Results tagged ‘ Ryan Dempster ’

7/31 The Braves’ take on Cubs deal

Ryan Dempster’s decision to block a deal to the Braves may have benefitted Atlanta. One week ago, the Cubs and Braves had a deal in place which would’ve sent Dempster to Atlanta for 22-year-old pitcher Randall Delgado. But Dempster apparently exercised his 10-and-5 rights, and said no. Now, the Braves have a starting pitcher and an experience right-handed bat on the bench after Monday night’s deal which sent Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson to Atlanta for two Minor League pitchers. The Cubs are looking to the future. They get heralded right-handed pitching prospect Arodys Vizcaino and Minor League right-hander Jaye Chapman.

“It was a perfect fit for us,” Braves GM Frank Wren told reporters in Atlanta Monday night, including’s Mark Bowman. “We got two real key pieces for us that we were looking for.   If we are done, if nothing else materializes for us [Tuesday], we’ll be very happy with where we are right now.”

Vizcaino, ranked as the Braves’ third-best prospect by, is a hard-throwing right-hander who spent the final two months of the 2011 season in Atlanta’s bullpen.  He underwent Tommy John surgery in March. Once he is healthy, the 21- year-old hurler has the potential to be a dominant force at the back end of the bullpen or possibly a starting pitcher.

“He’s a good-looking young pitcher and we gave up a quality prospect,” Wren said. “But to not give up some of the guys that have been mentioned, that was a real plus for us.  The Cubs are in a different spot than we’re in.  They’re looking for  a long-range young pitcher that they can hold on to for a long time. We’re in a spot where we feel like we have a team that can win.”

When the Braves began their search for a starting pitcher, they put Zack Greinke at the top of their wish list. It appeared they had Dempster but once he rejected that deal, the Braves began looking at other options. Maholm is 5-0 with a 1.02 ERA in his last six starts.

“The thing that kept coming back from scouts is that he is not going to give in,” Wren said. “When I say that, he’s not going to throw a fastball just because he’s behind in the count.  He’s not going to throw you a fastball in fastball counts.  He’s going to pitch his game and he’s been very good at that.”

The Cubs also will send some cash to the Braves. Maholm isn’t just a rental; he has a $6.5 million option for the 2013 season.  His presence allows the Braves the choice to send Kris Medlen back to the bullpen after he makes his first start of the year on Tuesday.

Wren said he tried to acquire Johnson before last year’s Trade Deadline and has always liked the talented outfielder.  With some uncertainty surrounding Matt Diaz’s injured right thumb, the Braves had an even greater need to acquire Johnson this year. Johnson has batted .307 with three home runs and a .807 OPS in 166 at-bats with the Cubs this season.  The 35-year-old outfielder has batted .280 with a .743 OPS in 161 career pinch-hit at-bats.

“He gives you a professional at-bat and he plays the game the right way,” Johnson said. “It’s hard to find right-handed hitters who can play center field and left field as well.  With our club, that is so important. We need another right- handed hitter that you feel comfortable to put out there for a number of at-bats.”

— Carrie Muskat

7/30 Dempster: I control what I can do

Ryan Dempster did the same pre-game prep work he normally does before a start except the right-hander isn’t quite sure he’ll be taking the mound Tuesday night for the Cubs. Dale Sveum said the team will have a contingency plan. Would Sveum be surprised if Dempster is still a Cub after the Traded Deadline?

“Yeah, I’d be surprised, I guess,” Sveum said. “There’s too many teams and he’s too good a pitcher for people to not want him these last two months.”

Dempster, 35, rumored to be dealt by Tuesday’s 3 p.m. CT Trade Deadline, said Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have kept him up to date when necessary. The Braves thought they had a deal last week but the Dodgers appear to have the most interest.

“If they have anything that comes to fruition, [I asked them to] just let me know and we’ll make a decision from there,” Dempster said. “Nothing’s been said in a little while.”

Dempster (5-5, 2.25 ERA) has control over where he would go because he has 10-and-5 rights (10 years in the big leagues, five with the same team). Even though he’ll make the final call, all the rumors have become a little tiring.

“I’m human, so it’s an emotional roller coaster sometimes,” he said, “but at the same time, I can control what I do, and I’m going to try to do the best job of that. I have a job to do [Tuesday] and that’s to go out there and pitch, and I”m trying to prepare for that.”

Asked if he had a gut feeling about what might happen, Dempster said, “I have all kind of gut feelings right now.”

In 1996, when Dempster was in the Rangers’ Minor League system, he was traded to the Marlins, and in 2002, he was dealt to the Reds. Getting traded isn’t a first, but it’s still been strange to hear his name mentioned so often on the clubhouse television.

“There’s tons of rumors and tons of speculation all the time,” Dempster said. “This is something I’ve tried to keep close to me so it can get handled the best it can. Sometimes there are rumors that are true, and sometimes there are rumors that aren’t. I can’t control that, I can just control what I can do and that’s go out there and prepare to do my job the best I can.”

What if the Cubs don’t make a deal?

“It’s a great place to play,” Dempster said of Chicago. “I’ve enjoyed every moment I’ve played here, and I’m super proud to be a Chicago Cub and I understand that’s always a possibility and if that’s the case, I’m going to give everything I have starting [Tuesday] night. Whatever ends up happening in 24 hours or 23 hours from now, we’ll find out then. It could be sooner, it could be wearing my uniform and going out and pitching [Tuesday].”

— Carrie Muskat

7/30 Countdown to Deadline

Will Ryan Dempster make his start Tuesday night for the Cubs? Or will he be in another uniform? Will a team take a chance on Matt Garza, who has not pitched in one week?

The Trade Deadline is a little more than 24 hours away, and the Cubs’ roster is still intact. Dempster has drawn interest from the Braves and Dodgers, and although the Braves have said they’ve moved on, the Cubs may come back to them if they can’t work out a deal with the Dodgers.’s Ken Rosenthal points out that under the new CBA, there is no longer a required 24-hour waiting period for 10-and-5 players to approve a trade. That would mean any deals can go right to the deadline as long as the player gives consent. That applies to Dempster, who has 10 years in the big leagues and five with the same team.

Garza is in a different situation in that he would be under team control through 2013. But Garza’s elbow cramp came at a bad time for the Cubs. He had to leave his July 21 start after three innings. An MRI confirmed the cramping, and a little fluid in the elbow, but it’s not serious. The Cubs have X-rays to prove it. He’s scheduled to throw a bullpen on Monday at Wrigley Field. Expect a few early bird scouts there to watch.

Paul Maholm may draw interest from teams, too. He’s 5-0 with a 1.02 ERA in his last six starts.

“As a manager, you’d be upset if anybody is gone as far as starting pitchers,” Dale Sveum said Sunday. “But that’s part of the game. Whatever happens, that’s part of what happens with organizations trying to do things different and trying to build for the future.”

The Cubs pitchers aren’t the only ones drawing interest. Teams looking for another bat for the bench are focusing on Reed Johnson, David DeJesus and Jeff Baker. Johnson and Baker are well suited to their roles as bench players; DeJesus has been a starter. The Pirates were believed to be keeping an eye on Johnson and DeJesus.

Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, and general manager Jed Hoyer have been working the phones rather than talking to the media in the last few days. The deadline is Tuesday at 3 p.m. CT.

— Carrie Muskat

7/29 Germano to start; Dempster preps

Depending on who the Cubs need Sunday, Justin Germano will likely get the start Monday against the Pirates, who come to Wrigley Field for a three-game series. Germano was acquired from the Red Sox, and had been a starter at Triple-A. In his only Cubs appearance last Saturday in St. Louis, he threw three innings and gave up one run on five hits.

“He’s crafty — he’s not going to light up a radar gun but he’s got great arm speed on all his offspeed pitches and can change speeds on a slow curveball, [and throw] anywhere from 68 to 75, 78 mile an hour curveball, changeup,” Dale Sveum said. “He sinks the ball, keeps the ball down. He’s kind of crafty as much as anything but has command of four pitches.”

* Ryan Dempster threw a side session Sunday and is still scheduled to start Tuesday against the Pirates. Dempster isn’t the only one eager for the Trade Deadline to pass. Was Sveum looking forward to Wednesday, Aug. 1?

“Well, Tuesday at 3 o’clock will be fine, too,” Sveum said. “Not that I know the time [of the Trade Deadline] or everything.”

— Carrie Muskat

7/29 Pitching probables

Looking ahead to the Cubs rematch against the Pirates, here are the pitching matchups. We should know today who will go Monday:

Monday:  TBD vs. LHP Erik Bedard (5-11, 4.32)

Tuesday: RHP Ryan Dempster (5-5, 2.25) vs. RHP A.J. Burnett (12-3, 3.52)

Wednesday: LHP Travis Wood (4-6, 4.98) vs. RHP Jeff Karstens (3-2, 3.88)

— Carrie Muskat

7/28 Wait & see

There were no changes in the Cubs’ roster on Saturday, just attempts to ask Dale Sveum the same question: Are you eager for the Trade Deadline to pass?

“I think everybody is ready to get it behind us with everything that’s happened and all the rumors,” Sveum said. “Whether they happen or not, I think everybody will be glad it’s all over with. It’s not over with a lot of times because of the waiver wires. I think the main things will be shutdown one way or another [after Tuesday].”

The Trade Deadline is 3 p.m. CT on Tuesday. Ryan Dempster is scheduled to start that night against the Pirates.

— Carrie Muskat

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 Normal day for Dempster

Ryan Dempster threw on the side Friday, hit with the Cubs pitchers, and then joined his teammates in the outfield during batting practice. It was a normal day for the right-hander, who has had anything but normal days leading up to Tuesday’s Trade Deadline. Dempster (5-5, 2.25 ERA) is on track to make his next start, which would be Tuesday, just a few hours after the Trade Deadline. He’s been one of the top targets this season.

“I think there’s no question it’s going to weigh on you a little bit,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of the distractions of the rumors. “Everybody’s human.”

Whether Dempster goes is his call. He has 10 years in the big leagues, five with the same team, which allows him veto power over any deal. That may sound selfish, but it’s the players’ rights.

“Fortunately for Dempster, he’s got the 10-and-5 rights, and for whatever reason, people don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes and all the reasons why you accept and why you don’t,” Sveum said. “It’s an unfortunate thing that [people] jump to conclusions. He’s one of the most class guys you’ll ever be around and [good] teammate and obviously very productive when he goes out there every five days, too. It’s one of those things where you’re good if you, good if you don’t, and it’s a tough situation to be in.”

Sveum isn’t pushing for a trade.

“We’re only going to be a better team with him on the field all year,” Sveum said.

Dempster and Sveum didn’t agree on Wednesday, which was Dempster’s last start. He was pulled after 93 pitches over six innings, and trailing, 3-2 against the Pirates. Dempster threw a cooler lid, then slammed the cooler and threw a water bottle in the dugout. The two talked later.

“Players have the right to do things and snap and those things happen,” Sveum said. “It’s not all just because of one thing or because he got taken out of a game. It’s a very competitive sport and there’s a lot of reasons why some guys all of a sudden don’t have a good day. We had a good talk and everything’s good.”

— Carrie Muskat

7/27 Garza on hold

Matt Garza will not pitch until late next week, Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. The right-hander underwent an MRI on his elbow, which showed evidence of the cramping but was otherwise clean. He just needs to get back on a schedule. Even though he’s sidelined now, Garza could still be traded by Tuesday’s Deadline day. It’s up to the other team as to whether they want to take that risk. Monday’s starter for the upcoming series against the Pirates has yet to be determined, although it could be Justin Germano. Ryan Dempster will start Tuesday and Travis Wood on Wednesday.

— 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


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 60,229 other followers