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In Dempster for Delgado, the Braves are going all-in for this year

Jul 23, 2012, 3:10 PM EDT

Getty Ryan Dempster Getty Images

At the moment, Ryan Dempster stands a much better opportunity to help the Braves catch the Nationals or, at the very least, make the playoffs than does Randall Delgado.  Over the next five years — the time which the Cubs will control Delgado — they will almost certainly reap more value from him than Atlanta will reap from Dempster. Such is the way of trade deadline deals.

The Braves needed the rotation help now. They have the 14th best rotation in a 16 team league. Dempster has been one of the best starters in baseball this year. No, he’s not as good as his numbers in the first half indicate — no one is — but he should prove to be a far more reliable rotation presence for Atlanta between now and September.

In Delgado, the Cubs got exactly what they need: young talent.  While his season has been lackluster so far, he’s just 22 and what is acceptable for a bad team in rebuilding mode is totally different than what is acceptable for a playoff contender.  A few rough months in the bigs does not change the fact that Delgado has a bright future. Maybe not as a top-of-the-order ace, but certainly as a solid major league starter.

There have been some suggestions on Twitter today that the Braves think they have a chance to sign Dempster after the season is over and that he may be amenable. That’s noise at the moment and irrelevant noise at that. The Braves traded for him knowing that they only have the next 2+ months of Dempster guaranteed and that, if they make the playoffs with his help, the trade will have been worth it in the short term. Besides, signing Dempster to an extension following what is likely a late, mildly unexpected uptick in his performance may be a bad thing anyway and make the long term repercussions of this deal worse.

No matter what happens with Dempster, however, the Cubs can be happy with the return: a solid, young starting pitching prospect who may very well be — to use an over-used phrase — an important part of the next great Cubs team.

  1. gmagic9044 - Jul 23, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    Very good analysis of the trade from both sides Craig. Well said.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jul 23, 2012 at 3:55 PM

      Only one problem; Dempster confirmed via Twitter that he’s still a Cub and that no deal is done.

  2. drmonkeyarmy - Jul 23, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    Prediction: Delgado will put up better numbers the rest of this season than Dempster.

    • El Bravo - Jul 23, 2012 at 3:26 PM

      Prediction: the Phillies suck. Oh wait, that’s reality. BAM BAM BAM!

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 23, 2012 at 3:28 PM

        I’ve come to expect more from you. Typically you are somewhat clever, but this is just…I don’t know, kinda hackish. Having an off day? Having a case of the Mondays?

      • El Bravo - Jul 23, 2012 at 3:31 PM


      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 23, 2012 at 3:33 PM

        Great. We have now established you are literate.

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 23, 2012 at 3:45 PM

        Run out of “Yo mamma” jokes Bravo?

      • El Bravo - Jul 23, 2012 at 3:53 PM

        Gentlemen, those are called feelings that you are experiencing. You need to let them out and talk about them. It’s therapeutic and will help you lower your stress level. It will also help you recover from your raging cases of my-team’s-future-is-murkier-than-I-realized-syndrome.

  3. A.J. - Jul 23, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    I’m a Braves fan, I do think the Braves are capable of winning the World Series, but this feels like going all in on three 6s, or some other solid but not particularly good poker hand.

    This depresses me. This is not the kind of thing I want to hear the day before I take the bar exam.

    Dempster is solid, and he will help. But this team has too many other things that it is depending on to work out like Chipper, Prado and McCann staying healthy or Freeman, Uggla and Heyward avoiding (or getting out of) major slumps that it seems downright dumb.

    Delgado may not be John Smoltz, but Dempster is still just Doyle Alexander. If the Braves don’t make serious noise this year, it will look incredibly stupid.

    This short-sighted business could look even worse if the Braves lose Bourn and strike out in free agency.

    • El Bravo - Jul 23, 2012 at 3:28 PM

      Ya gotta have faith, brah.

      – George Micheal.

  4. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jul 23, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    I can’t help but wonder what is up with the Braves and their young starting pitching the last couple of years. Delgado, Minor, Hanson, etc have all seemed to crash a bit. While there is plenty of time for them all to turn it around, these guys were touted as “can’t miss” types who should find immediate success in a system that had reliably put out good young starting pitchers for years. Maybe it is small sample noise, but it seems like something has changed in the Braves development system.

    • nolanwiffle - Jul 23, 2012 at 3:30 PM

      Paging Leo Mazzone.

    • El Bravo - Jul 23, 2012 at 3:36 PM

      Well injury is certainly a major factor.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jul 24, 2012 at 9:36 AM

        Sure, but is that a cause or effect?

    • baseballisboring - Jul 23, 2012 at 3:55 PM

      I think Delgado is too young to worry about. The fact that he’s holding his own in the bigs at 22 is impressive in itself, so hopefully he’ll continue to develop.

      It’s an interesting question, though, one which I’m thoroughly unqualified to answer. But Hanson seemingly hasn’t been healthy in like two years, same with Jurrjens, Vizcaino is on his way back from Tommy John, Minor looks like he’s taken a step back.

      Overworked? Something wrong with the medical staff? I think most likely it probably is just small sample size noise. But the Braves pitcher development machine isn’t as well oiled these days.

  5. illcomm - Jul 23, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    One trade is considered going all in? LOL. Great move though to get the best numbers pitcher in the game right now. But as stats balance out, this trade is gonna suck for the braves.

    • Ben - Jul 23, 2012 at 3:39 PM

      Yeah, that’s exactly what Craig said. Dempster will regress, probably. The Cubs will get more value out of Delgado. Probably. Except in a more measured, respectful tone.

  6. thomas2727 - Jul 23, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    Hold the presses multiple sources are saying the trade is dead. David Kaplan amount them.

  7. natslady - Jul 23, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    Gotta love the Cubs side of the trade, period. Saw Delgado this weekend, he was not bad at all, and very young. Atlanta just traded away a good piece for its future, and they are not so old that they needed to be doing that, OK. They still need BP help and SS is an offensive black hole.

    They can beat up on the rest of the NL East, but that helps us as much as it helps them, so go for it. We only have six games left with them, so head-to-head is not going to be the issue. It’s going to be how they (and we) play against non-NL East teams.

  8. El Bravo - Jul 23, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Can anyone tell me why Craig hasn’t posted something about Minka’s sex tape that’s now on sale? That is totally baseball related and is essential to the baseball universe.

  9. jamaicanjasta - Jul 23, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    Dempster says no deal on Twitter.

    • jamaicanjasta - Jul 23, 2012 at 3:57 PM

      And as a Braves fan, I’d have to say I hope this deal is indeed dead, I’ve never liked the idea of trading for Dempster period.

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