Trade rumors involving Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Ryan Dempster show no sign of slowing down. One minute Dempster is going to the Dodgers, the next minute Dempster is headed to Atlanta all while the Cubs are in talks with a Hollywood film company to have the right to Dempster to co-star with Will Ferrell in a blockbuster comedy.
The Cubs have been exchanging names with the Tigers, Dodgers, Braves, Nationals, and Cardinals about a possible Dempster trade throughout this past week. Talks appeared to be coming to a resolution on Thursday night as it appeared that the Cubs were closing in on a trade involving Dempster. With two offers on the table, one from the Dodgers and one from the Red Sox, it seemed that Dempster would surely be scratched from his start against the Cardinals on Friday night. Though, when the time came for Dempster to take the mound against the Cardinals that is indeed what the starting pitcher did. The Cubs played with fire in an attempt to show teams that they will continue to pitch Dempster until they receive an offer that warrants them to protect Dempster from injury. While Dempster did allow 4 runs in his start against the Cardinals on Friday, the starting pitcher did not get injured in what was probably his last start as a member of the Cubs organization.
I realize that is something that the we have said for Dempster’s past three starts, but this time it appears to hold the most truth. The Cubs are trying to trade three starting pitchers before July 31. Those three starting pitchers ar Dempster, Matt Garza, and Paul Maholm. The market for Maholm does not appear to be same market for Dempster and Garza. The Braves, Red Sox, Cardinals, Tigers, and Dodgers all have an interest in both Dempster and Garza. It will lower both pitcher’s trade value if the Cubs try to trade Dempster and Garza at the same time. It would make sense for the Cubs to trade Dempster now, and then trade Garza to one of the teams that lose out on the 35 year old veteran starting pitcher.
Focusing on Dempster, as we begin to get closer and closer to a resolution, it would seem that the true finalist for the veteran pitcher are beginning to become more clear. After weeks of being mentioned as the front-runners to land Dempster, the Dodgers may be out of the Dempster sweepstakes. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Dodgers seemed to have moved on from Dempster while the Braves, Nationals, and Cardinals have emerged as the front-runners for Dempster. The Dodgers have been reluctant to included the top pitching prospects that the Cubs are asking for in return for Dempster. The Dodgers’ reluctance results from the fact that Dempster is a free agent after this season. Though, there was a report from Peggy Kusinski of NBC 5 Chicago that suggests that holdup in Dempster trade to the Dodgers was the pitcher’s desire for a two year extension. If Dempster were to sign an extension with the Dodgers, then that would likely increase the value of the prospects that the Cubs receive in a trade. Though, it still seems unlikely that Zach Lee would be involved in the deal.
With the Dodgers interest in Dempster wavering, it would seem that a team like the Nationals–who are reportedly pushing hard for Dempster–may sweep in and land Dempster.