Results tagged ‘ Dodgers ’

7/27 More Dempster rumors’s Jon Heyman reports Friday that talks between the Dodgers and Cubs are at an impasse, and that the Dodgers are looking at other options. The Dodgers have reportely offered pitching prospects but Heyman said the Cubs were asking for Allen Webster. The Dodgers have the leverage in talks as Dempster has rejected a deal to the Braves, and was believed to only be willing to go to the Dodgers. Matt Garza was another option but he may be a difficult trade candidate because the right-hander won’t get a start until the end of the week. He came out of his last start last Saturday because of cramping in his right elbow.

— Carrie Muskat

7/27 Dempster-Dodgers rumors

According to’s Ken Gurnick, the Dodgers are focused on acquiring Ryan Dempster from the Cubs, and continue to hold talks to line up back-up deals if they can’t reach an agreement. The Dodgers are rumored to be involved with nearly every starting pitcher on the trade block, from James Shields and Josh Johnson to Zack Greinke and Matt Garza. Dodgers chairman Mark Walter said Wednesday that after the team added Hanley Ramirez, the Dodgers weren’t done. Los Angeles also is looking for another bat.

— Carrie Muskat

7/24 Trade rumors

Ryan Dempster will likely make a decision today regarding whether he’ll accept a deal to the Braves. The Cubs and Braves were believed to be finalizing a deal, which requires Dempster’s approval because of his status as a 10-and-5 player (10 years in the big leagues, five with the same team). The Braves were reportedly offering right-handed pitcher Randall Delgado.

Dempster isn’t the only Cubs player drawing attention leading up to the July 31 Trade Deadline. The Dodgers, who still could be pursuing Dempster, also are inquiring about Matt Garza. One report said the Dodgers would deal top pitching prospect Zach Lee to the Cubs for Garza, but a baseball source told’s Ken Gurnick that was premature. Lee was reportedly the player the Cubs asked for in the Dempster talks, but the Dodgers didn’t want to move him for a two-month rental player. Garza, on the other hand, would be under club control through arbitration for one more season.

However, the Dodgers also need a run-producing corner infielder at least as badly as a starting pitcher. Lee apparently still has significant trade value, even though he has struggled to a 9.45 ERA since being promoted to Double-A last month.

And it’s not just the Cubs pitching that’s drawing interest. The Orioles are reportedly asking about first baseman/outfielder Bryan LaHair.

Dempster’s departure would not just impact the Cubs rotation, but the players. Jeff Samardzija gives the veteran credit for helping him get on track this year.

“He’s easy to watch how he attacks hitters and it relates to me very well,” Samardzija said. “The list goes on — I could sit here all day and tell you what Demp’s done for me. It’s good to have that veteran mind and those veteran eyes around me at any point in the game — ‘Hey, I’m seeing this, and I’m seeing that.’ He’s been that guy for a long time.”

— Carrie Muskat

7/23 Matt Garza update

Matt Garza, lifted from his last start because of cramping in his elbow, was feeling better Monday but most likely will be skipped in the rotation at least one start. Garza, who came out of Saturday’s game against the Cardinals after three innings, was scheduled to start Friday, but Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Monday that Travis Wood will likely start. Wood will be pitching on normal rest because of an off day Thursday.

“Garza is better today and there’s some improvement,” Sveum said Monday. “[His arm is] not quite extendable but he doesn’t seem to be concerned about it. I think [Tuesday] will be the big day to do the evaluation. That’s when we’ll have to make some decisions and line up stuff.”

Garza (5-7, 3.91 ERA) will not throw a bullpen on Tuesday. The timing of that is still to be determined. Garza also is the subject of trade rumors, and the Dodgers are reportedly interested in the right-hander. A report on Monday said the Dodgers would trade pitching prospect Zach Lee to the Cubs in a package. Garza would be under team control through 2013.

— Carrie Muskat

7/21 Dodgers on hold re: Dempster

The Dodgers haven’t given up on landing Ryan Dempster, although the tone of rumors cooled noticeably Saturday. Even manager Don Mattingly seemed to be preparing himself for the deal to fall apart.

“Other teams have agendas to build or rebuild, and to put two teams together to make a deal is not as easy as it sounds,” Mattingly told reporters in New York, including’s Ken Gurnick. “But if we’re in position to pick up somebody that can help, we’re going to do it.”

That said, the Dodgers still are considered by many the favorites to land Dempster. The pitcher can virtually dictate where he ends up because he has trade-veto power and he’s rumored to prefer the Dodgers, where he would be reunited with buddy Ted Lilly.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers reportedly are refusing to deal pitching prospect Zack Lee for Dempster because Dempster would essentially be a two-month rental as an upcoming free agent and the Dodgers invested $5.25 million to sign Lee in 2010.  If the Dodgers trade Lee, it more likely would be for a player the Dodgers could control beyond this year, someone like Padres third baseman Chase Headley, who won’t be a free agent until 2015. The Cubs are believed to be holding out for Lee.

— Carrie Muskat

7/20 It’s that time of year

Dale Sveum changed the setting on his cell phone Friday, just in case the team did make a deal regarding Ryan Dempster before his scheduled start against the Cardinals.

“It’s that time of year,” Sveum said Friday. “That’s why I kept my phone on high volume today. Obviously, you never know what could happen like that. One phone call changes the whole scenario. It can happen quick. It can happen with more than one guy.”

Dempster (5-3, 1.86 ERA) was reportedly being sought by several teams, including the Dodgers, who have made an offer for the right-hander. The Cubs were prepared just in case a deal was made. Casey Coleman was scratched from his start Thursday for Triple-A Iowa but a team official said that was done in case newly acquired pitcher Justin Germano could not get to St. Louis. The Cubs acquired Germano from the Red Sox late Thursday for cash considerations, and he did arrive at Busch Stadium in plenty of time for the game as well as a brief throwing session.

“You have to prepare for stuff like this,” Sveum said about losing a starting pitcher. “It’s never a perfect world because you never know that day or that hour when it’s going to happen.”

— Carrie Muskat

7/20 Cubs consider Dodgers offer

Ryan Dempster is still scheduled to start tonight for the Cubs, who are considering the latest offer from the Dodgers for the right-hander. According to’s Ken Gurnick, the Dodgers have made an offer but won’t get into a bidding war because they also need to add offense, preferably a corner infielder, even more than they need Dempster.

The Dodgers farm system also is a little thin in the kind of prospects needed to land All-Star caliber players like Dempster, the Padres’ Chase Headley, or the Phillies’ Shane Victorino. Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, has said they’re looking to improve on pitching in the organization. That said, Dempster, 35, would be a pure rental for the Dodgers, which most likely is affecting the negotiations. He is in the last year of his four-year contract with the Cubs, which is paying him $14 million this season. Players must be with a team for an entire season in order to qualify for draft-pick compensation, according to the new CBA.

Dempster has played 10 years in the Major Leagues and five with the Cubs, so he has the right to veto any deal. However, the right-hander was expected to approve of a trade to the Dodgers, where he would be reunited with his friend, Ted Lilly.

Epstein has kept Dempster up to date.

“It’s just kind of like, ‘Hey, there’s teams interested,’ and that’s great,” Dempster said Thursday. “Nothing imminent, not that I know of. I’m sure if they have something, they’ll come to me. But right now, I’m just trying to get ready for [Friday’s] game.”

The Tigers and Braves also were believed to be pursuing Dempster as well. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported Friday that talks regarding Dempster could “drag on a few more days.”

This season has been the right-hander’s best, despite two stints on the disabled list, and he currently leads the Major Leagues with a 1.86 ERA. He missed time April 21-May 3 because of a right quad strain, and was sidelined June 18-July 8 because of right lat tightness. His record would be better if he had gotten any run support early in the season. Dempster went 18 starts, dating back to August 2011, without a win until June 5 when he beat the Brewers. He has 10 quality starts out of his 14 this season. Dempster has won his last five starts without giving up a run, and his 33-inning scoreless streak is the longest by a Cubs pitcher since Ken Holtzman’s 33-inning streak in 1969.

The Cubs will have an extra pitcher on hand in St. Louis. Casey Coleman was scratched from his start Thursday for Triple-A Iowa but a team official said that was done in case newly acquired pitcher Justin Germano could not get there in time for Friday’s game. The Cubs acquired Germano from the Red Sox late Thursday for cash considerations.

— Carrie Muskat

7/18 Dempster, Garza rumors

The New York Post reports the Dodgers as the favorite to land Ryan Dempster before the Trade Deadline with the Tigers seen as “strong pursuers” and the Red Sox as long shots. FOX Sports reports the Cubs are exchanging names with teams interested in Dempster. The Red Sox are also interested in Matt Garza.

The Chicago Tribune noted Stephen Fife, who made his ML debut, is a former Red Sox prospect who could be included in a Dempster-to-Dodgers deal. Fife, 25, filled in for injured Chad Billingsley, and gave up one run over six innings Tuesday night. The Dodgers acquired him from the Red Sox last summer in the Trayvon Robinson deal. A sinkerball pitcher, he’d be a good fit at Wrigley. Dempster has a 1.86 ERA, tops in the Majors. reported the Royals have inquired about Garza. They have had a scout at this week’s Cubs games. Dempster is in the last year of his $14 million contract, and, essentially a rental player for the final months of this year. Garza is under team control for 2013.

— Carrie Muskat

5/6 Cubs, Dodgers to start 4 pm CT

The Cubs and Dodgers are expected to begin play at 4 p.m. CT at Wrigley Field. Because this is the Dodgers only trip to Chicago, the two teams were willing to wait.

— Carrie Muskat

5/3 Looking ahead

How big is a win on Thursday against the Reds? The Cubs split their four-game series against the Phillies and have a chance to sweep the rain-abbreviated two-game set against the Reds on Thursday.

“Any time you go on a road trip, I think the goal is to play .500 or better if you can,” Ian Stewart said. “The Phillies are a great team and we went in there and went toe to toe with them, and if we can get these two games here [in Cincinnati], it’ll keep the momentum going into the homestand where we’ll be facing more good teams. We’ll need to do well against the Dodgers because they’re playing as good as anybody right now. If we can get this game [Thursday] and get the offense rolling a little more, it’ll be extra momentum going into the homestand.”

— Carrie Muskat