Cubs, Braves Agree To A Trade; Does Dempster?


July 20, 2012; St. Louis, MO. USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Ryan Dempster (46) throws to a St. Louis Cardinals batter in the third inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE

The Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves have agreed to a trade that will send starting pitcher Ryan Dempster to the Braves in exchange for 22 year old starting pitcher Randall Delgado. In spite of this news, Dempster is currently in the Cubs clubhouse and is indeed wearing a Cubs’ uniform.

Why is Dempster still in the Cubs clubhouse and not en route to join the Braves? Well that may be because the starting pitcher has yet to waive his 10 and 5 rights. With those rights, Dempster can veto any trade that he is a part of.

Originally there were multiple reports that seemed to confirm that the deal was done and that Dempster was officially headed to Atlanta. However, within the past hour, reports and various tweets have suggested that the deal is not done just yet. These reports stem from Dempster saying on his official twitter account that there has been no trade, and then entering the Cubs clubhouse. Dempster did not address reporters upon his entrance in the Cubs clubhouse, and that would seem to suggest that there is smoke to fire. In addition, neither Theo Epstein nor Jed Hoyer have commented on the trade. If there was no trade in place, one would figure that either Epstein or Hoyer would have denied it by now. Though, I wouldn’t expect the Cubs’ front office to make any announcement until either Dempster rejects the deal or approves the deal.

This also seems about the right time to talk about sources. Since Epstein and company took control of the Cubs’ baseball department, it became increasingly difficulty for news to leak from the Cubs front office. Reason being that Epstein and company like to keep things close to vest and do not comment on any report or rumor until the deal is official, see the Jorge Soler signing for example. In additional, local reporters have also been kept out of the loop this season as the sources they had over recent seasons probably are not longer credible considering the regime change.

But now in regards to the potential Dempster trade to the Braves for Delgado, there seems to be a consensus that the only thing holding the deal is Dempster’s approval of the deal. The Braves were not Dempster’s first choice. Dempster’s first choice is believed to be the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, the Dodgers interest in Dempster has cooled over the course of the past couple of days. That is how the Braves entered the picture as the new front-runners, and consequently, made a deal for the Cubs. Dempster is familiar with the Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez and general manager Frank Wren. In the end, my guess is that Dempster will approve the deal and the trade will become official. Dempster already told reporters this season that he would approve any deal that was good for the Cubs.

The agreed deal between the Braves and Cubs is indeed a good trade for the Cubs. Delgado, who entered the 2012 season being ranked #46 on Baseball America’s list of top 100 prospects, is 4 and 9 on the season for the Braves to go along with an ERA of 4.42. Delgado’s ceiling is believed to be as a top 3 pitching in a starting rotation, though, he closer to a #3 pitcher than he is to a #1 or #2. Regardless, assuming this deal does eventually get done, the Cubs were able to land a top 50 prospects with a good ceiling and skill-set that can provide an immediate impact for the team as well as the long-term future.

Cubbies Crib will have the latest on the Dempster drama as we wait to hear the starting pitcher’s decision on the trade.