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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.

Add those together, and you get the sense that none of those bigger three arms are being discussed in these talks.

And, unfortunately, Kevin Goldstein says that’s precisely the case. In a Twitter conversation that started with George Ofman tweeting that Garrett Gould – a lesser Dodgers pitching prospect – would likely be involved in a Cubs/Dodgers/Dempster trade, I noted that his inclusion would mean Lee and Webster were not included (on the belief that there’s no way the Cubs could get Gould AND one of Lee or Webster). Goldstein responded to me that Lee and Webster are “absolutely not in play for Dempster.” From there, Goldstein added that all three of Lee, Webster, and Reed are off the table in the Dempster talks.

Obviously you have to regard all rumors this time of year suspiciously – the Dodgers have an incentive to put the word out that they won’t part with a top piece for Dempster, a guy they’ve said they don’t really like (more spin?), and a guy on whom the Cubs have very little leverage. But, if the Cubs move Dempster to the Dodgers, it sounds like it’s going to be a “multiple middling pieces” type deal rather than a “one top piece” deal.

UPDATE: We’re not going to do the update dance again, are we? (Answer to my own rhetorical question: no, probably not. Too many posts today given the BNBlogathon for me to keep updating just one. If big, new Dempster info comes forward, it’ll probably get its own post.) Jim Bowden says the Cubs ideally do want to get Dempster to LA (why? because that’s the only place he’ll go? or because they really are trying to do him a favor? I doubt that latter one), but they won’t take a crap return just to do it. You probably already knew this.

UPDATE 2 (at 3:32pm CT): Apparently Tim Kurkjian was on the radio today saying that, ultimately, he thinks the Braves will suck up their pride and put Randall Delgado back on the table for Dempster. That’s great and all, but it presumes Dempster will, in turn, finally relent and go to Atlanta. We’ve learned in recent days that he still might be willing to go there, but we certainly don’t know for sure.

UPDATE 3 (at 3:53pm CT): Jayson Stark tweets: “One exec who spoke with #Nationals says: ‘If I looked up and saw that Washington traded for Ryan Demoster it wouldn’t be a surprise.'” It would be a surprise to me, if only because we don’t yet know that Dempster would accept a trade to DC. It wouldn’t surprise me in the sense that Dempster is a perfect fit for the Nats.

UPDATE 4 (at 2:12am CT): Ken Rosenthal says he’s got sources telling him Dempster “remains adamant that he will only approve a trade to the Dodgers.” Maybe everything in the last few days has been mere spin control after all.

  • MichiganGoat

    well ain’t that special… feeling the need to put the head back in the sand

  • cjdubbya

    I feel like LA keeps moving the goalposts. “Here are these guys. But this one’s not available.

    “Oh wait, now this one’s not available either.”

    I suddenly want Lee, Webster and Reed to never pan out to anything…unless one of them ends up with the Cubs. Then I want him to win five Cy Young awards.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    if we dont get zach lee, allen webster, chris reed. DONT TRADE HIM. Qualifying offer is much better option at that point

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      Why?
      If he accepts, you have a 36 year old pitcher that you’ll presumably have the same issues trading again next year
      If he rejects, you get a draft pick in 2013 that you likely won’t see in the majors until 2018 or 2019.

      A player from the Dodgers farm could contribute as early as next year, but even 2 and 3 years down the line is a quicker impact than the draft pick received IF Dempster declines the qualifying offer.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        It’s not good, but getting Gould is still probably better than taking the draft pick route, for all of those reasons (plus, you have to pay to sign the pick).

        • Aaron

          Gould for two month’s rental of Ryan Dempster is fair value.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Depends on your definition of “fair value.” Given how the market has shaken out, I no longer believe that’s true. I think we all underestimated the trade value of rentals in the post-2-Wild-Card era. The thing holding Dempster’s value down is his reluctance to go to any team, not his rental status.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              I think that many of us also thought that the new CBA was making prospects more valuable than they were 12 months ago. And perhaps it did up until a few days ago.

              • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

                I think you are right, Doc. All this talk about rentals being worth crap since you can’t get comp for them was blown out of the water with what the Brewers got for Greinke, Marlins for Sanchez (granted Infante was a big part of the deal as well), and what we could have gotten for Dempster.

            • Aaron

              What I’m saying is – we are looking to trade Ryan Dempster… who isn’t exactly an “elite” pitcher in the League. Like, name me the top 10 pitchers, and Dempster is not one that comes to mind. He’s not even the best pitcher that we have on staff (I would cede that honor to Garza). Sure, he’s having a great season, but he’s also pitching way out of his mind.

              Gould plus one would be fair for Dempster right now, given the loss of leverage and the fact that we’re talking 2 months of what will be a number 4 or 5 guy for them. This explains why everyone went nuts when word leaked that we had swindled ATL for Delgado, and why the firestorm that followed that debacle was so intense.

              All I’m saying is: we have to keep in mind what exactly it is we’re dealing, and how other clubs view that player as well.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                No argument with any of that.

        • Sandberg

          I dunno, the draft pick would give them an extra $1+ million to work with for their draft pool, right? That might end up counting for something.

    • Scotti

      Regardless of the pick, don’t trade him on principle. If you get such a crappy return because “LA stood their ground” then EVERY GM will think that he can get you to blink first after a long stare-off. Just don’t bother. Win-win or no deal.

      • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

        I don’t think a principle is being set when we are dealing a 10-5 player that can control where he goes. Dempster is very clearly steering this to the Dodgers and that kills the Cubs leverage. If they get back more than what the risk of possibly getting a pick then we make deal.

      • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

        I don’t think that would be the case at all. Teams pay what they have to.
        Theo will do what’s best for the organization; no matter if its hold on to Dempster or trade him for pennies.

  • Junior Lake

    He did say if the Cubs added Junior Lake they could net all 3

    DO IT

  • Cyranojoe

    Ah, but he said not in a deal for *Dempster*. How’s about for Dempster + Soriano, or Reed? Also, Campana, LaHair, or Baker…?

    My hopes remain at probably slightly excessive levels. Of course, I’m still hoping they nail the ATL deal, so I should make that “massively excessive”.

  • MightyBear

    Worst part is they could have made this deal two weeks ago. Dempster! (Say it like “Newman!” from Seinfeld.

  • cdncubfan

    i wouldn’t trade him. if he wants to go to LA so badly, let him do it in next winter.

  • J Dub

    He told Jon Greenberg that if they added Junior Lake to the deal they could net all 3

    i say do it

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      He was joking …

    • AB

      do people not realize other teams scout Junior Lake as well??

  • MikeL

    If any of this is true…..then it just goes to show you how badly things have gotten between Dempster and the front office.

    • MaxM1908

      See, that’s what I’m reading into this. Basically, he’s upset the FO to the point that they’re thinking it’s worth it to them to just unload him and never have to deal with him again. I just hate how much all this negotiating with the Dodgers has probably cost the Cubs in other trade opportunities.

      • Brad

        Precisely how/why Dempster screwed the cubs over for years to come :(

  • sclem21

    Maybe im forcing myself into justification but Garrett Gould could still be a back of rotation guy, no? Hes been mediocre in cal league but most pitchers are in that league. Still just about a K per

  • jfish1219

    If you are not going to get a good return don’t make a trade. It looks much worse to other teams if we cave as a pose to just not making the trade IMO.

  • http://twitter.com/SouvenirCity Engine 78

    We’re spinning a lot of hope here. I think it’s time to realize that if there’s a trade for Ryan Dempster and it involves the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Cubs will not be getting much more than a possible bullpen arm or a future end of the rotation starter in return. At best. The leverage is clearly not that for the Cubs to squeeze a top 5-10 player out of the Dodgers organization. Unfortunate, with the hope we came into the deadline with. However, it’s realistic whereas hoping the Dodgers cave at the 11th hour is not. They know the risks here. I don’t think Ned Coletti believes that Ryan Dempster is the difference between his team winning a playoff series or not. Therefore, giving up when he knows he is in a negotiating position of power because of last week’s events is unnecessary.

    • Scotti

      LA has no power. We can keep Dempster (obviously).

      • http://twitter.com/SouvenirCity Engine 78

        Keeping him is worse than dealing him for a C prospect.

      • Mike

        The only way we have any power is if theres another team Demp will sign off on going to. If not LAD holds all the power. There is nothing gained by keeping Dempster, as hed be a fool not to accept the 12.5 mil qualifying offer. Gould and another piece or two would be acceptable only if the offer from the Braves is truly completely off the table.

    • Dave

      Maybe not , but he sure could be the difference in the Dodgers making the playoffs.

  • http://www.backingthepack.com Rynomite

    I’d take Tolleson. Could be closer of the future or at least a good righty setup guy.

  • Itzscott

    Cubs shouldn’t do the deal unless the prospect in return has an equal or greater upside than Dempster.

    • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

      Gould’s upside is probably the same as Dempster, but the odds of him reaching that aren’t exactly strong.

  • Jeff1969

    I would be happy with Gould & Lindolm, maybe Fife. Dempster has got to go.

    • Jeff1969

      Lindblom. Sorry!

  • Don

    Brett-

    What about Chris Withrow from the Dodgers?

    • dudeski

      i hope not

    • Big Lez

      Withrow could be a decent return at this point and probably has similar upside as Gould. Personally, I’d take Gould over Withrow as Withrow is a few years older and has the type of control that ultimately lands you in the bullpen (poor control).

      To me, Withrow ultimately projects as a bullpen arm (though by “stuff” alone, he could be a very good closer), which is why I’d prefer Gould.

  • JB88

    Why does God and Ryan Dempster hate us?

  • Mr. Cubster

    Now we know why the Dodgers nickname is Dem Bums!!!

  • Brad

    The irony, the irony….

  • Matt

    I wouldn’t do the Dodgers or Dempster any favors.

    Come up with a decent deal or don’t.

    • Fishin Phil

      This. Do not make a trade just for the sake of making a trade. If it helps the Cubs fine, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to help Dempster or the Dodgers.

  • Bigdave425

    Oh I have a bad feeling bout this!

  • Riggs10

    It is obvious that Dempster never really “cared” about the Cubs as much as he stated in the past. He had a great reputation in Chicago and that will be blown away by how he has handled this situation. I say get rid of him and let him see how he ruined any future acceptance with the organization and the fans. Or better yet, keep him and see how fun it is to pitch at Wrigley the rest of the year!

  • Leo

    Tim Kurkjian said that he has contacted a source with Braves and thinks they will swallow there pride and trade Delgado for Demp

    • dudeski

      link?

      • LaHair4MVP

        I believe he said that in a radio interview today. Not sure there would be a link to it.

        • CubbiesOHCubbies

          I did hear that as well. It was during a radio interview with Carmen defalco. He said the braves may be best served byswallowing their pride. He never said it was looking like they were going to. And he also said go after dempster but I never heard him say Delgado would be part of the deal. For what a rumor is worth, which in this case is nothing.

    • Cyranojoe

      OMG please be true.

    • MaxM1908

      That’d be great. I just hope Demp will reconsider his position. One thought that’s been running through my head is what if all the recent flurry of Cubs-Dodgers talk we’ve been hearing is the Cubs going back to LA with the Delgado offer in hand saying “Up your offer, or Demp is going to ATL (We swear this time. We have it in writing).”

      • Cyranojoe

        That’s an awesome idea. We can surely hope.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks, Leo – of course, it doesn’t much matter if Dempster won’t go there.

  • http://bleachernation loyal100more

    throw in reed johnson and pull the trigger! and move on

  • MaxM1908

    #FakeDempsterRumor: Cubs complete deal with Dodgers, but Dempster rejects it, explaining he once got sick eating at an In-N-Out burger. However, he likes Whataburger and thinks Cubs should explore their options with Texas.

  • Leo

    ESPN radio Carmen Yorko Harry show

  • Jackalope

    What about instead of going after one decently high-ceiling/high-floor guy, you go after several high-ceiling/low-floor guys (the type that have good stuff but serious command issues or who really need to work to develop that third pitch)? Given the attrition rate of pitching prospects, perhaps quantity balances the lower probability of any individual one ever making an impact. This worked out pretty well with Archer from the DeRosa trade, for example. Not sure exactly which Dodgers arms would fit the high-ceiling/low-floor mold.

  • Adam

    What about a package of players like John Ely and Ethan Martin? Both pitching well this year.

  • Leo

    Has anyone else noticed how much Allen Webster and Ted Lilly look alike no wonder Ryan wants to go there double the Lilly

    • J R

      Ha… No kidding. He can pull a Lilly ganbang.

  • donnie kessinger

    Why not trade Dempster to LA for… TED LILY! Not much of a return, but one great laugh…

    • fortyonenorth

      My thinking exactly :)

    • Ogyu

      like

    • Cyranojoe

      Hysterical. :D

    • J R

      Hillarious… I am not a Lilly fan in the slightest. But very funny.

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