Theo and Jed Speak: Trade Deadline, Dempster, Garza, Etc.

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Theo and Jed Speak: Trade Deadline, Dempster, Garza, Etc.

Chicago Cubs

With the Trade Deadline in the rearview mirror, the Chicago Cubs’ brass was finally able to come up for a breather – a short one – to address the media about how things went, and where the organization goes from here. Obviously, the primary focus of their interviews was the Ryan Dempster trade, but they also touched a fair bit on the non-trade of Matt Garza.

Among the notable quotes from President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein (which are culled from a large handful of articles):

  • On balancing a player’s no-trade rights and still trying to make a trade: “It created a market of one up until about 15 minutes to go. That’s just the nature of 10-5 rights. It allows a player to say ‘I won’t be traded, period.’ Ryan didn’t do that. They allow a player to say ‘I’ll go anywhere you want.’ They allow a player to say ‘This is my preferred destination. I want you do everything you can to work out a deal there. And if you absolutely can’t, at the last minute maybe I’ll consider other places.'”
  • On the failed Atlanta Braves deal for Ryan Dempster: “He didn’t technically say ‘no.’ He said ‘No, not now. I’m not going to go to Atlanta before I see about L.A.’ And Atlanta, very reasonably, didn’t want to wait around and risk not getting a pitcher …. Ryan never got the opportunity, for, I’d say, more than an hour, to fully contemplate Atlanta with a deal actually in place. I feel for him. All of a sudden, instead of having time to contemplate it privately, he had everyone telling him what to do, everyone asking him questions about it, and it became a nuisance for him. I think it’s really hard to criticize Ryan. I think it’s unfortunate. But he certainly wasn’t blindsided because we had been telling him for days that Atlanta was a very likely destination and we were going to have to make a final decision.”
  • On the Cubs letting Demspter listen in on phone calls with the Dodgers on Tuesday: “It was an unusual situation. But I think it as helpful to have him there so he could hear first-hand that [the Dodgers deal] wasn’t going to happen. If someone wants to really go to a place, you can tell him over and over it’s not going to happen. But unless they’re convinced of that, they’re not going to want to move on to their second choice.”
  • On the possibility of trading Matt Garza at the deadline: “Clearly, a healthy Matt Garza would have been a very sought-after player at this deadline. Whether we would have done something or not, it’s hard to say, but we didn’t get a chance to fully explore it. When a buying team’s last data point is seeing a guy walk off a mound holding his elbow, it’s not the kind of thing they want to act upon.”
  • On the status of extension talks with Garza, and the future for him: “Everything’s still in play. We did have talks earlier in the season. They didn’t come to fruition. I think when that type of thing happens, you have to be open-minded about moving a player. But certainly there’s a time and place to address an extension again …. It’s too early to say [what we’ll do]. We’ll see what our situation looks like and what the market looks like.”

Among the notable quotes from General Manager Jed Hoyer (which are similarly culled from a large handful of articles): 

  • On the mechanics of putting together the Rangers deal for Ryan Dempster: “He held pretty firm on the Dodgers thing. I was actually really glad he was in our office for the last couple of hours. It was probably fun for him. He was able to sort of see how we work and see what happens. He sat in an office and watched himself on TV. Then we sort of briefed him on where we were and I don’t remember exactly what time but at some point he said ‘OK, if this Dodgers thing isn’t going to work, then he was willing to open it up to a handful of teams.’ That’s why it came together late. We talked to teams a little bit but we weren’t going to spend tons of time and lead teams down a road that wasn’t going to happen. We didn’t want to do that. We had to, not scramble, but work pretty hard at the end to find a suitable deal for him.”
  • On why Dempster didn’t go to Atlanta: “He felt he had a place he wanted to go, he knew what he wanted. It wasn’t that he was unprepared to make a decision [about the Braves], but when the decision came, and the finality of it, I think he wanted to wait a little longer and explore his options.”
  • On the state of the relationship with Dempster, and the future: “With Ryan certainly this was an unusual situation over the last 10 days or so. But I think you all know his personality. He was sitting in our office and there has never been any personal animosity. I think between Theo and Ryan and me it has always been really amicable. He’s a great guy. There is a reason he is a fan favorite here and that’s the reason we would always welcome him back here. I give him credit, last year was a down year for him and a difficult year for him. What he has done this year has been phenomenal. I give him a lot of credit bouncing back and having a great year.”
  • On the unpredictability of baseball and trades: “You never know what twists or turns are going to happen. Ten days ago, I didn’t expect Ryan not going to Atlanta. Matt [Garza] ended up getting hurt. You don’t expect those things to happen.”
  • On whether Garza’s triceps injury made trying to trade him more difficult: “It certainly did. It’s hard. Teams ultimately shied away. They had not seen the guy out on the mound. It certainly hurt his market. It hurt the number of phone calls we got on him because he wasn’t going to pitch until after the deadline.”

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.