As you all know, I was out of town yesterday so I'm trying to catch up a bit. Here's a couple of nuggets to get the rumor mill fired up today....
- 5:00 PM: Buster Olney tweets that the Red Sox are aggressively pursuing Ryan Dempster but that one of the hurdles is Theo Epstein's knowledge of the Red Sox system. As to why the Red Sox would be afraid, it's probably because Theo has more information on their organization than they're used to dealing with. When it comes to their own players, especially as you go down the organizational chain, teams usually have a significant information advantage over the team with which they are trying to make a deal. That advantage does not exist for the Red Sox in this situation or at least that gap is narrowed substantially. Sure, teams can scout aggressively for a few weeks, but that doesn't make up for the day-to-day, year to year knowledge an organization has of it's own players.
- 1:24 PM: Rosenthal again, this time saying that Justin Upton has the Cubs on his no-trade list. The Yankees, Red Sox, and Indians are also on the list, so the Cubs are in pretty good company. Rosenthal doesn't think that's necessarily a deterrent, however. It's no coincidence that 3 of the teams are among the biggest markets in baseball. Said Rosenthal, "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."
- 10:50 AM: Ken Rosenthal writes that Ryan Dempster will consider going to any team that is a contender and that the Cubs will eat most of his salary in order to obtain better prospects. Rosenthal also hears that the Cubs were looking for a Gio-Gonzalez type package last offseason for Matt Garza.
- 9:46 AM: Jon Morosi reports that speculation about the Blue Jays interest in Matt Garza won't stop - nor should it. The Jays are said to be enamored with Garza's AL East experience and had two scouts on hand to watch him dominate the Diamondbacks yesterday. We have also speculated here that GM Alex Anthopoulos is likely also interested in having a player that he can keep for 2013, where they could be even more competitive once they get some players healthy. And we've also talked about how much Anthopoulos values the draft, so there is a lot of appeal in that they can also net a comp pick for Garza if he doesn't re-sign with them. Morosi also reiterates what everyone has been saying, that the Dodgers and Tigers are the most serious suitors for Ryan Dempster -- and adds that both teams could turn their attention to Garza once Dempster is traded.
- 9:15 AM: Kevin Goldstein and Mike Ferrin discussed the possibility of trading for a draft pick yesterday (XM radio, h/t Wickit Cub). Under the new CBA, six teams will be awarded "competitive balance" draft picks, which would occur after the first round (and after the supplemental first round picks). The teams eligible for the first lottery are the Diamondbacks, Orioles, Indians, Royals, A’s, Pirates, Padres, Rays, Reds, Rockies, Marlins, Brewers and Cardinals. Of those teams, the Rays, Diamondbacks, Orioles, Indians, Pirates, and Cardinals are potential buyers. It may be a creative way for a team to get a deal done if the teams can't agree on a secondary prospect. I would expect that if this were to happen, the deal for someone like Dempster would be for at least a prospect plus the draft pick. That lottery will be held today and we'll have more details when we have the results.
- 9:01 AM: David Kaplan tweeted yesterday that Ryan Dempster will be traded before his next start. Just an educated guess here but it would seem the Cubs have an offer or two on the table that they already like. There has been a lot of competition for Dempster. Bruce Levine reported on Saturday that there were 10 teams bidding for him, so it's likely that the Cubs got some pretty nice bids here. Remember that the Cubs can theoretically recoup a comp pick of they keep Dempster and offer (and he turns down) a qualifying deal (based on 2011 salaries, that would be around $12M). I'm not saying that it's going to happen, but it probably means the Cubs are getting some quality in return that probably exceeds the value of that potential comp pick. Kap also said that the White Sox will not be the team that acquires Dempster, which makes sense given the state of their farm system.