, on Twitter you said that Cubs disengaged from trade talks with Dodgers, but here you allude to a mutual disengagement. Which one was it? Implications of either are interesting.

  • MaxM1908

    I can’t tell you how awesome this is to follow. I’m buried in work in London, but I can’t help but check every ten minutes. This just keeps getting better and better. I LOVE that the Dodgers may now have to go on the offensive to win Dempster. Screw ‘em. Anything short of Demp for Webster straight up is a waste of this FO’s time.

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