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Early on Tuesday morning -- the day where the non-waiver trade deadline will pass -- David Kaplan of CSN-Chicago posted reported that the Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers and New York Yankees are the leading suitors for Chicago Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster. Shortly after Kaplan claimed the "New York Yankees have stepped up their pursuit over the last 48 hours," Jason Stark of ESPN tweeted a message that cast doubt on that assertion.
Here is what Stark had to say:
The Yankees telling teams they aren't in on a Dempster trade is still different than not actually being in trade talks (this is smoke screen season, after all), but it does appear the market is shrinking as the deadline approaches. In other news, the Dodgers are reportedly close to acquiring outfielder Shane Victorino, which would all but eliminate the possibility of a package deal for Alfonso Soriano and Dempster.
The Chicago Cubs really started wheeling and dealing on Monday night, but as of Tuesday morning veteran pitchers Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza are still on the roster and more big moves could be coming before the non-waiver trade deadline passes. To recap Monday's moves, the Cubs sent pitcher Paul Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for pitchers Jaye Chapman and Arodys Vizcaino, and they also traded catcher Geovany Soto to the Texas Rangers for 24-year old right-handed pitcher Jacob Brigham.
David Kaplan of CSN-Chicago posted his intel on Tuesday morning for what might be next regarding Dempster, and it appears the Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers and New York Yankees are the leading suitors for the 35-year-old hurler. Here is what Kaplan's sources had to say:
"Texas is serious about adding a starter and Dempster isn't as expensive to trade for as Garza would be, but after finishing as runners-up in the last two World Series and seeing the Angels add Zach Greinke, Texas management has decided to make a run at adding pitching, a baseball source told me. "However, with three teams seriously involved, it won't be cheap to acquire him even though it is potentially a three-month rental."
"Dempster has made it clear to Cubs management that he would like to play in Los Angeles but he also understands that Epstein and Hoyer have a job to do and he will not stand in their way if it means that the best deal is somewhere else," a source with knowledge of the discussions told me this morning.
With only hours left until the non-waiver trade deadline passes, the Cubs may take trade talks down to the wire to get the best deal.
On Monday night, the Chicago Cubs sent pitcher Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson to the Atlanta Braves. Now we know what the Cubs are getting in return for the two veterans. Chicago will receive pitchers Jaye Chapman and Arodys Vizcaino.
Chapman is a 25-year old right handed pitcher with a 3.52 ERA for Triple-A Gwinnett. He is 3-6 this season with 60 strikeouts over 53.1 innings. He is considered to be a back-end of the bullpen arm. According to Jerry Crasnick, he throws in the low 90s and has an above average changeup.
Vizcaino, the other player the sent back to Chicago, is a 21-year old who had missed the entire season after having Tommy John Surgery in spring training.
Catcher Geovany Soto isn't the only member of the Chicago Cubs who was sent packing on Monday night. According to a report, the Cubs have reached an agreement sending starter Paul Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson to the Atlanta Braves.
Maholm, a 30-year old left-handed pitcher, has been one of the Cubs' most dependable starters this season. He will leave the North Side with a 9-6 record, 3.74 ERA and 1.24 WHIP.
Johnson, a 35-year old utility outifielder, was batting .302 with .355 on-base percentage and three home runs for Chicago in 169 at-bats this season.
The Cubs and Braves were previously reported to reach a deal sending starter Ryan Dempster to Atlanta for highly touted pitcher Randall Delgado. According to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, the Cubs will not be getting back Delgado in the trade for Maholm and Johnson.
The Chicago Cubs have made it clear they're ready to wheel-and-deal, but it isn't starter Ryan Dempster who is headed out of town as of Monday night. Instead, the Cubs have traded catcher Geovany Soto to the Texas Rangers for 24-year old right-handed pitcher Jacob Brigham, according to a report.
Soto Soto is hitting just .195/.278/.345 this season with six homers and 14 RBI. The catcher enjoyed a breakout season in 2008 when he hit .285/.364/.504 with 23 homers and 86 RBI.
Brigham was drafted in the sixth round by the Rangers in the 2006 MLB Draft as a high school player out of Florida. He is 6-foot-3, 210 lbs.
Soto was seen hugging teammates during the Cubs' win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday, prompting speculation that he had been traded.
The Chicago Cubs nearly traded veteran starter Ryan Dempster to the Atlanta Braves last week before the deal allegedly fell apart due to the veteran righty's preference on landing in Los Angeles. If the Cubs and the Dodgers are to work out a deal, it will have to be before Tuesday's 3:00 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline. If Dempster remains in Chicago, he's scheduled to start for the Cubs against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field on Tuesday.
Dempster said on Monday that he harbors zero animosity towards the organization for how the situation has played out.
"They’ve got a job to do. They're trying to do what's best for the Chicago Cubs and I understand that. They’ve been honest with me, it seems like. I'm just trying to do what I can to continue to do my job as a player, and that's to get ready to pitch."
The latest news from the MLB trade rumors front suggests the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers are still working on a trade for SP Ryan Dempster, but the teams appear divided on Dodgers' side of the trade:
Part of the problem is that the Dodgers have reportedly taken a number of highly-touted prospect off the table:
The latest update from EPSN's Jayson Stark suggests not only are the Washington Nationals in the market for SP Ryan Dempster, but that the Chicago Cubs should have one less seller to compete with on the market. The Miami Marlins are reportedly pulling SP Josh Johnson from the trade deadline talks:
After all that Josh Johnson talk, the Marlins were telling teams Monday they're just going to keep their ace unless something unforeseen happens. ... So the Marlins are informing clubs they see more value in keeping Johnson, heading into his free-agent year, than trading him just to say they did.
The MLB trade market currently has three veteran starting pitchers left -- Dempster, Johnson and the Tampa Bay Rays' SP James Shields. With Johnson leaving the market, the Cubs should gain leverage in their discussions with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Nationals.
The deadline trade rumors surrounding Chicago Cubs SP Ryan Dempster appear to be as rich as ever. Multiple sources suggest the Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers are still working on a deal involving Dempster and possibly LF Alfonso Soriano:
Meantime, the Cubs-Dodgers talks regarding Dempster trundle along. They're still at it...— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) July 30, 2012
Dempster, 35, is have a career year with the Cubs. He sports a 2.25 ERA and 3.40 FIP through 104 innings. He is in the final year of his contract with the Chicago Cubs, but holds a 10-and-5 no trade clause that allows him to veto any trade proposal.
The New York Mets have discussed catcher Geovany Soto with the Chicago Cubs, but a deal is considered highly unlikely, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. The Mets have also discussed Colorado's Ramon Hernandez and Boston's Kelly Shoppach in their search for a veteran catcher.
The Mets already have a young starting catcher in Josh Thole, but he's not exactly a great player and the team has interest in adding a veteran presence. Thole, 25, has hit .271/.322/.325 in 240 plate appearances with New York this season, showing a serious lack of power even for a backstop.
Martino says that Soto likely would've became the starter, but New York no longer expects to acquire the veteran. He's struggled badly this season, hitting .195/.278/.345 in 194 PA's, but he's got a solid track record and he's arbitration-eligible for the final time in 2013, so he may still have some value to the right team.
The MLB trade deadline is going to pass in a couple of days, but CBS Sports' Jon Heyman lists four players from the Chicago Cubs that could still be dealt in August. Players can still be traded past the deadline if they pass through waivers, and Heyman sees a few possibilities for the North Siders.
Heyman lists 25 players overall, with Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano topping the entire list. The veteran outfielder's contract is well-known at this point, but his performance has actually left the Cubs with the perfect August trade candidate: an overpaid veteran that's playing well on team that's willing to eat most of his contract.
In addition to Soriano, Heyman also lists catcher Geovany Soto, outfielder David DeJesus and reliever Carlos Marmol as possible August trade options. The team also has a few players that could be dealt before the deadline, but presumably not after, including Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, Darwin Barney, Paul Maholm and Bryan LaHair.
The Chicago Cubs tried to trade SP Ryan Dempster to the Atlanta Braves on Monday, getting so far as leaked reports of a completed trade. But the trade dissipated as quickly as it appeared, and by Wednesday, the Braves had moved on.
But now, Danny Knobler of CBS Sports is reported the Braves may still yet be in the hunt for the veteran righty:
Dempster never directly said that he wouldn't go to the Braves, but he also never approved the deal that the two teams reached last week. While that trade isn't still on the table, it still seems clear that the Braves are willing to offer more for Dempster than the Dodgers are.
The Chicago Cubs haven't enjoyed the best of circumstances regarding the trade value of veteran pitchers Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza, but that hasn't stopped (or even slowed) the trade deadline rumors circulating through the internet. Garza won't pitch again before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline due to fluid buildup in his right biceps, but Jon Heyman of CBS Sports says the Cubs are almost certain to deal Garza anyways. It's all a matter of timing now.
Heyman notes that the two parties broke of extension talks during the spring and haven't revisited the issue, so he speculates that "if Garza isn't traded at the deadline, he seems all but certain to be traded this winter."
Here is what Heyman said in his latest post:
But if Garza isn't traded at the deadline, he seems all but certain to be traded this winter.
The reason a trade for Garza from the Cubs appears so likely is this: the Cubs and Garza have not spoken about a contract extension since talks broke off this spring.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Chicago Cubs may have trouble marketing SP Ryan Dempster to the Los Angeles Dodgers for much longer. The Dodgers are reportedly turning their gaze to starters on the Tampa Bay Rays and the Miami Marlins.
The Rays' SP James Shields and the Marlins' SP Josh Johnson are both believed to be on the trade market, which could water down the potential trade value associated with Dempster. The Cubs have been trying to trade Dempster over the last month, but his veteran's 10-and-5 rights have allowed him to already block a trade to the Atlanta Braves.
The Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers are reportedly still discussing a trade for SP Ryan Dempster. According to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports, the two teams have begun to discuss including 1B/RF Bryan LaHair or LF Alfonso Soriano. However, the deal still might be a long way off:
The inclusion of Soriano or LaHair is still viewed as a longshot, perhaps even a "massive longshot," as one person briefed on the discussions described it.
But the Cubs are desperate to rid themselves of Soriano, and they found little or no interest from other teams, even when they offered to pay almost all of the remaining $48 million on Soriano's contract.
The Cubs are currently 40-57 and 17.5 games back from first place -- and looking to sell some of their veterans for prospects.
The latest news on the SP Matt Garza trade rumor front is that there is no news. The Chicago Cubs righty has fluid in his right shoulder that will push his next start back a little bit, but given the fast-approaching trade deadline next Tuesday, it is beginning to seem doubtful Garza will be traded at all:
Trading Garza remote chance now that he won 't start until late next week at earliest.— Bruce Levine (@ESPNBruceLevine) July 27, 2012
According to Jim Bowden of ESPN, Garza may still get traded, but not until the winter:
Garza shut down until after trade deadline....might not get traded until off-season— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) July 27, 2012
Garza, 28, has a 3.91 ERA and 4.14 FIP in the 2012 season and has shown ace-like stuff over the last fives seasons in the majors. With the Cubs at 40-57 and 17.5 games out of first place, they have indicated they wish to bolster their minor leagues with "a lot of pitching," which means veterans like Garza and SP Ryan Dempster should be major trade targets.
The Chicago Cubs have been shopping veteran starting pitchers Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza, but haven't been able to catch a break with the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline rapidly approaching. Dempster has resisted a trade to the Atlanta Braves and now the market appears to be drying up now that his preference to land with the Los Angeles Dodgers is known. As for Garza, he will be shut down heading into the trade deadline due to fluid buildup in his right triceps.
MRI shows fluid still in Garza's triceps. Won't pitch until after trade deadline.— Doug Padilla (@ESPNChiCubs) July 27, 2012
#Cubs Sveum says Garza won't pitch til late next week.— Bruce Miles (@BruceMiles2112) July 27, 2012
Garza and his wife are also expecting the birth of their fourth child this weekend, so every event continues to conspire against the Cubs as contenders shop for final pieces to the puzzle leading up to July 31.
The Chicago Cubs have outrighted relief pitcher Jairo Asencio to Triple-A Iowa, as Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports. Asencio was designated for assignment by Chicago after the team acquired pitcher Justin Germano in a trade with the Boston Red Sox.
Asencio, 28, appeared in 12 games with the Cubs this season, posting a 3.07 ERA with eight strikeouts and 11 walks over 14.2 innings. He also appeared in 18 games with the Cleveland Indians this season, posting a 5.96 ERA, although his peripheral statistics were actually better than in his stint with Chicago.
Given that Asencio was designated for assignment, he had to accept this assignment to Triple-A. He could have denied the assignment in order to become a free agent, but instead he'll head to Iowa to try to work his way back into the mix with the North Siders.
The Chicago Cubs offered to send starting pitcher Ryan Dempster straight up to the Los Angeles Dodgers for pitching prospect Allen Webster, but LA turned down the offer, as Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports. Heyman adds that the Dodgers are trying to offer a pair of lesser pitching prospects that may ultimately project as relievers.
A Dempster trade has basically seemed inevitable for weeks, but the pitcher is steadfast in his desire to be dealt to the Dodgers. The Cubs reportedly agreed to a deal with the Atlanta Braves for Dempster recently, but he exercised his 10-5 no-trade rights to prevent the deal from being completed.
Dempster appears to be waiting for a deal to the Dodgers, but it remains to be seen whether the two sides can complete a deal. Heyman notes that the Dodgers seem to prefer the Cubs' Matt Garza over Dempster, so they may be hesitant to give up quality prospects like Webster and fellow pitcher Zach Lee unless they're landing Garza.
But, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the team might be willing to throw a little extra money Dempster's way in order to get him more keen on the South:
kick in $1M extra to convince Demspter to go to Atl, viewing someone like Randall Delgado as worth several million for next few yrs in value— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 26, 2012
One trade involving Ryan Dempster has already fallen through, but the Chicago Cubs aren't done trying to deal the veteran starter. The Cubs were set to send Dempster to the Atlanta Braves for a package reportedly headlined by 23-year old pitcher Randall Delgado, but the 35-year old right-hander used his 10-and-5 rights to veto the transaction after it initially leaked through the media.
As the Cubs continue their efforts to make a deal, Chicago will reportedly grant teams interested in Dempster the opportunity to work out a contract extension with the right.
The Cubs have told Dempster suitors they'd grant a window to negotiate extension.— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) July 26, 2012
The Dodgers are one team often mentioned as a top suitor for Dempster.
At least one big league club has contacted the Chicago Cubs this summer to discuss left fielder Alfonso Soriano, as Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports. Soriano has played extremely well this year, emerging as one of the most productive outfield bats that's potentially available this summer.
Over 364 plate appearances this year, Soriano has hit .274/.324/.503 with 19 homers, a solid rebound from his essentially league average offensive performance last season. He's been especially good of late, though, hitting .286/.347/.597 with 13 doubles and 17 homers in 56 games since May 19.
Morosi speculates that the Los Angeles Dodgers, Cleveland Indians, San Francisco Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates could all be fits for Soriano's power bat, but money would likely be an issue with each team. Soriano has roughly $6 million remaining on his salary for 2012, plus he's owed $36 million for two more additional seasons.
The Chicago Cubs' deal with the Atlanta Braves to send out starting pitcher Ryan Dempster may officially be dead after the Cubs starter refused to agree to a trade there. According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the Braves are "moving on" from Dempster and onto other trade targets including Milwaukee Brewers starter Zack Greinke.
With #braves moving on from dempster, greinke will be a big focus for them— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 25, 2012
Cole Hamels and the Philadelphia Phillies agreed to a six-year, $144 million contract extension late Tuesday night, and that's good news for the Chicago Cubs. With the prospect of acquiring Hamels off the board for teams looking to upgrade their pitching, Chicago trade chips Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza may look even more attractive.
Cole Hamels new phillies deal is for $144 million over 6 years.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 25, 2012
Matt Garza headed back to Chicago to be with his wife, who is expecting their 4th child. He's not likely to pitch this weekend. #Cubs— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) July 24, 2012
Garza is also dealing with soreness in his right triceps; he left his July 21 start against St. Louis after three innings because of the injury. The Cubs don't plan to place Garza on the disabled list at this point.
Dempster in the Cubs clubhouse. Deal w Braves looks to be dying on the vine.— Doug Padilla (@ESPNChiCubs) July 24, 2012
Dempster says he's taking time to weigh options on what's right for him. Plans to pitch for Cubs tomorrow.— Doug Padilla (@ESPNChiCubs) July 24, 2012
Monday afternoon, the Atlanta Braves beat reporter had announced the Cubs had traded Dempster to the Braves, but the announcement preceded Dempster's approval and left the 35-year-old pitcher felt "blindsided" when heard about the trade via the media.
Dempster, as a 10 and 5 veteran (10 years in the league, 5 with his present team), has the ability to veto any trade the Cubs present to him. He reportedly has an interest to play on the west coast.
In his latest column for FOX Sports, MLB insider Ken Rosenthal suggests that Chicago Cubs SP Ryan Dempster has a distinct preference towards the Los Angeles Dodgers. According to Rosenthal, Dempster -- who has the right to veto any trade offer involving himself -- would like to be on the west coast, which might be a problem for the Cubs, who are getting better offers from the Atlanta Braves.
It had appeared on Monday that the Cubs had completed a trade that would send Dempster to the Braves, but the trade fell through almost as quickly as it had been leaked. According to Jerry Crasnick, Dempster had felt "blindsided" by the trade announcement, which had preceded his official approval.
When news broke on Monday afternoon that the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves were in the final stages of a deal that would send Ryan Dempster to the Braves in exchange for pitching prospect Randall Delgado, it apparently came as an unpleasant surprise to Mr. Dempster. The Twitter account for his charity group sent out a message saying "THERE IS NO TRADE" on Monday, but apparently there is a bit more nuance to the story.
Dempster holds full no-trade rights as a 10-and-5 player, so his approval is vital to the deal, but it appears Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer had received some preliminary indications that he would accept a trade to Atlanta. However, when actual trade information leaked on Monday, he apparently felt "blindsided" and quickly became unhappy about the news, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com and Baseball America. Here is what Casnick adds to the conversation on the rumored Dempster deal:
But when trade leaked out in media Monday before #cubs informed him, Dempster was not happy. Felt blindsided, said a source.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 24, 2012
As mentioned above, the veteran pitcher holds veto rights over any deal, so who knows where trade talks will go form here.
Chicago Cubs right-hander Matt Garza will miss a scheduled start on Friday due to triceps soreness in his right arm. The injury forced Garza out of his last start after just three scoreless innings on July 21 against the St. Louis Cardinals. Manager Dale Sveum said Travis Wood will likely take his place in the rotation.
Garza has been the focal point of trade speculation for months, with the Los Angeles Dodgers often cited as a willing trade partner. Garza's health will be paramount to helping a deal go through before the MLB's July 31st deadline. The Cubs kept mum on whether a stint on the disabled list was in store for Garza, though the team would obviously like to see him make one more healthy start before the deadline.
A potential deal that would send Ryan Dempster to the the Braves in exchange for Randall Delgado sounded all but complete earlier Monday, but the negotiations came to a halt before anything became official. The Cubs went so far as to announce that no deal had ever been in place.
A source who spoke to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman said the deal is a 50-50 proposition at this point.
The Ryan Dempster-Braves trade is now said to be "50-50,'' according to one person familiar with the talks.
The deal, as proposed, was going to send top Braves pitching prospect Randall Delgado to the Cubs.
"It could happen, or it could blow up,'' another person said.
The Braves are among Dempster's preferred destinations, according to earlier reports.
Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum says he's been told by the team's front office that there is no deal in place that would send starter Ryan Dempster to the Atlanta Braves. The Cubs are not merely waiting for Dempster's approval.
Sveum: Front office said there was no agreement with Atl for Demp. NOT a matter of deal awaiting his approval.— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) July 23, 2012
Sveum: "The Twitter, the Facebook, the things that get produced and published that aren't true is just off the charts."— Patrick Mooney (@CSNMooney) July 23, 2012
The Chicago Cubs appear to still be pursuing their trade talks with the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN and XM Radio. The Cubs and Dodgers have been engaged in talks concerning SP Matt Garza and SP Ryan Dempster, and it appears Chicago is targeting young right-hander SP Zach Lee:
Cubs not resting on their laurels continue trade discussions with Dodgers on deal that would send Matt Garza for package including Zach Lee— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) July 23, 2012
Lee, a top prospect for LA, began the 2012 season with the Dodgers' High-A affiliate, starting 12 games there with a 4.55 ERA and 4.03 FIP. His last five starts have come at the Double-A level, but he has scuffled a bit as he sports a 9.45 ERA and 5.50 FIP.
As I reported several minutes ago, deal is not done. Per a great source Cubs have NOT received any approval from Dempster to approve trade.— David Kaplan (@thekapman) July 23, 2012
The Braves had reportedly acquired SP Ryan Dempster from the Chicago Cubs on Monday, but it appears the reports were premature as the teams had not finished the terms, and Ryan Dempster has not yet given his approval of the trade.
The Twitter account for his charity group, the Dempster Foundation, also refuted the claims of a consummated trade:
THERE IS NO TRADE dont know where this info came from!— Dempster Foundation (@RyanDempsterFDN) July 23, 2012
Confirmed Ryan Dempster is coming to the Braves.Still trying to confirm details but Delgado could be on the other end of the deal— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) July 23, 2012
The Cubs had been shopping Dempster for several weeks, and they appear to have acquired at least SP Randall Delgado in return.
The 22-year-old Delgado ranked as one of the team's top prospects heading into the 2012 MLB season, but has scuffled a little at the major league level -- through 17 starts and 91 and 2/3 innings pitched, Delgado has a 4.42 ERA and 4.11 FIP.
According to prospect analyst Marc Hulet, Delgado has the potential to become a middle-of-the-rotation starter:
Delgado has a big, strong pitcher’s frame and has provided at least 120 innings in each of his three full seasons. He has a little work to do with his control and overall consistency before he becomes a workhorse No. 2 or 3 starter for the Braves ... His repertoire includes a low-90s fastball that can hit the mid 90s. Both his curveball and changeup have the potential to be above-average weapons.
#braves appear close to getting dempster— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 23, 2012
Dempster, who has been a trade target throughout the 2012 MLB season, owns a 2.11 ERA and 3.28 FIP through 98 IP. The 35-year-old righty has already drawn interest from the Los Angeles Dodgers, who appear to no longer be in the market for him.
The Cubs currently stand at 38-56, 13.5 games behind the division-leading Cincinnati Reds. With their playoffs hopes dwindling and their farm system thirsty for talent, the Cubs have become one of the league's biggest sellers this season. They are listening to offers on multiple players and are hoping to "add of lot of pitching" to their organization.
The Chicago Cubs could be interested in Boston Red Sox pitcher Daniel Bard as part of larger trade talks for Matt Garza and/or Ryan Dempster, as Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports. It's unclear whether Cafardo has some inside information or is merely speculating, but the Cubs have been rumored to be seeking young pitching.
Bard, 27, is no longer particularly young, but he could give the Cubs an intriguing power arm that's had substantial success as a reliever in the past. He's had mixed results in his conversion to the rotation this year, though, so it may be more realistic to view him as a bullpen piece at this point.
Part of why Cafardo believes the Cubs could be interested in Bard is the history of the club's key decision-makers. Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod were all part of Boston's front office when Bard was drafted in 2006.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are changing their focus from SP Ryan Dempster to SP Matt Garza. Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago is reporting the Dodgers might prefer Garza, despite nearly completing a trade for Dempster on Friday night.
Garza, 28, was pulled from his Saturday start with an arm injury, but the injury does not appear to be overly serious. In his second season with the Cubs, Garza owns a 3.91 ERA and 4.14 FIP through 103 and 2/3 innings.
Demspter, 35, is having a career year with the Cubs, his final year under contract. He sports a 2.11 ERA and 3.28 FIP through 98 innings. The Cubs as a team currently have a 38-54 record and have little chance for reaching the 2012 MLB Playoffs.
The Chicago Cubs got a scare on Saturday night when SP Matt Garza -- a major topic in the budding trade market -- left the game in the third inning due to an apparent injury. According to Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago, however, the injury should be minor:
Garza was removed because of cramping in his right triceps. X-rays were negative.— Doug Padilla (@ESPNChiCubs) July 22, 2012
Garza is rumored to be a trade target for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox and a number of other teams in contention. He currently sports a 3.91 ERA and 4.14 FIP through 103 and 2/3 innings in the 2012 MLB season.
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Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein hasn't been shy about telling the media that the organization is looking to acquire pitching prospects in trade prior to the non-waiver deadline on July 31, but the asking price for veteran hurler Ryan Dempster may be too high at the moment. The Los Angeles Dodgers had been the odds-on favorite to trade for Dempster, and talks had reached an advanced stage prior to Dempster's start on Friday, but now the Dodgers are "very unlikely" to do a deal for Dempster according to a source close to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
Are the Dodgers using a hard line stance to back Epstein and the Cubs off their high asking price, or have they truly moved on? As the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline continues to creep up on contenders looking for a final piece to the puzzle the landscape could change in an instant.
Could Dempster's desire for an extension be a hold-up in the deal? He holds full no-trade rights, and Peggy Kusinski of NBC Chicago says he may be trying to gain some long-term stability in a deal:
Source: Red Sox lagging behind a few teams in matt garza hunt. Not all sox personnel feel garza would be an upgrade over what they have.— Nick Cafardo (@nickcafardo) July 20, 2012
The Red Sox currently have the fifth-worst ERA in the AL (4.09 ERA) as well as a pair of starters -- SP Daisuke Matsuzaka and SP John Lackey -- on the DL, but they also have the 6th best fielding independent numbers in the league with a 4.02 FIP.
Garza currently has a 4.02 ERA and 4.16 FIP, but was one of the league's best pitchers in the 2011 MLB season.
The veteran righty is in the final year of his contract with the Cubs, and though the team has reportedly explored signing him to an extension, Chicago has summoned a Triple-A pitcher in anticipation of a possible deal going down before his start on Friday night.
Chicago Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster is very likely to be dealt before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, but if teams like the Atlanta Braves, Detroit Tigers or Los Angeles Dodgers want an extra start out of Dempster they will need to strike quickly and get something going before he takes the mound on Friday against the St. Louis Cardinals. Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein is certainly prepared for a deal to go down before Dempster makes his start, as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports notes that the team has a Triple-A pitcher ready to step in against St. Louis on Friday if the veteran hurler is dealt.
Source: #Cubs summoning a pitcher from Triple A to meet them in St. Louis in case Dempster is traded by game time tomorrow.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 19, 2012
As for which teams could step up, here are the latest rumors:
Chicago Cubs trade rumors have been intensifying over the last several weeks, specifically with regards to Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza, and now it appears to additional names can be added to the list of veterans that could be dealt prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Thursday night that Reed Johnson and Jeff Baker are both "drawing interest" and that they could be nice "bats off [the] bench for contenders."
Source: #Cubs drawing interest in Baker, Johnson as well as the more familiar names. Both could be RH bats off bench for contenders.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 20, 2012
It's yet another sign that the Cubs are committed to a long-term rebuilding process centered around years of minor league development. As Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein recently told Patrick Mooney of CSN-Chicago, don't expect the team to sign any big name free agents after this season:
"Free agency's definitely a nice way to add talent to an organization without giving up talent. But you cannot make an organization that way. And we have a lot of steps ahead of us that we need to take care of before we're in a position to add a finishing piece or two through free agency."
While the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers continue to negotiate, the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals have maintained interest in acquiring starting pitcher Ryan Dempster, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The Dodgers are considered the front-runner to complete a deal, but Heyman cautions that nothing is close on that end.
That lack of progress has left the door open for teams like the Nationals and Braves, among others, to try to sneak in and pry the MLB ERA leader away from L.A. Many still expect a deal to be completed before Dempster's scheduled start for Chicago against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night.
The Braves have only had general discussions with the Cubs about Dempster, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, but things could move quickly if a deal with the Dodgers falls through. Reports claim that Dempster would prefer to join the Dodgers, so the Cubs may be prioritizing talks with them.
The Los Angeles Dodgers won't trade top pitching prospect Zach Lee in a deal for a rental player such as Chicago Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. It had previously been speculated that Lee would fit in such a deal given Chicago's desire to add young pitching through trades this sumer.
As Rosenthal notes, the Dodgers need offense far more than they need pitching, so it's difficult to see them giving up arguably their most valuable pitching prospect in order to add a veteran pitcher that's due to hit free agency after the season.
Lee, 20, was rated as the No. 62 prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America before the season. After beginning the season by pitching fairly well in the hitter-friendly California League, he's struggled badly in four starts with Double-A Chattanooga since being promoted.
The Pittsburgh Pirates and Kansas City Royals have shown interest in acquiring starting pitcher Paul Maholm from the Chicago Cubs, as Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reports. After a shaky start to the season, the lefty has been a key part of Chicago's recent success over the past few weeks.
During the offseason, the Cubs signed Maholm away from Pittsburgh on a relatively cheap one-year deal. The 30-year-old doesn't have overpowering stuff, with a fastball that averages just 87.6 miles per hour according to FanGraphs, but he has great command and induces lots of groundballs.
Over his past five appearances, including four starts, Maholm has a 0.90 ERA with 20 strikeouts and four walks in 30.1 innings. The Cubs have won all five of those games, with the lefty's increasing trade value around the league being a nice added bonus.
The Chicago Cubs have agreed to sign 22-year-old Dominican right-hander Juan Carlos Paniagua for a signing bonus of $1.5 million, as Ben Badler of Baseball America reports. The deal still requires a background investigation and contract approval from MLB, standard procedure for the signing of any amateur Latin player.
As Badler notes, this is the third time that Paniagua has signed with an MLB team after the first two signings were ultimately voided by MLB for falsified documents and information. Each of those terminations came with a one year suspension, which explains why Paniagua didn't sign until now.
The suspensions have delayed his career, but he's also parlayed the time off into larger signing bonuses with each contract. In 2009, Paniagua signed with Arizona under the name Juan Carlos Collado for $17,000, but he got $1.1 million from the Yankees in 2011 after his first suspension due to a substantial increase in fastball velocity.
In each instance, MLB found that Paniagua had falsified documents, with his most recent suspension ending on Thursday. That allowed him to agree to terms with the Cubs on an even bigger deal.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have extended an offer to the Chicago Cubs for starting pitcher Ryan Dempster, as Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago writes. Reports have frequently tied the pitcher to L.A., with many claiming that the Dodgers are currently his top suitor.
As Levine writes, the Cubs are prioritizing young pitching in any trade discussions given the dearth of live arms in the organization's farm system. The Dodgers do have one very highly regarded pitching prospect in 20-year-old Zach Lee, the team's 2010 round pick, but it's unclear whether he's been included in the offer for Dempster.
The Cubs have already been making moves to prepare for Dempster's possible departure, including a trade on Thursday for pitcher Justin Germano from the Boston Red Sox. The team has also discussed bringing an additional pitcher to St. Louis for the weekend in case the trade is finally completed.
Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster have gotten most of the rumor mill attention, but there are plenty of other players that could be on their way out of Chicago at some point before the deadline. Jeff Baker and Reed Johnson are some other potential trade candidates, and they've been drawing interest, according to a report from Ken Rosenthal.
Source: #Cubs drawing interest in Baker, Johnson as well as the more familiar names. Both could be RH bats off bench for contenders.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 20, 2012
Both Johnson and Baker have been hitting pretty well as reserves in Chicago this season -- both have OPSes north of .800. Johnson is hitting .303/.352/.450 in 68 games, while Baker is hitting .284/.328/.486 in 43 games.
The 29-year-old Germano has thrown just 5-2/3 innings at the major league level in 2012. At triple-A Pawtucket, he was 9-4 in 16 starts with a 2.40 ERA; he struck out 72 and walked 13 in 105 innings.
Asencio made 12 appearances for the Cubs this season, striking out eight batters and walking 11 in 14-2/3 innings pitched.
#Cubs still working to trade Ryan Dempster ASAP. One source says Red Sox are officially out on Dempster, still in on Matt Garza— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 19, 2012
Several clubs have shown some interest in acquiring Dempster, including the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals. Dempster has a 1.86 ERA, which is easily the lowest of his career. He's 5-3 in 14 starts.
Chicago Cubs veteran pitcher Ryan Dempster is available for the right price on the trade market, but not only do the Cubs need to get a building block for the future, the destination needs to satisfy Dempster (who holds full no-trade rights as a 10-and-5 player). Theo Epstein admitted that the Cubs are looking to add pitching prospects to the system, so it's natural to explore some of the teams that can fit that request.
The St. Louis "have jumped into the picture in recent days" according to a major league source close to Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago, and could be willing to part with B-level prospects like Zack Cox and any starting pitcher not named Shelby Miller, Carlos Martinez or Tyrell Jenkins.
As it turns out, National League teams may turn out to be the most viable trade partners for the Cubs. An anonymous MLB GM recently told Buster Olney of ESPN that it doesn't make sense for Dempster to head to the American League because "[h]e's never pitched in the American League. It doesn't make any sense for him to go there before he reaches the market."
The Chicago Cubs are clearly in a rebuilding mode during their first year with Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer at the top of the organization, and with the July 31 non-waiver deadline rapidly approaching everyone is wondering which veterans will be dealt and what types of players the Cubs are pursuing. On Wednesday, Epstein told Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune that he is looking to add a lot of pitching to the minor league system, but that top position player prospects are still in play if trade partners lack blue chip pitchers:
"You can express a preference for pitching, but if you're dealing with a club that has better position player prospects and you feel the position players in a certain system are a safer bet or offer higher upside, I don't think it's right to pigeonhole yourself to one situation."
"As a whole, not specifically regarding potential deals, we need to add a lot of pitching to the system. It's not enough to have a handful or two. You need waves and waves coming through your system, and we don't have that. We hardly have even one wave coming, so we need to rebuild a lot of pitching depth."
With rumors swirling around veteran pitchers like Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza it will be very interesting to see how many young assets Chicago can acquire prior to the trade deadline.
Looking to improve their offense, the Los Angeles Dodgers have cast a pretty wide net, but Chicago Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano isn't considered an option at this point, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The Cubs are considered obvious sellers this summer, with Soriano representing one of the team's many possible trade chips.
While noting that Soriano isn't an option for L.A., Heyman does list Shane Victorino, Jimmy Rollins, Josh Willingham, Michael Cuddyer, Corey Hart and Chase Headley as possibilities. All of those guys are owed significantly less money than Soriano, though, which likely plays into L.A.'s lack of interest.
Excluding his salary for this season, Soriano is still owed $36 million through the 2014 season, making him utterly overpaid even though he's still capable of providing some nice power. In 338 plate appearances this year, the 36-year-old has hit .271/.325/.490 with 17 homers, tied for the seventh-highest figure in the National League.
FOX Sports is reporting that Cubs RHP Ryan Dempster's top two choices are the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves, in that order. But Dempster, who has the right to veto any trade, appears willing to consider a lot of different options.
However, he will not necessarily play hardball.
Dempster, according to one source, has told the Cubs that he is open to many clubs and given them only a handful of teams that he would reject.
An exec of one team talking to the #Cubs said today they're working hard to move Ryan Dempster "by the end of the week."— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 17, 2012
The 35-year-old Dempster is in the middle of a career year with the Chicago Cubs. Through 14 starts, Dempster has thrown 92 innings of 1.86 ERA and 3.13 FIP ball. Chicago signed Dempster as a free agent in 2004 after earning a release from the Cincinnati Reds. The Cubs put him in a relief role for four seasons, and then made him a starter again in 2008 to great effect.
Danny Knobler of CBS Sports is reporting the Kansas City Royals have inquired about Chicago Cubs righty SP Matt Garza. According to Knobler, the Royals want a pitcher who is under team control through 2013, given their unlikeliness to compete in the 2012 MLB season.
Garza, who will not be a free agent until 2014, has struggled with the home run ball in the 2012 MLB season, but has a career-low walk rate (7.3%) and the second-highest strikeout rate (22.6%) of his career.
The Royals are rich in position player prospects, but their 2012 pitching staff has the 4th worst ERA in the American League (4.39 ERA) and 5th worst FIP (4.18 FIP). Their starting rotation -- with a 5.31 ERA -- is second worst in the AL.
The Chicago Cubs have appeared ready and willing to trade starter Ryan Dempster for quite a while now, and talks are apparently advancing with the Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. The Cubs have been busy exchanging prospect names with these three teams, according to a report from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, and it seems Chicago is even willing to pay most of Dempster's salary if it means they can get back better young players in a deal:
The Cubs are exchanging names with teams interested in right-hander Ryan Dempster, and the Dodgers, Tigers, Braves and Red Sox all remain in the mix, major-league sources say.
...The Red Sox, according to a source, maintain equal or greater interest in Cubs right-hander Matt Garza, who is under club control through next season...
...The Cubs are willing to pay the vast majority of Dempster's salary in exchange for better prospects - condition that likely would appeal to a team as budget-conscious as the Braves...
The Dodgers, meanwhile, are thin in upper-level position prospects, but rival executives say they could construct a Dempster trade with some of their pitching at Double A.
Dempster has full no-trade rights as a player with 10 years of MLB service and five years with the Cubs, but Rosenthals adds that a source close to the veteran starter said he would likely approve a deal to the Dodgers or Red Sox.
Source: The Red Sox are aggressive in the pursuit of Ryan Dempster. Cubs going through their process on the right-hander.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 16, 2012
Related: Cubs Minor League Wrap: July 15
One of the big hurdles in the Cubs/Red Sox talks, of course, is that Theo Epstein knows their farm system very well.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 16, 2012
Dempster, who recently returned from a stint on the disabled list, has been the subject of various trade rumors for a significant part of the regular season. The veteran righty is 5-3 with a 1.86 ERA in 14 starts this season.
Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton can block a trade to the Cubs, Yankees, Red Sox or Indians, according to a report from John Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal. However, that does not necessarily mean that Upton would be against a move to one of those teams:
It’s not known whether Upton would use the no-trade clause to block deals to those clubs. Often, players include high-revenue teams like the Yankees, Red Sox and Cubs in no-trade protection, thinking that those organizations are better positioned to offer financial inducements in an effort to convince the player to waive the clause.
Related: Cubs Minor League Wrap: July 15
Upton, who hit 31 home runs in 2011, is hitting.264/.347/.388 with seven home runs and 37 RBI in 2012.
Chicago Cubs starter Ryan Dempster continues to be one of the best pitchers in the National League, and most indications are that he will likely be traded sooner rather than later. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX wrote this morning that it wouldn't be a surprise if Dempster was traded within the next week, and that two teams have emerged as the most likely partners for the veteran.
With the Chicago Cubs in the midst of another forgettable season, it might be time to look towards the future. With that mindset and the trade deadline just 16 days away, general manager Theo Epstein must certainly be looking for youngsters to add into the fold for the future.
Ryan Dempster is a name that could draw some serious interest from contending clubs. According to Buster Olney of ESPN.com, there might never be a better time to send the veteran out of town for a substantial package.
In the piece, Olney outlines that no fewer than 10 teams would be in the hunt for Dempster. Those organizations include the New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers among others.
Dempster has of course being masterful in 2012, with a sterling 1.86 ERA. The righty only has five wins, but that's only due to a major lack of run support.
Olney muses that if Dempster is traded now, it will be easier for the Cubs to take offers for Matt Garza, another veteran pitcher who could net a nice haul.
After throwing six shutout innings on Saturday, Ryan Dempster couldn't avoid questions about his potential departure from the club.
According to ESPNChicago's Bruce Levine, 10 teams have shown serious interest in Dempster.
With a little more than two weeks until baseball's trade deadline, 10 teams have shown legitimate interest in acquiring Dempster's services for the remainder of the season, according to industry sources. Those clubs include the Los Angeles Dodgers, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox and Atlanta Braves. […]
This season, Dempster is 5-3 with Major League-leading 1.86 ERA.
Levine reports that the Cubs are not only interested in young pitching prospects, but a highly-rated third-base prospect also is on the their wish list.
Ryan Dempster likely isn't long for the Chicago Cubs. Like almost everybody, Ryan Dempster knows this, but as he readies to return from the disabled list, he told reporters that he isn't being bothered by persistent trade rumors.
According to a report from CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, the Los Angeles Dodgers are considered the frontrunners for Chicago Cubs starter Ryan Dempster.
The Dodgers are viewed as a favorite to land Cubs star starter Ryan Dempster once he returns from the disabled list, sources suggest to CBSSports.com.
While the sides haven't talked since the week before Dempster went on the disabled list, a person familiar with the situation suggested the Dodgers have a very good chance to land the veteran right-hander.
Dempster is currently rehabbing an injury and isn't going to return to the field until after the All-Star break. He's 3-3 with a 2.11 ERA in 2012.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are discussing possible trades involving veteran starting pitcher Ryan Dempster with the Chicago Cubs, as Buster Olney of ESPN reports. The Dodgers have been rumored to be interested in Dempster in the past, so it makes sense that they'd be opening up discussions for the pitcher around this time.
Dempster, 35, has been superb in his first dozen starts for the Cubs this season, posting a 2.11 ERA with 66 strikeouts and 22 walks over 81 innings. Since being converted to the starting rotation before the 2008 season, he's emerged as one of the best starters in the National League: only six NL pitchers have posted a higher WAR over that time frame.
Olney also notes that the Dodgers and Cubs aren't discussing first baseman Bryan LaHair at the moment. The duo that's primarily been featured at first base for L.A. this season, James Loney and Juan Rivera, has been abysmal, but LaHair would likely require a significant amount in terms of prospects.
For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage and other news, head over to Cubs blog Bleed Cubbie Blue. For more from around the world of baseball be sure to visit Baseball Nation.
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