Ryan Dempster of the Chicago Cubs throws to the Arizona Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis /Getty Images)

Deadline Deal: Ryan Dempster Headed To Texas Rangers

Ryan Dempster was going to the Braves. Then he was going to the Dodgers. He wound up going to the Rangers, in exchange for two prospects.

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Ryan Dempster Traded For Christian Villanueva, Kyle Hendricks

At the very last minute, the Cubs traded Ryan Dempster to the Rangers. Previously, Dempster looked like he was destined for the Braves, then he looked like he was destined for the Dodgers, but the Rangers ultimately pulled it off. In exchange for Dempster, the Rangers coughed up two prospects: Christian Villanueva and Kyle Hendricks.

Villanueva is a 21-year-old third baseman ranked as the No. 100 prospect in baseball before the season by Baseball America. In advanced-single-A he's batted .285 with a .777 OPS, and he's considered to be a fine defender with a history of playing short. His power is coming along although his plate discipline could use work.

Hendricks is a 22-year-old righty starting pitcher drafted in the eighth round in 2011. At the same level as Villanueva, he's posted an unfathomable 15 walks and 112 strikeouts over 20 starts. That right there should tell you that he's a control/command guy who might run into his ceiling before reaching the majors.

Villanueva is the more exciting prospect, and this isn't a bad get for the Cubs for a few months of a veteran starter. Note that the Rangers were trying on a couple fronts until pulling the trigger on this move:


Rangers Trade For Ryan Dempster

The Texas Rangers were the Official Mystery Team of the 2012 trading deadline, as they swooped in at the last second and acquired Ryan Dempster, who has been the Cubs' best pitcher this year.

The 35-year-old Dempster is having the best season of his career, sporting a 2.25 ERA in 16 starts, and striking out 83 in 104 innings, walking just 27. He was reportedly already dealt to the Braves, but he rejected the deal. The Dodgers and Yankees were the other two teams reportedly in play for the right-hander, and the Rangers were rarely -- if ever -- mentioned. That's why they're mystery teams, people.

The Rangers signed Roy Oswalt last month, but he's been horrible so far, with a 6.49 ERA in six starts. Add in Colby Lewis undergoing elbow surgery, and it was clear the Rangers were interested in bolstering their rotation, though not desperate. A pending free agent like Dempster was likely a lower-cost option than what they were exploring with Matt Garza and Zack Greinke.

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Rangers will send two A-ball prospects to the Cubs, one pitcher and one position player.


MLB Trade Rumors: Yankees In Play For Ryan Dempster

The New York Yankees made a pair of moves over the offseason on the same day, acquiring Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda on the same day. The former got hurt, and the latter's been a success. They still have Freddy Garcia in the rotation, though, and they'd like to consider an upgrade. Enter Ryan Dempster:

That's in response to a) a rumor about the Yankees being interested in Dempster, and b) the fact that Dempster was already reportedly dealt to the Braves before rejecting the deal with his 10-and-5 rights. If Dempster's already cool with the Yankees, there's a greater chance of the deal happening.

At the very least, the intrusion of the Yankees gives the Cubs a little more leverage over the Dodgers. The Cubs were pushing for prospect Allen Webster as a part of the deal, but so far the Dodgers have been refusing.


Rangers, Yankees In Play For Ryan Dempster Trade

When the Cubs traded starter Paul Maholm to the Atlanta Braves Monday night, that likely took them out of the running for Ryan Dempster, who was almost traded to Atlanta a week ago.

Multiple reports since then had indicated that Dempster would only approve — since he has 10-and-5 rights — a deal to the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, there may now be other teams he’d be willing to go to, according to David Kaplan of CSN Chicago:

Baseball sources have confirmed to me that three teams are in play for Ryan Dempster and he will approve a deal to any of the three teams if the Cubs can agree on a suitable return in exchange for the veteran right-hander who is enjoying one of the best seasons of his career. The Los Angeles Dodgers, who have long been Dempster’s preferred destination will have to increase their offer as the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees have stepped up their pursuit over the last 48 hours. With Roy Oswalt having another poor performance on Monday evening, the Rangers have decided to upgrade their rotation and are looking at all available options including Dempster and Matt Garza.

Dempster has some familiarity with the Yankees, as their pitching coach Larry Rothschild was a longtime Cubs pitching coach, and former Cubs GM Jim Hendry is now a special assistant to Yankees GM Brian Cashman.

There are only about six hours remaining until the deadline Tuesday afternoon.


Dodgers, Cubs Still Discussing Ryan Dempster Deal

Ryan Dempster was supposed to be traded to the Atlanta Braves a week ago, but he exercised his 10-and-5 rights and is still a member of the Chicago Cubs, tentatively listed as the Cubs’ starter Tuesday against the Pirates.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have also expressed interest in Dempster, and that still could happen:

And, that deal, if it happens, could possibly include another highly-paid Cub:

Meanwhile, the Braves, who reportedly were going to send 22-year-old righthander Randall Delgado to the Cubs a week ago, are still interested in Dempster:

If the Cubs come back to the Braves, they might not get the same package that was in place before Dempster blocked a trade to Atlanta last week. In other words, there is no guarantee Randall Delgado would also be available in this package.

It seems likely Dempster will go somewhere, as he’s not likely to be re-signed by the Cubs and they’d like to get some sort of return for him.


The Storm Clouds Over The Cubs' Deadline

The Chicago Cubs have approached the last two trade deadlines in very different ways, but they might end up disappointed with the results of both.


Braves: We've 'Moved On' From Ryan Dempster

It looks like the Atlanta Braves won’t be acquiring Ryan Dempster from the Chicago Cubs after all. Dempster had supposedly named the Braves as one of a number of teams he’d agree to be traded to — he has 10-and-5 rights and can veto any deal — but when a proposed deal got leaked Monday, all heck broke loose.

Wednesday morning, Braves GM Frank Wren told an Atlanta radio station that the deal is likely off:

The Cubs want to deal Dempster because his contract expires at the end of this season and they want to retool with young pitching. The Braves are in contention and could have used Dempster to bolster their rotation. Could this be posturing? We’ll find out before the non-waiver trading deadline Tuesday.

For more on the Cubs, please visit Bleed Cubbie Blue and SB Nation Chicago; for more on the Braves, please visit Talking Chop and SB Nation Atlanta.


Ryan Dempster 'Considering Options', Could Take Another Week

Monday, it appeared Chicago Cubs righthander Ryan Dempster was on his way to becoming a member of the Atlanta Braves.

But Dempster, who has 10-and-5 rights, had not signed off on the deal, and Tuesday, he was in the Cubs’ clubhouse in Pittsburgh as the team prepares to play the Pirates, saying he could take up to a week to decide:

"I want to look everything over before I make a decision, and I’ve got time to do that," Dempster said Tuesday. "There’s a week before the Trade Deadline."

Dempster, 35, who leads the Major Leagues with a 2.11 ERA, is scheduled to start Wednesday for the Cubs against the Pirates, and expects to make that start.

As a player with 10 and 5 rights, Dempster has veto power over any deal. He wouldn’t specify which teams he was considering.

"I’m just trying to look over everything and make the best decision for me and for my family and what I need to do," he said.

The Cubs appear to have lost quite a bit of leverage due to the snafus; as noted by Joe Sheehan:

For more on the Cubs, please visit Bleed Cubbie Blue and SB Nation Chicago.


Rosenthal: Dempster Would Rather Be Traded To Dodgers

The Ryan Dempster trade saga took another unusual turn Tuesday, with unnamed “sources” telling Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal that Dempster would rather go to the Dodgers than the Braves:

Dempster, as a player with 10 years of major-league service, the last five with the same team, has the right to block a trade to the Braves.

The pitcher instead wants to be sent to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who were unable to reach agreement with the Cubs on a suitable deal, sources said.

After yesterday’s tweets and reports that Dempster had been traded to the Braves, all parties — Dempster and both teams — denied that a deal had been completed. Here, however, are the problems this has created:

The problem for Dempster is that the Braves apparently made a better offer for him than the Dodgers, and that the Dodgers also are trying to trade for other starting pitchers.

The problem for the Cubs is that they will lose leverage with the Dodgers if Dempster rejects a trade to his second choice – and will be forced to keep the pitcher if he is unwilling to approve any other trade.

And so, we wait. There’s still a week until the non-waiver trading deadline, but as of now, Dempster is still scheduled to start for the Cubs Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh.

For more on the Cubs, please visit Bleed Cubbie Blue and SB Nation Chicago.


Ryan Dempster 'Blindsided' When Trade Rumors Hit Internet

Apparently, the Ryan-Dempster-to-the-Braves deal was supposed to happen Monday. At least, that’s what these Jerry Crasnick tweets suggest:

Well, I suppose you can understand that a player would want to actually officially sign off on a deal he has the right (via 10/5 rights) to veto or approve, before he hears about it from a zillion tweets.

Cubs manager Dale Sveum wasn’t happy about this either:

Dempster, manager Dale Sveum and assistant GM Randy Bush all denied the deal, which was originally confirmed by the Braves’ website and repeated on several other outlets.

“We all know it didn’t happen,” Sveum said. “Why it ever got out there, something that big on a player … and for somebody to report it happened, it’s very unprofessional to do anything like that in that kind of situation.”

Since the proverbial cat’s out of the bag, this deal is likely going to get done. Dempster is scheduled to start against the Pirates Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh, so something could well happen Tuesday.

For more on the Cubs, please visit Bleed Cubbie Blue and SB Nation Chicago.


Ryan Dempster Trade Held Up?

When you traffic in baseball-related trade rumors, you develop a sense of how true a rumor is likely to be. When an isolated reporter floats a rumor about a completed deal, you pay attention. But you don't assume it's done until you get the flood of reporters tweeting the same thing, usually citing the original guy as the source. It's a common progression.

On Monday, things started with this tweet:

And that led to the follow-up confirmations.

That last one was from the official MLB account, so this isn't just some intern sitting on a Blackberry. Except, hold on here. Everyone was pretty satisfied the trade was as good as done, and then ...

That Dempster Foundation tweet comes from Dempster's personal account. That probably trumps the MLB account in this weird, 2012 version of rock-paper-scissors.

So forget everything you knew an hour ago. Ryan Dempster is still a Cub. For now.


Ryan Dempster Trade: Braves Reportedly Acquire Veteran Starter From Cubs

Ryan Dempster is in the middle of the best season of his career. Heck, he's in the middle of one of the best seasons of anyone's career, as the 35-year-old right-hander has a league-leading 2.11 ERA in 15 starts this year. The Atlanta Braves, dealing with injury and general malfeasance in their rotation, acquired Dempster from the Cubs. No word on the exact deal yet, but Mark Bowman of MLB.com suggests Randall Delgado could be in the deal.

The Braves looked like they were entering the season with enviable depth in the starting rotation, but Brandon Beachy and Arodys Vizcaino underwent Tommy John surgery, Mike Minor and Jair Jurrjens have been awful, Delgado and Tommy Hanson have been inconsistent, and Julio Teheran has been ineffective in the minors.

That's how quickly depth can vanish, and Dempster will join a rotation with Tim Hudson, Ben Sheets, Hanson, and the winner of the steel-cage match between Minor and Jurrjens, assuming that Delgado is involved in the deal. Hudson has been pitching well, and Sheets hasn't allowed a run over his first two starts.

Of course, Randall Delgado is something of a prized young pitcher, and the Braves were unwilling to include him in the Michael Bourn deal last summer. There is also a Dimasther Delgado in the Braves' system, so Braves fans shouldn't panic or exult just yet.

Edit: The rumor-mongering world is quite convinced this is a done deal, but it looks like nothing has been finalized just yet:


Heyman: Braves Close To Acquiring Ryan Dempster

Trade rumors have swirled around Cubs righthander Ryan Dempster for several weeks, given his good performance (a NL-leading 2.11 ERA) this year, the Cubs’ poor standing, and Dempster’s pending free agency. The Dodgers, Nationals and Braves have all been mentioned in these rumors.

Now, a deal appears “close”:

Nothing’s mentioned in Heyman’s tweet about what the Cubs might get in return, though President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein and General Manager Jed Hoyer have stated on numerous occasions that the Cubs are looking to bolster the pitching depth in their system. Thus it’s a reasonable assumption that young pitching would be coming back to Chicago.

Dempster is currently scheduled to start for the Cubs Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh. It’s assumed that all parties would like to get a deal done before then.

For more on the Cubs, please visit Bleed Cubbie Blue and SB Nation Chicago.


ESPN Chicago: Dodgers Make Offer For Cubs' Dempster

According to ESPN Chicago, the Dodgers have actually made a trade offer for Cubs right-hander Ryan Dempster, who leads the National League with a 1.86 ERA and hasn't allowed a run since forever ago.

When the Dodgers' new ownership group took over this spring, all the right things were said about spending money, competing to win immediately, etc. But at this point in the season, the Dodgers do have one small problem ... They don't have many trade chips. If Dempster were just sort of muddling along, simply assuming the remainder of his contract would nearly suffice. But he's not muddling; he's excelling. Which means that in addition to paying the rest of his salary this season, any team that gets Dempster will have to give up some talent.

And the Dodgers don't have much of that. They entered this season without a single Grade A prospect. Their best prospect was probably pitcher Zach Lee, their first-round draft pick two years ago. But Lee hasn't pitched well in the minors this season. He's certainly still a prospect. But he's nothing like the prospect Zack Wheeler was a year ago, when the Giants sent Wheeler to the Mets in the Carlos Beltran trade.

Which doesn't mean a deal can't get done. But on its face, this doesn't seem like the best fit. Even if the Dodgers could use another good starter to fill out their rotation. And it's not like the Cubs' lack for suitors.

Meanwhile, Dempster's still slated to start in St. Louis tonight.


Ryan Dempster Trade Could Come Soon

The Chicago Cubs are bad, and they have two good starting pitchers on the trade market: Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza. Garza's younger, but Dempster comes with the league-leading ERA, so it should come as no surprise that both of the sweepstakes are active. And it's looking like Dempster could move soon, and perhaps as soon as the end of this very week.

Where might Dempster end up in the event of a trade? Let's ask Bob Nightengale:

Other teams have reportedly been in on Dempster, of course, including the Braves, Tigers, and Nationals. So the Dodgers are far from guaranteed. But Dempster's good, the Dodgers are looking to be aggressive, and the fit's right. One notes that Dempster hasn't allowed a run since the end of May. Sure, between then and now, Dempster had a stint on the disabled list. But he's also made five starts. He's kind of on a roll, and while I don't know how much that boosts his stock, it doesn't not boost it.

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