The Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers remain in discussions over a potential trade that would send starting pitcher Ryan Dempster to Los Angeles. The Cubs, by all accounts, are trying to work out a trade with the Dodgers as that is the team that Dempster would waive his 10 and 5 rights without seriously considering the move first. Meanwhile, both the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals are possible alternates to the Dodgers in case the Cubs can’t work out a deal with the Dodgers.
There has been speculation that the Braves could very well offer the same deal that the two sides agreed to last Monday. The agreed upon deal would have sent Randall Delgado to the Cubs in exchange for Dempster. While the Braves have since tabled those discussions and consequently lost out on Zack Greinke and have shown little interest in Josh Johnson of the Miami Marlins, the expectation among some national baseball reporters is that Atlanta will still wind up with Dempster. Dempster still could be willing to approve a deal to Atlanta after not approving the trade last week. Reporters have suggested that by Dempster simply not responding the trade that the Cubs and Braves agreed to last Monday, that doesn’t mean that he said no to going Atlanta. Though, he certainly did not say yes.
However, discussions with the Dodgers have taken a creative turn for the Cubs’ front office. After failing to reach some sort of compromise on a package for Dempster, Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reports that talks between the two sides have intensified over the past 24 hours. According to Levine, Cubs’ left fielder Alfonso Soriano is now being included in these discussions. This report comes after a tweet by Ken Rosenthal this morning that mentioned that Soriano was still a part of the Dempster discussions between the Cubs and Dodgers.
Soriano being included in the Dempster deal to the Dodgers could be the compromise that the Cubs front office needs. Knowing that they have all the leverage in their discussions with the Cubs, the Dodgers have eliminated any chance of the Cubs receiving Zach Lee, Allen Webster, or Chris Reed in a package for Dempster. That is the reason why talks between the Cubs and Dodgers have been at a stalemate for most of this past week. The Cubs are not going to trade Dempster for the sole purpose of trading Dempster, it may sound crazy, but the Cubs want actual talent in return for Dempster. While Chris Withrow and Garrett Gould are respectable prospects, their talent does not come close to what the Cubs could have got from the Braves in the form of Delgado. Though with Soriano in the deal and the Cubs willing to eat the majority of both Soriano’s and Dempster’s contract, that likely will be enough for the Cubs to get the talent they expect from the Dodgers.
The Dodgers have been linked to outfielders Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino as well. But with the Cubs willing to eat close to 95% of the remaining salary on Soriano’s contract and Dempster included, it would seem that the Dodgers have taken an interest in completing the deal with the Cubs. I was previously on the record as saying that I would be disappointed in any Dempster that did not include Delgado, well I can make one exception if that is the trade that also includes Soriano.
Both Dempster and Soriano have 10 and 5 rights meaning each player would have to approve the deal, and the deal between the two teams can be agreed upon on Tuesday in spite of 10 and 5 players having a 24 hour period to decide whether or not they want to accept the trade that they are a part of.