The Cubs and Dodgers Might Not Exchange Christmas Cards and Other Bullets

The Little Girl is sick today, so my attentions may be a bit divided. There should still be normal posting, but probably reduced commenting, etc…

  • So, now the Cubs say they *didn’t* let Ryan Dempster listen in on calls with the Dodgers on Tuesday’s Trade Deadline, in the hopes that he would understand how much the Dodgers didn’t want him. Instead, the Cubs now say that, when Theo Epstein said, “Once he came into our office and actually heard the conversations we had with L.A., he came to realize, ‘OK, that’s not actually going to happen, let me consider a couple other places,’” he wasn’t being literal. Additionally, the Cubs say they had Dempster call Dodgers GM Ned Colletti directly about 30 minutes before the deadline, to hear Colletti’s thoughts straight from the horse’s mouth. That’s fine, and I have no reason to doubt this story. But I do wonder: what exactly would that conversation look like? Ned: “Yeah, Ryan, we don’t really want you, but we’ll take you for table scraps.” Ryan: “Oh, for reals? That’s kind of crappy. I guess I’ll go elsewhere.” Ned: “Groovy.”
  • The Dodgers, according to the Sun-Times, are still pissed, though, and are skeptical that the call to Colletti was the only access Dempster was given to the trade talks. ‘‘If I was the Dodgers, I’d be upset if I thought players were listening in on our conversations, but that’s clearly not what happened,’’ Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said. ‘‘As I made clear [Tuesday] in my press conference, I kicked Ryan out of my office and put him in a separate office before we made any phone calls. Ryan was in the offices so that he could be there on a moment’s notice. He certainly wasn’t there to listen in on phone calls, and we would never let that happen.’’ As I said this weekend, I don’t think Dempster listening in is, practically-speaking, all that big of a deal, but I can certainly see that the story is a big deal for the Cubs’ ongoing relationship with the Dodgers. This isn’t about Dempster, it’s about the Cubs and Dodgers being able to work together in the future.
  • Jeff Baker, who was yesterday traded to the Detroit Tigers, had some complimentary things to say about the Cubs’ rebuilding process. “They’re doing it the right way,” Baker said, according to CSN. “You kind of got to tear it down to build it back up. It’s that tough blend. It’s a major market [and] it generates a lot of revenue. You just hope that the fans are going to be patient with ‘em – and some of these guys that are coming up and getting an opportunity here are going to be able to blossom …. It’s going to be Rizz’s team, Castro’s team. For those two, the leadership qualities are going to have to step up, and hopefully they can take it and run with it.”
  • Darwin Barney has set the team’s single-season errorless streak mark, with 91 straight games without an error at second base this year. He’ll have to go a fair bit further to break Ryne Sandberg’s overall record, though, of 123 straight games.
  • The MLBullets at BCB look at Josh Hamilton’s catch-22 with quitting tobacco – he’s been playing really poorly ever since quitting.

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

37 responses to “The Cubs and Dodgers Might Not Exchange Christmas Cards and Other Bullets”

  1. Aisle 424

    Is there anything on the Dodgers’ side about the Dodgers being pissed? Did I miss something? All I’ve seen is an assertion in a Sullivan article with no quotes or supporting evidence that the Dodgers are pissed.

  2. Shawn

    I admit it is a very odd story with Dempster listening or not listening in and the Dodgers have a small bit of contention, but as far as I am concerned the Dodgers can basically suck it. They knew they had the Cubs in a bad spot leverage wise and were squeezing the team as much as possible. Theo and Jed have to do whatever they can to get the best possible return on every deal and it was pretty evident the Dodgers were not interested in a fair value trade because they felt they had all the leverage. If this means potential future deals with the Dodgers might be more complicated then I can live with that.

    1. magilljl

      Agreed. While it’s important to keep the lines of communication as open as possible with other teams, if the Dodger’s were trying to hi-jack the Cubs on Demp thinking they had all the leverage (was fairly evident) then screw em. If another deal comes about in the future that’s truly in the best interest of both teams, I’m sure something would get worked out regardless of the outcome of this failed deal.

  3. JP cubed

    Hey did you guys know we drafted Josh Hamilton one time;). Couldn’t resist

    1. cjdubbya

      Yeah…we’ve heard this a time or 12. This was Josh Hamilton the train wreck drug addict, not Josh Hamilton the superstar player. I’m super psyched that the guy’s exorcised his demons, as he’s lucky to be alive based on what we’ve heard of his past, but at the time the Cubs took him in the Rule 5 draft, he belonged in rehab, not on a baseball diamond.

      1. JP cubed

        I was only joking this fine Monday morning, I know how sensitive this subject is to cubbies. Just trying to stir it up a bit

        1. cjdubbya

          That’s fair. There are a couple people ’round these parts that are insistent that the Cubs’ FO should have had the prescience to know that Hamilton would successfully exorcise his demons to become the great player he is today, but I doubt even his biggest supporters could have successfully predicted it.

    2. Edwin

      OMG we dids? Jim Henry was such a moran no wonder this team suks!!!!1111!!

      1. Boogens

        What’s a “moran”? Are you a Cardinals fan trolling our boards? ;-)

  4. CubFan Paul

    I think the Dempster situation turned out as good as any trade for a declining 35yr old asset (w/ the exception of the Braves’ brainfart to offer Delgado). Villanueva looks like a solid prospect that could give us 15HRs a year from 2B

    1. AB

      I’d bet Villanueva stays at 3b and Vitters is traded this offseason.

      1. Flashfire

        Villanueva is probably 2 years away, if he makes it. Seems a bit early to assume he works and trade Vitters — unless they don’t think Vitters fits anywhere, which may be the case.

      2. CubFan Paul

        And if Villanueva doesn’t make it out if Double A we’re screwed. He’s not pushing Vitters out this soon

        & I said 2B because I expect Castro or Baez to be at 3B in a couple years.

        1. Flashfire

          They are really completely stocked with good 3B/MI prospects at the moment. (Watkins, Lake, Villanueva, Alcantara, Baez, Torreyes, Amaya, Marco Hernandez, Candelario — with Barney, Castro, and Vitters, obviously, already in the majors.) We all have our favorites — but it’s probably a mistake to make any assumptions about who plays where. It’s a very nice position to be in, though.

        2. AB

          its questionable Vitters defense is going to cut it for want the Hoyer/Epstein want. the cubs new FO seems to settle for an average bat at 3b if it can get above average defense.

          the staff will be working with Vitters on his D until he plays everyday, and trying to stack his numbers at the plate with opportune playing time is a way to increase his value.

          I don’t necessarily think Villanueva will even be the starting 3b in a couple of years.

          1. CubFan Paul

            Theo&Co are only settling for an average bat at 3B this year because they’re being cheap (letting the big contracts expire). Valbuena & probably Ian Stewart too will be nowhere to be found next year

          2. Drew7

            What they’re probably looking for is positive net production from each position. In other words, the sum of: how many runs player at position X creates with his bat + how many runs he saves with his glove, MINUS the production of the opposing player at position X (or, over a longer period of time, other ML players of the same position).

      3. Mike

        Id bet Vilanueva moves to 2b eventually, he is athletic enough to play there and has more of the numbers hitting that translate to that positon. Baez and Candalerio will be the ones who push Vitters out at 3b and either into the OF or out of town in a trade.

  5. Flashfire

    I suspect all of the Dodger stuff is true. Honestly: it was an incredibly frustrating time for Epstein and Hoyer and they probably made a bad decision. The Dodgers taking the moral high ground after being 5-year-olds for a week is classic. “We’re pretty sure we’re about to get Dempster — because the Cubs have to deal him to us.” That, of course, had no impact on attempts to trade him.

    Certainly I lose in a letting faith in Theo and Jed following this episode but, in the end, there are 28 other teams to deal with and, hopefully, the new ownership group replaces Ned Colletti and this whole thing blows over.

    1. Flashfire

      I need to wake up: *Certainly I lose a little faith in…

  6. CM

    The thing about operating in “good faith” is that it works both ways. After a week of being held hostage by Colletti, I don’t think allowing Dempster a little inside info as too just how important he was to the Dodgers, regardless of how he gets it, is wrong on the part of the Cub FO. If they’d have done it at the beginning, different story.

  7. Fastball

    Oh who cares about Ned Coletti. Get over it Ned. If you wanted to play ball with us then you should have got your ass off the bench and played. If you didn’t want Dempster bad enough to make a deal for him then don’t try to make one at all. If your pissed that you didn’t get him after the fact well that is your freaking problem. This is bull shit that we are even giving this a thought. Theo has credibility with everyone in baseball. So if Ned thinks his spin on this is going to change anything then he is full of himself. This is a non issue. Move on and lets talk about something else that is important. It’s not like he didn’t rape us when he got Ted Lilly for Christ Sake. Did he feel entitled to get one more hose job in before he was done? Why we as Cubs fans even give a crap about the Dodgers is beyond me.

  8. Bric

    The one thing I can’t understand was the hold up between Dempster’s “I’ll have to think about it”. Clearly it was a bad situation with a bunch of “he said- he said” BS, indecision and confusion.

    But to me, Thedstein had done its due diligence in trying to keep him in the loop, he suddenly became a dick, and then they refused to move on.

    At that point I would’ve gone right back to the Braves and said “Allright, forget Dempster, how about Maholm and McNutt (or whoever) to get the deal done.” The Braves were obviously ready to move Delgado, had interest in Maholm and weren’t gonna wait all day to do it. All these personal feelings and shit should never’ve gotten in the middle of the original goal which was to aqcuire young major league ready pitching. Instead they went for the family counseling, let’s talk it out route. Not good business.

  9. CubsFanBob

    I love how LA tried to low ball us and Demptser hand cuffed the FO but yet Jedtheo come out with the black eye. If anything the FO should be getting praise for turning a turd into a a few prospects at the very last minute.

  10. Leroy K.

    why won’t the Ryan Dempster saga die??

    1. JP cubed

      We still are talking about Josh Hamilton from YEARS ago… We haven’t won a world series in over a century, we as Cubs fans are like a dog with a bone and don’t let go very quickly…

  11. Quintz

    Wouldn’t Ryan Dempster and Ned Colletti talking prior to the trade deadline be “tampering”?