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“Dempster will have to answer some tough questions if he’s still a Cub after the deadline”

Jul 27, 2012, 8:23 AM EDT

Getty Ryan Dempster Getty Images

Ill will in Chicago?  Dave Kaplan of reports that (a) the Ryan Dempster to Los Angeles trade is at a stalemate; and (b) Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are not likely to take less than what they feel is fair value for the guy.  So, if the Dodgers — who, according to Kaplan, believe that the Cubs have lost their leverage — don’t pony up, it’s all going to be on Dempster:

“Dempster will have to answer some tough questions if he is still a Cub after the deadline,” one executive told me. “That will be one press conference I would want to see. He will have to explain to the fans why he chose to stay on a team that is going nowhere when he could have been in Atlanta and possibly pitching in the playoffs. That will be interesting to hear.”

I have poked fun at Dempster throughout all of this, but I do agree that he does not owe it to the Cubs to see that they get the best absolute haul for him in a trade. That’s their job, not his.

But it’s inescapable that the whole aborted trade to the Braves thing has killed the Cubs’ leverage here. So from where I sit, it will be more interesting to hear why, exactly, that trade to Atlanta breaking down went public than it will be to hear anything else. Because depending on that answer, Dempster may or may not be the one who has to sit uncomfortably in a post-deadline presser answering questions.

If Dempster did flip flop on his desire to go to Atlanta, he’ll deserve some heat. If, however, the Cubs went forward with the Braves to the point where the deal got leaked without a strong indication that Dempster would be cool with it first, it’s the club’s fault that their leverage got torpedoed.

  1. urdoingitwrongreds - Jul 27, 2012 at 8:28 AM

    Dempster can obviously block a trade, but there is blocking a trade and then there is just doing what ever he is doing.

    • biasedhomer - Jul 27, 2012 at 8:58 AM

      He only wants to go to the Dodgers. Is it his fault that this information got leaked?

      • urdoingitwrongreds - Jul 27, 2012 at 9:03 AM

        If thats as simple as you make it sound then it isnt his fault. That said he certainly handled blocking the trade to the Braves pretty badly. Has he even officially said no to Atlanta yet? If so I missed it.

      • budselog - Jul 27, 2012 at 9:16 AM

        Correct. People in the news are so into being “first” – like on a blog comment section – that they just report the shit they hear without thinking about ramifications. Dempster has a no-trade clause. It’s that easy. He doesn’t have to answer for SHIT.

  2. tashkalucy - Jul 27, 2012 at 8:41 AM

    The Cubs front offices are full of experienced superstars (just ask them). So they didn’t know a player could block a trade? I was 112 years-old when I heard the saying, “don’t count the sale till the check clears the bank”.

    This nameless executive putting this on Dempster shows just how desperate, screwed up, and low class the Cub front office really is.

    I wish Cub fans well. They’re among the best in all of baseball. But I think they’re going to find that Theo and his boys are a bit on the overrated side. As they say in the financial disclosures: “Past results are no guarantee of future performance”. i.e. The rest of MLB has caught up to what the Billy Beane boys were doing. They all have computers now.

    • heyblueyoustink - Jul 27, 2012 at 8:58 AM

      Jilted much?

    • delsj - Jul 27, 2012 at 9:00 AM

      Wow, how old age you now?

    • deathmonkey41 - Jul 27, 2012 at 9:53 AM

      Are you a vampire? Did Prohibition suck as much as I think it did?

  3. nategearhart - Jul 27, 2012 at 8:42 AM

    “Sorry guys, I just love it here. This is my home. It’s why I, you know, signed a contract agreeing to stay here.”
    I understand the aggravation to an extent, but maybe the guy just thinks he’ll be happier in Chicago than in Atlanta or Los Angeles.

    • kkolchak - Jul 27, 2012 at 8:50 AM

      One way or the other, he’s only going to be there a couple of more months at the most, unless he signs with the White Sox in the offseason.

    • charleslee84 - Jul 27, 2012 at 11:07 AM

      He’s basically the Anti-Dwight Howard and he’ll be villified as well. SMH @ fans and the media

  4. paperlions - Jul 27, 2012 at 8:47 AM

    The Cubs will get compensation for Dempster by making a qualifying offer, and based on this years draft, the new CBA has not killed the potential value of those picks…a lot of “difficult to sign” talent fell this year and still signed. So….the Cubs don’t have to make a deal unless they feel they are getting a better player than they can get in next year’s draft.

    The Cubs have leverage by the fact that the Dodgers are currently 2 games out of a playoff spot and they are 10 games under .500 over the last 2 months.

    If the Dodgers don’t trade for help, they likely won’t make the playoffs….if the Cubs don’t trade Dempster, they get a pick in the mid 30’s as compensation. I think the Cubs are the one’s with leverage here….who else is out there the Dodgers can acquire?

    • tashkalucy - Jul 27, 2012 at 8:53 AM

      “….who else is out there the Dodgers can acquire?:

      Start with Zack Greinke – and the Dodgers are a finalist in that one.

      • paperlions - Jul 27, 2012 at 9:04 AM

        Yes, and the asking price for him is probably much higher while the value provided over 2 months is likely to be about the same.

        It remains incumbent on the Dodgers (or other teams) to offer more than the value of the compensation pick….the Cubs or Brewers won’t get nothing if they don’t trade these guys.

      • djpostl - Jul 27, 2012 at 10:23 AM

        At a price tag nobody in their right mind should be wiling to pay for a headcase with anxiety issues and only one stellar season on his resume.

  5. heyblueyoustink - Jul 27, 2012 at 8:48 AM

    I saw an interview with him not too long ago. His home is only a few blocks from Wrigley, in fact he walks to the park on game day through the neighborhood.

    He also made an allusion to his interactions with the fans after the games, like stopping at a pub for a beer or two after work.

    He strikes me as a guy that loves being where he’s at and doesn’t really want to leave.

    Besides, isn’t it like 150 degrees in Atlanta in the summer time?

    • kkolchak - Jul 27, 2012 at 8:51 AM

      Good point about the Atlanta heat. It nearly killed Strasburg a few weeks ago.

    • tashkalucy - Jul 27, 2012 at 8:56 AM

      A number of Cubs loved living in Wrigleyville over the years.

      I believe it was ex-Dodger Eric Karros that was moved to the Cubs, lived in Wrigleyville, and loved it so much he said that every major league player should get at least one year with the Cubs.

      • heyblueyoustink - Jul 27, 2012 at 9:12 AM

        I flew out there for a game a few years back, and really, it was an awesome experience.

        I can totally understand the sentiment after seeing some of it first hand.

      • tmohr - Jul 27, 2012 at 10:06 AM

        As I recall, Mark Grace’s main reason for living near Wrigley Field was the massive amount of tail he got.

      • heyblueyoustink - Jul 27, 2012 at 10:12 AM

        Mark Grace had tails? What was he, some kind of Japanese animation fiend?

      • mrwillie - Jul 27, 2012 at 10:19 AM

        As a southern boy who hates the cold, I would absolutely live in Wrigleyville. I love Chicago and especially that area of the north side, it’s just an awesome place- even if I couldn’t ever get a sweet tea and a gravy biscuit.

  6. shawon0meter - Jul 27, 2012 at 8:51 AM

    I hate that Dempster’s Cubs career is ending this way after being a fan favorite for so long.

  7. proudlycanadian - Jul 27, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    Dempster has the right to tell anyone who asks him tough questions where to stuff it.

  8. whooodeyyy - Jul 27, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    Dempster shouldn’t have questions to answer. The Cub’s front office took the Atlanta trade to the media before Dempster signed off, so he made a big deal about it on Twitter. If you want to blame anyone for losing leverage in this trade, blame it on the Cub’s front office.

    • niubears - Jul 27, 2012 at 9:34 AM

      It was the Braves who first announced the trade, not the Cubs.

  9. eshine76 - Jul 27, 2012 at 9:28 AM

    I find it very hard to believe that the Cubs would work on a trade for Dempster without first getting a list of teams he’d be ok with. A Dempster trade has long been rumored and its well known of his veto rights. Everyone knew what the parameters were.

    My guess is that Dempster kept hearing the Dodgers rumors and got himself mentally ready for a trade to California, then talks broke down and next thing he knows he’s going to Atlanta.

    Its like when you go to a restaurant and you are going to order the crab cakes, the same crab cakes you’ve been thinking about all day. However, when you order the waitress says “sorry, we are all out of the crab cakes.” So you order the steak, instead. Ordinarily, that steak is pretty damn good, but that night it just isn’t because you were really looking forward to the crab cakes.

    In a vaccuum, Atlanta was fine if it was the only choice, but in Dempster’s mind, it wasn’t the only choice available to the Cubs.

  10. lessick - Jul 27, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    Craig is right. The most relevant question centers around whether or not Dempster told the Cubs that he would go to Atlanta. If he did not, then the Cubs should have told him. If he did, then he’s to blame.

    If he just wants to stay in Chicago, that’s his right and he should say so and not waste the time of his own and other organizations.

    • jeffbbf - Jul 27, 2012 at 3:22 PM

      His last comment to the press prior to mess with Atlanta was the he “would be interested in joining any contender” Perhaps he doesn’t consider Atlanta a contender. Perhaps he’s being a diva. I’m not sure what the cubs management is supposed to do. Every time someone calls the cubs to talk trade, put them on hold and call Dempster down in the bullpen to get his OK to discuss a trade? Some dingbat in Atlanta leaks the news to the press so Dempster has to throw a hissy? Good riddance. Can’t wait to boo him for the rest of the year and can’t wait till he’s gone.

  11. bleedgreen - Jul 27, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    He has no questions to answer. He has a no trade clause. Theres a reason thats there. If it was expected that players would just waive their no trade clause, then what is the point of having it in the first place?

    If you have a contract that says you can do X, and the team asks you to not do X, you can keep doing X.

    I know its not football, but we constantly talk about players wanting to redo their deals early, why is it frowned upon in baseball when you expect the team to live up to the contract and allow you to do the things that the team agreed to allow you to do… ie veto any trade at your choosing.

    • MattJanik - Jul 27, 2012 at 11:17 AM

      Precisely. The CBA says that any player who has been (a) in the league for 10 years AND (b) has been with their current team for five years has the option to veto any trade they damn well please… Ryan Dempster meets both those qualifications. He doesn’t “owe” owe anybody any explanation whatsoever for exercising that collectively bargained right… Dave Kaplan may want an explanation (and I’m sure it would give him something to write about), but Ryan Dempster doesn’t “have” to answer shit, and he doesn’t “have” to explain anything to anybody.

      This, of course, is the same sports media that would go into full-on character-assassination mode if (hypothetically) the Cubs were trying to keep him in free agency and he chose any option other than “remain a Cub”, because for some reason we only expect loyalty from our athletes and not our professional sports organizations… That this writer feels people deserve an explanation for Dempster choosing (for now) to STAY with the Cubs is just the richest form of absurdity.

  12. saints97 - Jul 27, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    I don’t see why anyone would think Dempster cares about being in a pennant race. The guy signed a long term deal with the Cubs – obviously he just loves being a Cub.

    And why would anyone want to go to Atlanta? So, if he gets really lucky, he can see what it’s like to play playoff games in front of hundreds of fans?

  13. geoknows - Jul 27, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    Why is it the Cubs fault, Craig? It’s entirely possible that the leak came from the Braves.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Jul 27, 2012 at 10:58 AM

      The Braves would have had nothing to leak if the Cubs hadn’t told them that they had a deal. And the Cubs couldn’t tell them they had a deal unless they thought (or said without first checking) that Dempster would accept a trade.

      • beavertonsteve - Jul 27, 2012 at 4:30 PM

        We just have no way of knowing. maybe the Cubs front office said “we’ve got a deal, let us talk to Dempster about the no-trade clase” and Atlanta leaked it. Don’t know if that’s what happened, but it’s certainly a possibility.

    • lessick - Jul 27, 2012 at 11:18 AM

      It doesn’t really matter where the leak originated, in my opinion. What matters is whether or not the Cubs asked Dempster about Atlanta and how he responded to that inquiry.

  14. scoregasmic - Jul 27, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    Oh no he has to explain to the cubs fans why he wants to stay on the team? That seems hard…they’ll probably hate him for not leaving them for better things…(sarcasm)

  15. illumnus - Jul 27, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    I agree that what Dempster is doing seems a little odd. He knew he’d be shopped and he knows who’s contending in the playoff race. But before going any further, let’s not forget that he has a young daughter with a very rare and serious medical condition. Perhaps leaving Chicago involves finding someone with similar expertise to her current physicians. I’m sure he considers himself a Dad first, and a Cub somewhere else down the pecking order. Just speculating…

  16. edavidberg - Jul 27, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    This is on Dempster. He said he would not veto a trade to a contender. Then when he changed his mind he tried to act like management had done something when he just went back on his word.

    This would not have happened if he had been honest about what teams he would waive his no trade for.

    I’m glad the Cubs are willing to keep Dempster rather than accept a pu pu platter.

  17. ebrownwareagle - Jul 27, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    Stay In CHI Town as a Career Loser dempster. We don’t want you in ATL!!

  18. vallewho - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    what a load of crap. “Dempster will have to answer some tough questions…” answer to the media? Answer to the Chicago fans as to why he chose to stay with their team?? or is he going to fly to ATL and have a new conference to answer to them as why he did not want to join their team???

  19. mannyicey - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    So when is Atlanta going to retract that ridiculous offer? I mean, Dempster;s name is terrible in Atlanta. The Braves like hitting against Dempster. And it’s been said that Greinke wants to go to Atlanta. So why is Atlanta still have something out there with Dempster?

    • El Bravo - Jul 27, 2012 at 5:17 PM

      They don’t from all accounts. The deal with ATL is dead.

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