So, I was a little under the weather late yesterday and had to take my feisty 12-year old Doberman to the vet when she hurt her back leg. We're both fine, but now I have plenty of catching up to do. I've got a pot of coffee brewing and my rally cap on. Let's start off with a couple items to get the ball rolling...
- 5:41 PM: Buster Olney tweets that some officials still regard the Dodgers as the front-runners for Ryan Dempster but that the Cubs are going through their process. Olney also notes that some executives are wondering if Dempster what he would choose if given the option between an NL West team and an AL East team. Well, the answer is the NL West, specifically the Dodgers, of course. What's significant about that to me is that AL East execs (who I'm going to guess were the ones asking the question) feel they may need to beat the Dodgers bid by more than just a nominal margin. If the offers are equal, the Cubs will almost certainly grant Dempster's wishes and trade him to LA.
- 5:15 PM: Ken Rosenthal lists Ryan Dempster's preferences as: 1) Dodgers 2) Braves. But he won't play hardball. He'll consider a deal to any contender, including the Tigers, Red Sox, and Nationals. He only has a handful of teams that he would reject.
- 4:38 PM: Jon Heyman tweets that the Cubs have begun naming their price for Ryan Dempster, but have not done so for other starters. Presumably that means Matt Garza and maybe Paul Maholm. This signals that the Cubs are done with the listening stage and are now ready to reach some sort of agreement. I imagine there may still be some back and forth as far as price, but it seems that they've reached that next stage. Now it's a matter of finding common ground.l
- 3:11 PM: Jim Bowden tweets that the Indians are on the lookout for starting pitching and an outfield bat. The Cubs can certainly help them out on both of those fronts.
- 1:55 PM: The Nationals are also interested in Ryan Dempster, says Ken Rosenthal. They're also looking at catcher. The Cubs have two young MLB ready catchers behind Geovany Soto, but his value is at an all time low.
- 1:50 PM: Bruce Levine speculates that the Rangers are also in on Matt Garza. (h/t Cliffy)
- 1:32 PM: Danny Knobler adds a surprise new team to the Matt Garza sweepstakes -- the Kansas City Royals. Knobler says the Royals have called about Garza. Top prospect to begin the year Mike Montgomery has struggled while Bubba Starling and Wil Meyers are likely off limits. The Royals still have some attractive pieces, however, led by Illinois H.S. product RHP Jake Odorizzi.
- 1:29 PM: Back from lunch and there are more rumors flowing. Both Jayson Stark and Joel Sherman (one of the more reliable sources, imo), tweet that the Cubs are working hard to deal Ryan Dempster by "the end of the week".
- 10:49 AM: Rosenthal (see link below) also adds on Ryan Dempster that, "The Dodgers, Tigers, Braves and Red Sox are in the mix. A friend of Dempster’s said the right-hander would probably approve a trade to Boston but considers the Dodgers a better fit. Rival execs told Rosenthal that although they are thin at AAA, the Dodgers have enough prospects at the AA level to build a package for Dempster. The Braves also are interested in Dempster, partly because the Cubs are willing to eat salary. The Red Sox, on the other hand, are interested in Dempster, but may have greater interest in Matt Garza.
- 10:14 AM: Yesterday, Tom heard from a source that the Dodgers indeed have an offer on the table for Ryan Dempster (on Twitter) and today Ken Rosenthal confirmed that. Dempster prefers LA if the Cubs can manage to get a deal they like, but he's open to going to any contender on any deal that helps the Cubs. A deal could happen with the next day or two.
- 9:21 AM: WEEI in Boston has a source that is denying that the team is aggressive pursuit of Ryan Dempster, saying instead that the team is in "wait and see" mode as they try to determine whether the performances of Aaron Cook and Franklin Morales are the real deal or if they're headed or some serious regression. Sounds like a bit of posturing. Time is running out though..
- 9:15 PM: Jayson Stark tweets that the Braves are seeking just front of the rotation guys and one guy they've been linked to is Zach Greinke. No word from Stark on Ryan Dempster or Matt Garza, though Dempster has pitched like a front of the rotation guy so far this season while Garza is capable of doing it, sometimes for long stretches as he did in the 2nd half last season. Neither is considered a "#1 starter", but Garza ranks 26th in the MLB in xFIP and Dempster ranks 13th in FIP.
Filed under: Rumors/Speculation