The Chicago Cubs attempted to trade Ryan Dempster to the Atlanta Braves for a premium pitching prospect roughly one week prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, but that deal mysteriously fell through and the market for the 35-year-old hurler quickly dissipated thereafter. The Cubs did manage to move Dempster at the last minute in a deal with the Texas Rangers, but they only acquired a back-of-the-rotation starter in Jacob Brigham and two other fringe prospects, according to Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus.
Cubs President Theo Epstein bent over backwards to accommodate Dempster -- who held 10-and-5 no-trade rights -- while finding a deal suitable for the club, but Epstein sounds ready to put the whole situation behind him for good. Although Dempster made things more difficult and even cut off the team's leverage with trade partners due to his preference to land with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Epstein tried to put on a good face for the media:
"Some things are better left unsaid," Epstein said with a grin. "It was an unusual situation. But I think it as helpful to have him there so he could hear first-hand that (the Dodgers deal) wasn't going to happen.
"If someone wants to really go to a place, you can tell him over and over it's not going to happen. But unless they're convinced of that, they're not going to want to move on to their second choice."
And with regards to the Braves deal falling through, Theo did say Dempster couldn't have been blind-sided by the prospect of landing with Atlanta:
"He didn't technically say 'no,' " Epstein said. "He said 'No, not now. I'm not going to go to Atlanta before I see about L.A.' And Atlanta, very reasonably, didn't want to wait around and risk not getting a pitcher."
"I think it's really hard to criticize Ryan. I think it's unfortunate. But he certainly wasn't blindsided because we had been telling him for days that Atlanta was a very likely destination and we were going to have to make a final decision."