Dempster in on trade phone calls is obscene

With Ryan Demspter going to Texas, I hope he takes with him the last of the over-pandering to Cubs players as well.

Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer were extremely upset that Dempster initially rejected the Braves deal.

I can see Epstein gritting his teeth now as he publicly defends the guy who basically held the organization at gun point to get his way to LA. Dempster had said all along he would try and help the team move forward if that is what they wanted to. Then despite Hoyer being upfront with him about their intentions and the Braves aggressiveness, he rejected the deal.

The simple matter here is that Dempster put Theo and Jed over a barrel. The same barrel that used to be reserved for former Cubs GM Jim Hendry to be over when it came to making deals. 10/5 rights are one thing but waiting until the last minute to try and go to one team really put the Cubs in an impossible spot.

When I read that Demspter got to sit in on trade negations just to prove to him that the Dodgers weren’t dealing in good faith, my first thought was how foolish is this guy? What kind of leverage did he think he left the Cubs with a very public one-team market?

"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." 

An industry source shared with me that the Dodgers were indeed low-balling the Cubs, playing chicken with them and doubting that they could move Demspter anywhere else.

As for Theo, this is probably not the way he is used to doing his business. This is the same guy who traded “Nomah” from Boston; do you think he got to listen in on the phone calls?

Now Demspter was out there today trying to plead his case to the media.

"All I said was I would be open to going to a team ... my kind of specifications for going anywhere was going to a winner," Dempster said Wednesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "If I was going to leave this situation with the Cubs that I have been with for so long, I wanted to go somewhere that had a real good chance of winning.

"The truth of the matter is, at the end of the day, I didn't turn down any trades. All I asked for was more time on one particular trade. I didn't really get that time. It got leaked out that I said yes and then I said no. And even after I said no -- I never officially said no -- I said I needed time to think about it, and I have the right to that time. I know people want an answer overnight, but I've been traded twice in my career with no say and so to have a little bit of say and time to make a decision, that's all I wanted. Unfortunately it went down the way it did. I felt bad for the Atlanta Braves. They are a first-class, top-notch organization."

Rest assured Dempster turned down a deal that would have been better than the Cubs ended up making (as for now). In the end he may have been trying to Dwight Howard his way to LA, but instead ended up with just the public backlash.

**Please note in the boll below that the second answer means that Ryan Dempster helped lead the team to the playoffs, not that he was a good pitcher once he got there***

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  • Tom, I found your headline somewhat confusing. While I generally agree with your premise that involving the player in trade discussions is a bad idea, in this case I think it was justified. Theo and Jed really wanted him traded for decent prospects, and the Dodgers weren't budging. Mr. "I'm the hammer, you're the nail" finally gave in with an hour to go before the deadline, and the trade was made.

  • In reply to cubsin:

    I was trying to play on obscene phone call thing. You are right he was the hammer and he kind of screwed the Cubs.

  • In reply to cubsin:

    My wife agrees with you sir on the headline.

  • I get some of the Dempster backlash. Dempster seemingly yearning to have this "Siwata-neho" moment with Ted Lilly in La la land seemed overly petty. But the real cockroach who deserves having the light shined on him is Ned Coletti.

    Ned Coletti should have realized he was, actually is, in a pennant race. Coletti should realize his arch rival got Hunter Pence. Coletti should realize that his new boss- Stan Kasten- kind of a big deal, kind of knows what he's doing. And instead of showing your boss you're serious about "winning the world series this year, no matter the cost..." by acquiring the ERA leader for a AA prospect, you're now going to your boss and telling them. " You know what boss, I think we're good with Stephen Fife. And "the Aaron Harang magic will last..." good luck with that. One AA prospect. it's not likke Alan Webster is racing up the charts. Jesus, Trey mcNutt was a AA prospect deemed too good for Theo Epstien, now he's in the pen.... Coletti should have done the deal and bragged that he's following his bosses credo to the letter. BUT NooooOOOOOOOO. He's gotta play the Costanza card and brag about how much "Hand" he has.

    Yick!!!! Go Giants.

  • I agree with you felzz completely on this! Dempster is guilty of being naive about the whole trading process and thought it would not be a big deal holding out for a trade to the Dodgers. He failed to realize that by coming out as "wating " he destroyed the Cubs bargainng power with the Dodgers and hurt them with other teams as well. The real jackass is Coletti , who wanted to be a hard ass with the Cubs instead of relenting a bit. He could have come away from the trade a winner anyway but wanted to give up nothing for Dempster. The sweet part is that he will probably be let go by the new ownership once the season ends. My guess is that they will go after Billy Beane or Andrew Friedman.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    Agreed guys, that wasn't fair of Coletti he still should have made a fair market offer.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    Yes Steve he did destroy their ability to get a good deal done, that is what Im upset about.

  • Even though it looks like Theo is trying to defend Dempster, he is letting everyone know what really happened.

    "Epstein gave a detailed explanation of the Dempster trade saga, confirming that Dempster was informed of the possibility of being traded to Atlanta 2-3 days before the deal was leaked to the media."

    "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."

    Dempster got caught in a situation, that he handled very poorly. It's too bad the way it ended, time will heal and remember him for everything he did for the Cubs leading up to the end...that is of course unless Delgado becomes a good SP for the Braves.

  • In reply to Clark n Addison:

    Dempster is a good guy but it wasn't like they didn't tell him Atlanta was heavily in play. Just read through Jed and Theo's comments you can sense their disappointment. Buster Olney stated just how upset they were. Hope Delgado doesn't haunt us now.

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    In reply to Tom Loxas:

    But guys, even if he was told they were heavily in play, he didn't agree to it and it was reportedly a "done deal". If I told my boss I would consider something that I contractually had the right to veto, and then it came out that I had already agreed to it, I would feel blindsided. Everyone seems to forget that he was helping the club by considering a trade ANYWHERE. How many of us would really give up that much for the company we work for so that they could have a brighter future without us? I know sympathy for millionaire atheletes is nonexistent but salary aside they're people with families and lives outside of work.

  • Please, let's look to the Cubs' future with hope instead of backwards with blame. Learn from it, and move on.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Fair enough, but after reading the phone call thing and all the news on it yesterday I think it was fair to put a cap on it.

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    Hoyer was on First Pitch yesterday morning. He pretty much said the same thing as Epstein.

    I don't think Dempster meant for any of this to happen, and we shouldn't be surprised that a player is so ignorant of the way things really work.

    I still think that, if Atlanta had not leaked it, this might have turned out okay. Did they do it to pressure Dempster? Probably. Could they have realized they were overpaying and decided to blow the whole thing up? Maybe. Either way, it was Dempster who said all the rah-rah crap in those June interviews.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Oops, I hit the button to soon. Anyways, Dempster isn't blameless here for sure.

    In the end, the Cubs still didn't do badly. BTW, excellent job by Daniels of keeping the Feliz surgery under wraps until after the trade deadline.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Either way he wasn't in favor of going to Atlanta, so the whole blind sided thing was weird.

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    In reply to Tom Loxas:

    It wasn't weird. It was a lie. He had to know what the public reaction was going to be in light of his public comments in June. He was trying to save face. I said last week he would've been better off playing coy like Ramirez did and Soriano has been.

  • Demspter is not blameless , just naive and kind of immature about it, he handled this badly. The Braves, via the media leaked this , thinking it could push th etrade faster. Instead Dempster overeacted and decided to hold his breath until he went to a team he preferred to go to ( Dodgers). Dempster is not a bad guy , just naive about what kind of damage would result by letting it be known he preferred to go to LA .

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    Totally agree here, I just didn't like the LA or bust move.

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    BTW, the role of the MLBPA in all of this should not be underestimated. They actively discourage players from waiving their10 and 5 rights, and Dempster is the Cubs player representative. Perhaps we should be surprised that he relented at all.

  • I have no problem with 10/5 rights and a player rejecting a deal. However, publicly when a team only has one team to deal you to, you are kind of out of luck. I don't hate Dempster at all but this was handled wrong.

  • Sorry that you also had to read through my un-edited post, it has been cleaned up since.

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    I think it will be a long time before the Cubs keep a player around long enough to have 10 and 5 rights, and they'll be extremely careful of whom they do.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I never thought he would accept a trade but then he said all that stuff in June about being amicable.

  • This may be controversial but the party to blame(outside of whomever leaked the deal in Atlanta) most here is Theo.

    He admitted yesterday that he knew that it was a "market of one(L.A.)" until right before the deadline...yet he still made a trade with Atlanta absent Dempster's specific approval of the deal. Theo also admitted he was aware Dempster had, while said it was ok to talk to Atlanta, that L.A. was still is #1 choice and had not specifically ok'd a trade to Atlanta.

    Was Dempster fibbing or naive when he said that he was "blindsided" by the Atlanta? Yes. However, the blame lies at Theo's feet for trying to shoehorn a deal with Atlanta w/o specific approval from a 10/5 guy. Theo ran the risk that the Atlanta deal would fall apart sans Dempster approval, and it did. Theo needs to bear the brunt of the anger. Replace Jim Hendry's name for Theo's and keep the actions the same...and we all know whom the general public would be blaming. I think the whole Theo-wonderboy persona is driving a lot of the narrative on this and providing Theo cover when he doesn't deserve it.

    Re: letting Dempster in on the convo's yesterday, I see no problem with that given where the negotiations were at that point. Dempster needed to hear first hand that the Dodgers were shafting the Cubs.

    Of course...I could be horribly wrong but just my thoughts.

  • In reply to MuEagles79:

    I get that but it just seems a bit extreme to me.

  • In reply to MuEagles79:

    This ceaseless finger-pointing is useless. "Woulda, shoulda, coulda...." gets you nowhere.
    Theo took a bad situation, didn't panic, and worked it out to the team's benefit.

  • In reply to MuEagles79:

    This is backwards. You don"t ask the guy specifically unless you come close to an agreement. Once Demp said he would waive his 10/5 rights if the Cubs wanted to trade him, then said he would only go to a winner, he should have sat down and really considered where he would go, if/when push came to shove.

    Furthermore, if Dempster knew that an Atlanta trade may be a strong possibility 2-3 DAYS BEFORE IT HAPPENED, how do you get off blaming Theo? " the blame lies at Theo's feet for trying to shoehorn a deal with Atlanta w/o specific approval from a 10/5 guy. " Specific? Maybe. But knowing Atlanta was a very serious possible trade destination 2-3 days before hand GAVE DEMPSTER THE OPPORTUNITY TO SAY "NO!".....2-3 days of opportunity, in fact. Maybe, given Dempster's words earlier this season, Theo figured that if someone doesn't want to go somewhere they simply say "no."

    I'm not sure how one can really spin it without Demp sounding like a little kid who either wants to go to Disneyland for vacation or nowhere. It may he his right, but it doesn't mean he gets to handle things horribly, and be incredibly dishonest to the FO in the process.

  • In reply to cubbie steve:

    It's not backwards. a good GM makes sure he knows he has approval from the 10/5 player before agreeing to a trade with the other club. otherwise the GM is going to look like an idiot, like Theo does right now, for agreeing to a trade where he doesn't have the ok from the 10/5.

    Whether Dempster knew that the Cubs were close to a trade with Atlanta or not is immaterial to the fact that he never approved the deal before Theo agreed with Wren on it.

    Theo's own comments demonstrate that Dempster wasn't dishonest...just stubborn in his desire to be traded to L.A., which everyone admits was his right and have no problem with.

  • In reply to MuEagles79:

    what do you not understand about atlanta being on demp's list of teams he would approve a trade to? then when the deal goes down he essentially turns it down, while publicly saying he wants to go to LA? how is that theo's fault? what more approval does theo need when a player gives a list of teams he would approve a trade to? dempster went back on his word, that has nothing to do with theo or hoyer.

  • In reply to matt:

    There has been no report that Dempster said he "would" approve a trade to Atlanta...only that he would consider it.

    Big difference. Saying you'll consider going somewhere is completely different than saying you WILL go there.

  • In reply to MuEagles79:

    And he had 2-3 days to consider it beforehand. If he didn't want to go, he should have known pretty quickly. My 2 year old son makes decisions faster than that. It's 2 months, half of which would be on the road anyway.

    Even if it leaked, then he should have said he was invoking his 10/5 rights, and blocked it.

  • In reply to bwenger:

    If you are comparing your child to an adult who is going through a divorce and has child battling a life threatening syndrome...well...then I can't hep you.

  • I don't see why Dempster should be criticized for refusing to move to Atlanta until the Los Angeles option was exhausted. I doubt that Dempster leaked any of this. That his holding out for LA was leaked and became a real-time story is perhaps not his fault at all.

    I also think people are blowing Dempster's early season comments (regarding wanting to help out the Cubs during a hypothetical trade process) out of proportion. I"m sure that Dempster DID want to help out he Cubs if he could, but if his first choice was LA then it's understandable that he would exhaust that option before agreeing to go to Atlanta or anywhere else. Dempster earned that right and more.
    Dempster doesn't just deserve extra consideration because of his service time, but because of just how exemplary his time with the Cubs was. He's been one of the best Cubs of the past fifty years! Why shouldn't he be given a little extra consideration: he's widely acknowledged by the media and players as one of the best clubhouse guys; he pitched 200 innings every season; like Sean Marshall he took a bullpen role without complaining in order to help out the Cubs (when doing so would reduce his value on the market); and he racked enough WAR to make him one of the top six pitchers since 1970.
    It's a shame to see him lambasted on Cubs blogs when he should be celebrated for being one of the best Cubs of all time. Harrrumph!

  • In reply to baseballet:

    I really don't see it that way, I'm not sure what makes him a special case at all? I'm sure Theo and Jed didn't feel that way when they dealt Nomar and Dempster is just a guy in comparison to what he meant to an organization.

  • In reply to baseballet:

    When do you think they will retire his number? All kidding aside you have a right to respect Dempster but let's not get carried away.

  • One of these days we aren't going to worship average players around here right?

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Anti-Dempster snark? On a Cubs blog?? So strange to me. What team have you been watching all these years that he's just an average Cub? The bridge from Sandberg/Dawson to now is filled with potholes, whether due to bad play or bad attitude, and Dempster has been one of the best Cubs during that time. Despite moving to the bullpen (to help the Cubs out), Dempster accumulated more WAR since 1970 than all but five pitchers (Reuschel, Maddux, Z, Sutcliff, Wood). No he wasn't a hall of fame player, but he wasn't just a disposable Cub either. Rather he was one of the best. It's not just how bright you burn for a moment (Prior obviously had more talent), but how long you burn. Dempster was an above average pitcher for the Cubs for a long time. (Check out his numbers over the last five years compared to Garza, for example, and tell me who has been the better pitcher.)
    In addition to being one of the best Cubs players over the last generation, coaches, fellow players and Cubs reporters all acknowledge that he was one of the best clubhouse guys. And his work for charities has been outstanding as well.

  • In reply to baseballet:

    Ok he was above average, however just not worship material IMO.

  • In reply to baseballet:

    The only players the Cubs have had in my lifetime that should be held in super status IMO should be (based on Cubs and total career)


  • In reply to baseballet:

    At the end of the day I want you to know I agree mostly with your view on Dempster but I just don't think he is in the Maddux/Sandberg/Dawson class you mentioned. I could see those 3 in that room but even then it's a bit strange to me. Dempster was a terrific Cub, I don't dispute that for a minute. BTW my personal experiences with him were just great.

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    In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Also the thing is he burned all of that good will he had created in the past week. When he went full on Sammy Sosa anything he had done previously got thrown out the window to me. Never in my life have I seen a group so eager to stay on a BAD team. I mean seriously is it fun to them to finish in 5th place every year?

  • In reply to baseballet:

    I don't buy this "went to the bullpen to help the Cubs out" stuff. Do you remember how he came to the Cubs? He was signed by Hendry after Dempster had undergone Tommy John surgery. You're talking about a guy who the Cubs took a chance on (he wasn't the only one), and he happened to come through. There was no way that when he was signed (2004) that he was going into the starting rotation.

    Do you remember his days as the closer? His performance in that role doesn't put him anywhere near "all-time great" status. He had an excellent season in 2008, but he has been just above average ever since, this season excluded. He is a guy you like to have on your team because he gives you innings and is good in the clubhouse, but calling him an all-time great is an insult to players who actually were all-time greats. Having the 6th greatest WAR for a player in this franchise since 1970 isn't all that much to brag about, IMO. I love the Cubs, but prove to me that they have been a strong, competitive ballclub consistently during that time period.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Honestly, I think this is more about a reaction on relativity than the quality of a player. People are mad at Dempster because he effectively turned down an AWESOME deal for the Cubs. If the deal was so-so (or even bad), no one would care what happened right now and no one would be mad at the guy. The real loss hear is from the leaking of information.

    Looking back at the beginning of the season, should we have expected this type of haul (Villanueva and Hendricks) for Ryan Dempster? If you'd have expected less, then we did well. If you'd have expected more, then we didn't. So what did we learn about R.D.? Two things -- 1). He pitched his ass off in a year where he knew he could get traded (good for the Cubs) and in his contract year (good for him). 2). The dude's not perfect. See ya, Ryan. I hope you and the Cubs learned from this deadline, and best of luck in Texas. Now gimme some Castro, Rizzo, etc.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    "One of these days we aren't going to worship average players around here right?"
    Let's hope we don't worship ANY players, good, average, or bad. If we do, we're setting ourselves up for a big fall.
    Fans, yes; admirers, sure; abject fawners and worshippers, no.

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    It is truly amazing how quickly opinions on a player can change. Two weeks ago I really respected Dempster now I honestly hope he gets the Oswalt treatment from the Angels tonight. Two weeks ago I would have been fine with him coming back in the off season to help bridge the gap between now and being competitive. Now I am just happy that he is out of the organization for whatever pieces that could be gotten.

    Dempster hurt the Cubs and their chances at a quick rebound far quicker than he will ever realize after going through his prima dona hammer spiel. If he had gone to Atlanta for Delgado Texas wouldn't have had him as a fall back option. If that was the case they quite possibly would have went harder for Garza with Perez and/or Olt both being what they would have been asking for as headlining pieces. So the Cubs could be sitting there looking at sliding Perez and Delgado into their starting rotation. Which looks far better than anything they got in return. Only shining light potentially in all this is the hope it further drives home the idea of NO NTC's.

  • If there is any silver lining of this, Coletti has found out that Theo/Jed duo will NOT be mistaken for Hendry...They will leave him listening on the other end of the phone....Coletti already got a hall pass from the Cubs last year, by giving up NOTHING for Lilly/Theriot...sorry Nedboy, there are new sheriffs in town, and they hold more than 1 bullet in their front pocket....

  • In reply to Twenty Two:

    That is a great point, thankfully they didn't cave and that is a victory IMO. I'm glad they went to Texas at the end.

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    No man is worship material. Anyone who puts another human being on a pedestal to worship is asking to be let down.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Hear hear. For example, look at the pedestal we put Sosa on not so long ago.
    We all have feet of clay.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Or should live in a country with a monarchy government.

  • In regards to base ballet's comments..Is Dempster considered a Cub great?

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    In a word, no.

    I understand why people like/liked him: He's a nice guy, a good clubhouse presence and some seem to enjoy his "hilarious" impressions. But I still don't get why some consider him to be an all-time Cub great. He's a nice player who had some good and some not-so-good seasons with the Cubs, nothing more. I appreciate what he did while in Chicago, but let's not overstate his place in franchise history.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    I think he is a Cubs great, especially if you consider clubhouse leadership/presence and community service. If you're going purely on the numbers, it's a judgement call, but there is no doubt that he was one of the best Cubs since 1972. Here are the top 19 Cubs, according to accumulated WAR, over the last 40 years (per Fangraphs):
    1972 - 2012
    Sosa 63.7
    Sandberg 32.7
    Grace 46.2
    Reuschel 41.9
    Maddux 39.2
    Z 31.3
    Ramirez 29.1
    Dlee 25
    Wood 22.9
    Sutcliff 22.3
    Dempster 20.6
    Soriano 18.4
    Dawson 18
    Jdavis 17.8
    Durham 14.1
    Cardenal 12.8
    Madlock 12.5
    Monday 12.5
    Soto 12.4

  • In reply to baseballet:

    Thank you for digging up those numbers. He certainly ranks up there.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Yeah he's no Ryno and Dawson burned brighter, but there is something to be said for Dempster's longevity as an above average player, and for his willingness to go to the pen. Don't forget that before his move the pen, Dempster had a 14-win season (226 innings!) and a 15-win season (211 innings) for the Marlins. Can you imagine Theo moving a 15 game winner he just acquired into the pen? Never would happen now - they would work with that player to develop their more valuable potential as a starter, but I digress.
    Furthermore, Dempster provided clubhouse class during a time when fellow teammates were poisoning it. And his commitment to competing hard, even on terrible teams, was something to love.

  • In reply to baseballet:

    Willingness to go to the pen? He went to the pen because he was signed after surgery. He had no choice, he was rehabbing and nobody else wanted to pay him for sitting out a year.
    And I always loved the mythical "clubhouse presence" BS. Yeah, without him in the clubhouse, they would have sucked the past two years...oh wait.

  • In reply to baseballet:

    Sorry, mistyped Sandberg - he had 62.7 WAR.

  • Dempster's team-first 180 to me-first actions kind of came at a bad time when Kid K just showed the utmost class an athlete could show earlier this season.

  • I find it interesting just how much Cub fans perception, or rather, Cubs fans' adoration of Cubs players has changed. Kerry Wood might have been the last Cub that Cub fans really liked. Kerry never really did live up to expectations, was constantly hurt, and actually refused trades that would help the Cubs as well. But when I think Kerry Wood, I think the Astros game, I think winning the Braves playoffs series, and I never ever think of him as the guy who pitched poorly in game 7 ( only a game that would have sent the Cubs to the World series.) In fact, the first thing I think of from that game 7 is Kerry Wood hitting a home run.

    There really is a lot to appreciate with Demp. He overcame injury with the Cubs. he was both a closer and an ace. When things went sour he didn't pout or demand a trade. His "I want to be part of the solution" was actually admirable. yet the first three to four images I have of Demp are all negative- 1) His exit. 2) That god awful, fingernals-screaching-against-my-cerebellum Harry Carry impersonation. 3) Lou Pinella walking out on opening night and screaming " It's 28 degrees out. We're up by four runs. THROW SOME BLEEPING STRIKES" and 4) Game 1 of the 2009 playoffs when he walked 7 Dodgers before lollipopping it to James Loney. Maybe that's why he wanted a trade to the Dodgers, he was so pivotal in helping them....

    I wish "Demp" well. His refusal to go actually allowed the Cubs to get Vizcaino for maholm, which is every bit the value that Delgado would have been. But it's interesting that almost every player of this past decades Cubs teams- including GM's, coaches, and players, are almost all loathed despite being teams that were closest to getting to and possibly winning the World series than any Cubs team any of us have ever seen.

  • In reply to felzz:

    Felzzy I wouldn't go that far as loathed. They have gotten a bit of a raw deal. This post was more intended to point out the Cubs terrible position more than rip Demspter. However, the backlash was a bit harsh for a Cub as good as he was, that is today's instant information for you though.

  • The bottom line with Dempster is that he knew for a month if not months that this trade was GOING to happen. Not if, but when. He agreed according to MULTIPLE media sources that he would waive his 10/5 rights to said # of teams with the caveat that the Cubs TRY to deal him to the Dodgers. His time to "think about it" came BEFORE he agreed to the teams he would waive his rights to be traded to. Dempster acted very immature and doesn't have a very good business sense. Next to Kerry Wood, Dempster is the most well liked and high profile "Cubbie" on the 2012 roster. Correction make that WAS. He may need a reference from Epstein later in his career if he wants to manage or be a broadcaster. Do you think he'll get that now? Do you think he made a good name for himself among other potential future GMs? I mean someone will sign him, but I guarantee you he turned off a lot more people than interested them by his handcuffing the Cubs. Its his right to do so, but is it his right to act unprofessionally about it?

  • Tom, I agree with you whole-heartedly on this issue, but would you rather have Vizcaino and the return we got for Dempster from Texas, or Delgado and whatever we could manage for Maholm/Johnson?

    I think this whole situation actually worked out in our favor.

  • Would you make a deal with this guy? He looks like he's going to sell me a 1991 rusted up Escort. Just sayen

  • In reply to irishivy75:

    He did go to my high school, so there is that.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    You went to East Leyden?

    I believe this post is a first, for just opening up a platform for directing venom at an individual. Sad. Red Sox fans are famous at eating their own once they leave the team. I always thought cub fans were above that.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Yes I went to the good Leyden. John went to the other one. The Leyden Hall of fame would include Glenn Grunwald, Craig Wilson, Jimmy Rodgers, and yes Ned Coletti.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    OMG! How did I forget Mike Shannahan!!

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    I was in the same year as Shanahan, and you forgot to include Tom Dore.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Oh yeah, and now John and I :) they must be so proud.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Oh yeah, we're the icing on the cake :)

  • Well if you are following on Twitter so far the overwhelming opinion is Demspter is not a Cub "great".

  • Tom: I agree with your post, and specifically that the new FO won't be emotionally involved in these deals to the point that it hurts the team goal of winning a championship. For far too long, there has been a comfortable culture on the North Side, where players who would have been run out of town for being average to above-average are embraced here as stars.

    I have a lot of great Kerry Wood memories, and the 20 strikeout game and Braves' playoff victory especially stand out. However, I belive that Theo had NO intentions of bringing him back this year, and Ricketts stepped in to make that happen. It hurt the club that he was penciled in as the righty setup guy, when we all knew he couldn't make it through the season. They even had to have Sveum cover for him when he couldn't pitch in spring training saying they were "saving his bullets." The reality was at this point Wood was a glorified middle reliever, and he was treated like a hall of famer. Has to stop, and I believe it does on Theo's watch.

    Lou Piniella is another prime example. Sure, he had a sterling career as a manager. Early on. Not so hot with Tampa or in Chicago post 07-08. The way he went out using his mother as an excuse, collecting all his money and leaving the team, and then getting back into baseball with the Yankees was embarrasing. Almost as bad as Hendry's refusal to fire him when he slept through games and clearly had given up, because old Jim didn't want to hurt Lou's rep. Bad.

    I agree completely that the old days are ending with Theo and the boys, and hope that this changes the culture to one of results. Thanks for your opinions.

  • In reply to JC 2012:

    Thank you!! Let's move on to winning!!

  • Tom, less we forget, by having Dempster block his trade to the Braves, we still came away with the better pitcher. The Braves would not have made the Maholm trade if the Dempster trade went through. So Dempster really did us a favor!

  • In reply to NilesNorth:

    I hope you are right, you just maybe.

  • One of the things I think people are not including in the calculation here is how much the Dempster trade drama effected other deals. The exhorbidant amount of time cubs FO had to commit to finishing off this trade most likely effected thier ability to seek trades for other ancillary players that were more than likely available (i.e. Camp, Corpas, Baker). All you have to do is look at what the Marlins were able to accomplish before the trade deadline to see that the Cubs just plain and simple fell short of thier goals.

  • Hoyer was on WSCR today and said Dempster wouldn't give up until 15 min before deadline. Hoyer says that isn't how deals are made. Sounded pretty annoyed.

  • Why didn't they just keep him if what they got wasn't worth it?
    Deal him over the winter? Nobody had a gun to their heads forcing the last minute trade. Or at least I hope not.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Dempster is a FA this winter. That's why.

  • In reply to bwenger:

    I thought he had one more year on his constract. If a FA, then I get it.

  • I like how the FO showed transparency. They're addressing everything professionally. Dempster, whom I liked as a Cub and was always known as a true professional by his teammates and media, has some egg on his face. He had the 10/5 rights, which he earned, but he had known for 2-3 days that ATL gave them the best offer. When he heard he was traded, he acted a little prima donna-ish.

    The FO basically said, "If you think there's any deception on anyone's part, listen for yourself.."

    I don't want to villify him any more. His hangup was his tunnel vision. That had to be a jolt to his ego. In the small picture, Delgado would've been a nice return. In the big picture, they need so many more Delgado types, that one deal that never got done is water under the bridge.

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    In reply to Greg Shuey:

    Well put. It's time to continue to look forward.

  • Tom sure knows how to rile up the natives. I can't agree with everything you've said, but you've stirred up some pretty good long as everyone stays cordial!

    I have to say that I'm ready to move on from Dempster. As I posted above, he was a good Cub, not great IMO. I think he owes/owed more to the franchise because they took a chance on him after a major surgery, at a time where recovery wasn't a guarantee.

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    Deal him over the winter? He will be a free agent..... Geeeeez

  • Here's another thought I had - if we had dealt Dempster for Delgado, would Maholm/Johnson netted us a similar package elsewhere like the guys we got from Texas for Dempster? It's clearly impossible to say, but it seems like the number of teams making deals for SP wasn't as strong at the deadline. I doubt an AL team would have traded from Maholm, and the only other NL team that may have made an SP move would have been LA, and they clearly weren't ready to deal anything of value.

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    I think Maholm would still be a Cub and Garza would have been traded to Texas. Especially since we now know that Texas was about to lose a starting pitcher to the DL. The Dempster saga cost us leverage all around , imo. And I believe strongly that the overall package of prospects we would have got would have been much better if Demsper and Garza were the center pieces instead of Dempster and Maholm...... just my 2 cents

  • Hey everyone, I put up a poll since there was a comments section debate on Dempster's status as Cubs all time. Please chime in.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    John, I'm not sure why one of the multiple choice answers is "a good pitcher and a key to playoff teams."

    We never won a single playoff game during Dempster's Cubs career, and his career playoff ERA is over 6.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    I should have worded it better, meant it as "helped lead team to playoffs". If I change it now, though, the poll resets to zero.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    I added a note above it to make it more clear. Thanks for pointing that out, Just Win. I worried a bit when I wrote it that way. Should have trusted my instinct!

  • How will I remember Dempster? Hmmmm.

    Is it the painful to listen to/watch Harry impression?
    Or maybe the walkoff bomb he gave up to some nobody on the Mets that essentially ended the 2004 season?
    Or maybe when he pooped his pants in game one in 08?
    Or how he went back on his word, thus throwing everything off for the 2012 trade deadline?

    Oh, the memories...

  • In reply to Vinny:

    That one probably falls under "Was never a fan" :) I figured somebody would bring up the playoffs and that Harry impression, but I tried to keep it brief.

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    In reply to Vinny:

    Oh I totally forgot that bomb to that idiot Met.

    Thinking about the walks and game 1 in 08', it makes me a real sad. He really gave the Dodgers the momentum that they never let go until the Cubs were hibernating. I was really hoping Lou would have gone w Z or Harden to start game 1.

  • Regarding Dempster as a Cub great, I believe he was. However, this is more a testament as to how bad the Cubs have been over the years. The fact is, all it takes is for one to be an above average player to be a Cubs great. If he were traded from alot of other franchises, they wouldn't have held him on such a pedastool.

    Regarding Dempster and the trade, he had every right as a 10/5 guy to do what he did. Just as the Dodgers had every right to lowball the Cubs. Just as the Cubs now have every right not to welcome Demp back with open arms or ever trade with Neddy Colleti again (was reading some local LA sports articles, people really are upset that they didn't get Dempster.)

    That being said, it would have been interesting to see what Demp would have done had Atlanta never sprung a leak.

  • Look at Loxas stirring the pot, I love it! I also love that you and John have a blog where folks can get this worked up but still remain incredibly respectful and make great points pro and con. This post might break the 200 comment barrier at this rate!

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    Dempster was a good pitcher who was a key player in a couple of playoff runs, but I can't call him a Cub great.

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    Rotoworld and MLBTR have started reporting which players have been placed on waivers this month. Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford have been placed on waivers.

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    Looks like MLB Daily Dish will name names as well.

  • C'mon John write something already, slacker! :P

  • In reply to johnnywest333:

    Haha :)

    Top 20 prospects will be up in about 5 minutes. It's a big one...

  • First post here, why not dive right in... Great site and much knowledge on cubs farm system and team. Thanks really enjoy it.

    This is a great topic too Tom and I agree with you on Dempster. The poster Cubsballet that uses WAR to prove his view that Dempster was a cubs great, shows the flaw in using this stat with his own list, the player on the list just after Dempster is Soriano, these are great cubs? Try another stat.

    As far as the trade deadline, saying the cubs fared well or ok is sugar coating it, it was a disappointment bordering on a disaster. You hire the two best gm's you can find and with virtually the entire team available for trades, all you can scrape up in return is 5 prospects, the best of which is injured coming back from tj surgery and the rest are low minor league prospects. Thats not just bad but abysmal..

    The worst part of the Dempster deal was not being able to trade Garza. Don't think they are related? In hindsight the rangers were the most likely buyer for garza, and they got dempster instead for next to nothing.

    The elephant in the room no one is talking about is hendry. These were hendry guys with hendry contracts the new FO was trying to deal. When I heard Hendry was in town the week before the trade deadline I thought, that can't be a good sign. Seemed rigt around then Dempsters loyalty switched from the cubs to himself the hammer, and then Garza developed a cramp that took him off the market. These are Hendry guys, and what you've see over and over. Colletti, another hendry guy, never offered fair value for dempster, like he knew all along that Dempster would only go to the dodgers, did Lily tell him or hendry? Then at the final hour which alternate team shows up to kick the tires on a Dempdeal, the yankees. What a coincidence, think they had a food idea of what the bidding was at that point? I'm not saying Hendry tampered with Dempster and fouled up the Cubs trading deadline moves, dealing his former players, I'm just saying he was here, in town when it all went from bad to worst.

    Everyone recognizes the uphill task this new FO faces restocking a depleted farm system, and getting out from under bad contracts with no trade clauses. But hand in hand with that is the dealing with overpaid, underperforming playrers who think they are entitled to all the cubs can dole out without one bit of loyalty or just performing like a pro in return.

    Clean them all out, start fresh, and maybe then the cubs can win for a change. (aren't you glad I didn't post before?)

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    In reply to eddie35:

    Conspiracy theory much? Colletti knew Dempster was insisting on LA because it was leaked to the press. Everyone knew it. I knew it. Hendry was here because the Yankees were looking at Cubs players.

    This is not an abysmal return for Dempster. It's not an exceptional return, and we might have gotten an exceptional return if the Atlanta trade had gone through. Instead we got an exceptional return for Maholm/Johnson.

    Finally, Garza wasn't going to be traded. Toronto and Texas watched him throw on the side and they didn't feel good about what they saw. Remember, he had left his last game with cramping. No one was going to give value under those circumstances. The risk had abruptly increased. It's possible that the Dempster situation made it harder to do some secondary deals - Dejesus, Camp, players like that. But let's remember that it was an uncertain market to start with. The new CBA had a lot of GM's on the tentative side. Some deals went through for, perhaps, more value than what we got for comparable players, but on the whole, I think the front office did decently.

    And finally, before we start labeling the trades disasters or coups, we should wait to see how players develop. We won't really know until we see how the new prospects develop/come back from surgery. We all like to react in the moment. Theo and Jed are in it for the long haul.

  • In reply to Kevin Heckman:

    I don't disagree with most of what you said. I also didn't say anything about a conspiracy so don't accuse me of that. If you think that these 5 prospects is decent return for having almost the entire major league roster available for trade, then you're not saying much for that roster are you?

    I hope Theo and Jed are in ti for the long haul, and am very glad they are here, but maybe you preferred hendry?

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    In reply to eddie35:

    I was reacting to you suggesting that Hendry's arrival in town coincided with Dempster's change in loyalty and Colletti's change in what he was offering. Sounded to me like you were suggesting Hendry was somehow relaying information from Dempster to the Dodgers. If that's not what you meant, then I didn't understand any of what you wrote about Hendry.

    I can't say whether five prospects was a decent return because I don't know what, if anything, was being offered for everybody else. I think a Garza trade was a non-starter because, from what I was seeing reported elsewhere after the deadline expired, Texas and Toronto watched him throw and didn't like what they saw. So I don't think he was going anywhere, at least not for enough of a return to get the FO agree to a trade. Therefore, I don't think Dempster's situation impacted Garza's or vice versa, at least not in the days immediately before the deadline. Who else on this roster besides Garza was going to get anything of note? So I'd say, if Garza's not moving, then yeah, five prospects, two of which were top 100 preseason, is a pretty decent return for a 36-year-old rental on a career year, a 4/5 starter, a sub .200 hitting catcher and a reserve outfielder.

    I don't know why you'd infer that I prefer Hendry, given that I'm defending the front office. You seem more dissatisfied than I am.

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    In reply to Kevin Heckman:

    This is fun. I kind of disagree with this in one way: if Garza was the only decent SP on the market the last day of the trade deadline, the Rangers may have paid up for him. They were absolutely desperate for a starting pitcher and, unlike with Dempster, Theo had real bargaining power on Garza. (I can hold him and trade him over the winter -- for a pretty decent prospect haul. As will likely happen.) So, in that way, Dempster rejecting the Braves deal probably hurt the Cubs return pretty badly.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I just think that other GM's were downgrading their offers based on Garza's injury status. Higher risk for them = less talent for us. And I think the FO figures they can still get top talent for him in the offseason, so why trade him at a discount now?

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    In reply to Kevin Heckman:

    Because the Rangers absolutely had to have another starter with Greinke to the Angels, Oswalt's struggles, and Feliz's injury. If Garza was the only one available, they had to have him. Since Theo didn't *have* to make a trade, he had all the leverage, and, in fact, more leverage than he knew. Theo had said he wasn't downgrading Garza's worth based on the injury, so he would have asked for a big deal based on top prospects (one or both from the Perez/Olt category -- Profar was almost certainly off limits) and may well have gotten it.

    That was short-circuited because the Rangers could take a perfectly healthy Dempster that they knew full well Theo had no option but to trade. (Though they may be regretting that right about now -- I have no idea why they thought he was going to play well in that launching pad known as Arlington Stadium.)

  • Gentlemen, gentlemen, gentlemen....any Dempster "haters" out there, please understand....The man is going thru a divorce. Do you understand what kind of pain that will be for him and his wallet by the time she gets thru with him?....He'll have to pitch to age 57 to break even. This whole timeframe is hardly what I would call a picnic for him either.

  • I don't like spreading gossip so I'm not going to start now. But if you knew the details of why Dempster is getting divorced you wouldn't be so quick to talk about how tough it's going to be. And I hate to do any type of post like this but I know the details are fact not rumor. But you're right, the wallet will always be hurting after a divorce.

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    In reply to Teddy KGB:

    Non-thread Related: Gordon Wittenmeyer is reporting that Soriano used his 10-5 rights to reject a trade to the Giants.

  • Seems to me like Dempster was just too jazzed up about being the hammer. He knew that they couldn't table the Atlanta offer for a week, and that if he dragged it on long enough, Atlanta would pull out, giving him the ability to say "I didn't reject a deal, they just didn't give me time to think." He's had since spring training to think. He had to have thought about it before he added Atlanta to his list. He'd be mildly retarded not to. He had the days leading up to the deal being reached (when the FO told him it was looking like Atlanta) to think . Then he had 24 hours after they reached the deal to think.

    I've said all along I'd reserve judgement till the facts are out and what's out is all we're gonna get and they say this - Dempster strong armed the FO into sending him to the Dodgers, to the point that the FO had to have him sit in on meetings to prove the Dodgers weren't dealing in good faith, the FO's word apparently not good enough. It wasn't a matter of thinking, it was a matter of getting what he wanted. The sad fact is that the self-interest and competitiveness that make us love these guys on the field oftentimes makes them douchebags off.

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