Boston Stepping Up Pursuit of Dempster?

With the non-waiver trade deadline still two weeks away, more rumors surfaced Monday on possible destinations for Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza.

Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza were high on several team’s wish lists before their outings against the Diamondbacks. Coupled with Cole Hamels’ uncertain future with the Phillies and the Brewers skipping Zack Greinke for at least a turn in the rotation, the interest in both Dempster and Garza seemed to increase Monday.

Buster Olney reported Monday afternoon that the Red Sox have become “aggressive in the pursuit of Ryan Dempster”. According to Olney, the Cubs are going through the process with Dempster but Boston is concerned about what it could end up costing them because of the Cubs’ ties with the Red Sox farm system. Multiple reports have suggested that Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer would like to trade Dempster before his next outing. Dempster is penciled in to start the opener in St. Louis on Friday night.

Ryan Dempster
Teams are calling about Ryan Dempster, now it is up to Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer to maximize his value. Dempster is in the middle of his best stretch in a Cubs’ uniform and reportedly the Cubs would like to move him before his next start. The Cubs do not want to risk Dempster re-injuring himself and landing back on the DL.

A report last weekend suggested that the Cubs had deals from the Tigers and Dodgers on the table for Ryan Dempster but if the reports from Buster Olney and Jon Paul Morosi are correct, the Red Sox are also in the mix for Ryan Dempster. Morosi reported late Monday night at this point the Dodgers, Red Sox and Tigers remain in discussions for Ryan Dempster.

Buster Olney thinks ten teams could be a fit for Ryan Dempster: The Indians, Orioles, Cardinals, White Sox, Nationals, Red Sox, Tigers, Yankees, Dodgers, Angels, Blue Jays, Pirates and Braves.

Ryan Dempster is reportedly working with the Cubs’ front office to find the best fit for him and the organization. Dempster must approve any trade and controls where he finishes the season.

Matt Garza
According to several reports, the Cubs will try to move Ryan Dempster before Matt Garza. The Cubs have two pitchers that several teams are interested in trading for and the team that does not land Dempster could turn their attention to Garza as the deadline approaches.

The Blue Jays are enamored with Matt Garza due to his experience in the AL East. While Garza would be a fit for the Blue Jays, the injury to Jose Bautista during Monday night’s game could change their thinking. Several reports have suggested that Alex Anthropolous would like to add players this year that would remain under team control for next season.

According to Jon Paul Morosi, the Tigers and Dodgers could get in the mix for Garza if they do not land Ryan Dempster but Toronto remains “perhaps the most plausible destination, because of the richness of their farm system and desire to have Garza in their rotation next year.”

The Rangers and Angels cannot be dismissed as possibilities for Matt Garza … and the Yankees, Blue Jays, Rangers, Tigers, Dodgers and Pirates all had scouts at Garza’s start Sunday afternoon. While multiple reports have Detroit in the mix for Garza, the Tigers could be taking themselves out of hunt due to their unwillingness to include Nick Castellanos in any deals. The Cubs are looking for a big return for Garza and rumors suggested they asked for Nick Castellanos last off-season as part of a package for him. According to Bob Nightengale, the Tigers are telling teams, right now, that Castellanos is unavailable.

Following his outing Sunday, Garza said that trade rumors are the last thing on his mind because his wife is pregnant and she is “ready to pop”.

The Cubs have not ruled out signing Matt Garza to a contract extension.

News, Notes and More Rumors
Two prospects in the Cubs’ organization received player of the week awards Monday. Trey Martin was named Northwest League Player of the Week after hitting .545 with two home runs. Javier Baez was named Midwest League Player of the Week. Baez hit .478/.500/1.130/1.630 with three home runs and seven extra basehits (11-for-23, two doubles, two triples, six RBI, five runs and two stolen bases). Baez has hit safely in 12 straight games.

Ian Stewart told ESPN Chicago that he will not know if the surgery on his wrist fixed the problem until he starts swinging a bat again. Stewart rejoined the team Sunday after having two areas of wrist operated on last Tuesday. According to ESPN Chicago, one part of the surgery was “to fix two wrist bones that were overlapping and likely rubbing against each other.” Stewart is expected to be out six weeks and is likely done for the season. Stewart’s time with the Cubs might be over as well and he has admitted as much on his Twitter account. Stewart is arbitration eligible next season and will likely be non-tendered.

Kerry Wood told the Daily Herald that he would be back around the team more in August to help out … and he admitted that he made the right decision to retire.

Anthony Rizzo’s new teammates are crediting him with the team’s turnaround.

According to a report from Bruce Levine, the Tigers remain interested in Darwin Barney and speculation has been made that Barney could be part of a larger deal that would include either Ryan Dempster or Matt Garza.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"Never let the fear of striking out get in your way of playing the game." – Babe Ruth

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  • Ripsnorter1

    In the last 16 games, the Cubs are 12-4. Their starters ERA over that span is 3.13.

    Travis Wood has won 4 starts in a row. If he could win today, that would be a new career high for him. His ERA over those 4 starts: 1.01. Hitters have hit .181 off of him.

    Sanchez for the Miami team isn’t all that inspiring…..has a career 7.04 ERA vs the Cubs in 3 games, with an 0-2 record.

  • Mike Simala

    With Bautista goin down, perfect taker for Soriano now?

    • Neil
      • J Daniel

        I take it they don’t have the prospects to give. For a team that is trying to win now Dempster makes a lot of sense, especially with the Cubs paying his salary.

      • cubtex


    • cubtex

      Good call. That would be a great fit!

      • paulcatanese

        What games these teams play in the Dempster, Garza hunt.
        They are actively showing interest? Yes they are, on one hand, on the other holding back to see how little the Cubs would take for either, and the salary relief they would get.
        Theo and Hoyer are saying the two are at a high level right now and want a good return.
        While both should bring a good return, in essence what the Cubs are actually doing is paying for someone to leave and paying for someone to come aboard that may or not be of value.
        Teams are holding off with a commitment to see how much they can get and the Cubs are doing the same thing on the other end.

        • J Daniel

          Absolutely is a game of Chicken. Also why you need teams like Dodgers or whoever, even if you don’t like what they can return, to drive up the return.

          Nobody knows what will happen until it happens including Bruce LeVine.

        • Dorasaga

          Yup. It’s either that before we know, the Cubs build up value and traded the veteran in a blockbuster deal, or the next good thing would be ol’Demp staying and contributing to more wins. Fan pride be satisfied.

    • Aaron

      That’s what I was saying in the other thread last night….but also the Votto injury opened the door for LaHair going to the Reds

      • Ripsnorter1

        I do not expect Walt Jocketty to be ignorant of these facts:

        LaHair’s Batting Average since May 15 = .246
        LaHair’s 2B since May 15 = 3
        LaHair’s HR since May 15 = 4
        LaHair’s RBIs since May 15 = 10
        LaHair’s K’s since May 15 = 49
        LaHair’s BB’s since May 15 = 11
        LaHair’s slugging since May 15 = .354
        HEY! That’s worse than Darwin Barney. That’s what Aaron Miles slugged last year.

        He stinks. The league has adjusted to him. It’s over.

      • Dorasaga

        With the rumor mill grinding sparkles, it burns my toes and makes me find info never thought before. I didn’t realize that Reds first baseman signed the longest contract to date, not expiring until 2023. That’s two years after Pujols hangs his jersey at Anaheim. That’s three more years past the Son of Cecil Fielder or Gold Glove Tulo’s. That’s seven plus years of either mega-contract signed with Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, and Ryan Howard expires. Unbelievable.

        And Votto is currently disabled with a torn knee.

        • triple

          I’m very surprised Jocketty signed a contract like that. He obviously has lots of faith in Votto.

    • John_CC

      And what about Ortiz? I know a lot folks think that Epstein should stop dealing with the Red Sox, but Soriano to DH in Boston could be good for them. I say go get the best package possible, I don’t care which team it is.

      • Mike Simala

        I agree, Lavarnway, Bogaerts and Matt Barnes are nice pieces. I wouldnt mind a Sori, and pay most of his contract, for Lavarnway deal, hes blocked by Saltalamachia who is playin pretty well anyways.

  • Zonk

    When is Dempster’s next scheduled start; Friday?
    Not surprising the reports that Cubs want to deal him before the next start; his value won’t get any higher, and a re-injury would be a disaster

    • Ripsnorter1

      He’s not getting traded this week. He’ll start on Friday…

  • jmvukovi

    LaHair’s value go up last night with Votto and Ortiz injured?

    • Ripsnorter1

      No. Batting .246 and slugging .354 since May 15.

      That’s Aaron Miles territory!

  • cubtex

    Does anyone think Cherrington and Red Sox would want to be shown up by Theo in a deal? Cherrington is getting blasted for not getting anything for Youkolis and he is not going to overpay to aquire Dempster imo. Theo needs to cut ties with this team. He got his boy……Rizzo back… go raid some other teams prospects!

  • Aaron

    I know this isn’t Cubs related, but it’s worthy of mentioning because it could potentially be Chicago-related, and I’m just tired of seeing it in the headlines to begin with:

    Dwight Howard and the Lakers appears to be the rumor. What I would suggest for the Bulls is to get involved in a 3-way deal with Bynum going to the Bulls and Noah to the Magic…

    Sorry it wasn’t Cubs related, but I’m just tired of reading it in all the headlines, and I’m pissed the Bulls have done absolutely nothing to improve the team

    • J Daniel

      No Mayo as well. The Bulls have been another team of hyped deals with nothing ever happening. Can’t believe anything with them.

    • calicub

      Easy solution?

      Go lakers!

    • Mike Simala

      I just hope they dont match that Asik offer sheet. Too much money for him. Kinda disappointed they havent done much myself, but they really dont need much and dont have much cap space available. If the right guy was available for them they would amnesty Boozer to make a play on him.

      • BosephHeyden

        I’d like to preface what I’m about to type by saying that most of these numbers take into the account the performances of a number of players who will likely be gone in the coming weeks, so the Cubs will likely do a bit worse once the changes that need to be made are made. That being said…

        Right now, the Cubs are 14 for their last 22, which is fairly significant, especially considering that their overall play has improved. If the Cubs continue to play like they’re playing and win at the rate they’re winning, the Cubs finish the season at .500.

        Of course, once Dempster is traded, I don’t see the Cubs going the Rusin route and instead will likely “settle” on Volstad, who is incapable of winning starts, so given he’d likely get 15 starts, that’s probably 15 losses. And since, if Garza is traded, he’ll likely be replaced by Randy Wells rather than going the Rusin route, and since he’d like get around 13 starts and is only capable of winning 3 of those, that’s another 10 losses there (the other option, Coleman, is probably only going to do better by about 3 or 4 wins, so that’s still 6 or 7 losses).

        I’d still trade Dempster…and then I’d immediately resign him in the off-season (given he doesn’t ask for a huge contract).

      • J Daniel

        Sort of like when they let Scott Williams leave way back when. Good player but over rated.

    • Theboardrider

      They’ll have to include a lot more than just Noah to get in on that. Maybe Noah and 2 first round draft choices to equal Bynum or Howard…

  • cc002600

    One observation about Rizzo that I didn’t realize until I’ve seen him play since he came up.

    I knew he had good glove, but I didn’t know how good. I think he has Gold Glove written all over him in the coming years. He has soft hands, very accurate arm, and excellent footwork.

    He has been so impressive in so many ways. I know that the pitching has been terrific in the last 2 weeks that has been big factor in the recent success, but you cannot deny that his presence has made a huge difference in this team.

    And his glove has been as important as his bat. I’ve seen the cubs turn a ton a DP’s in the last 2 weeks, many that have been started by him, not too mention some excellent picks.

  • cc002600

    One observation about Rizzo.

    I knew he had good glove from the reports, but I didn’t know how good until having now watched him since he came up. I think there are many Gold Gloves in his future.

    I know the pitching has been very good in last 2 weeks, but you cannot deny that his presence in the lineup has made a HUGE difference in this team, and I think his glove has been almost as important as his bat.

    I’ve seen so many DP’s turned by the Cubs in the last 2 weeks, and many were started by him.

  • John_CC

    Olney is reporting the Marlins latest bust of free-spending “win it now” team might already be close to a dismantle! Suckers, Loria is a bum.

    It’s really too bad now that the Cubs also played the same game for years and don’t have any prospects to acquire players like Stanton, Johnson, Cishek…

    • BosephHeyden

      Almost every deal we’ve made with the Marlins has been a win for them. I’d just as well leave the Marlins alone.

      Though I will say this: Miami should do whatever it takes to trade Carlos Lee to the Dodgers.

      • John_CC

        That was then…

        I just really like Giancarlo. The kid is an absolute beast. A 50HR season is in his near future. His knee is cleaned out and he’s rehabbing already. And he’s 22-23. Yikes.

        • daverj

          He’s a stud. Problem is the Marlins will be probably looking for four top tier prospects for him (if they are actually willing to deal him at all).

          • John_CC

            I understand. That was my point, there is no way for the Cubs to acquire elite young talent because they don’t have an farm depth to give back.

  • Neil

    According to Ken Rosenthal, add Nationals to list of
    possibilities for Ryan Dempster

    • cc002600

      It says they want a catcher too.
      Soto and Demp for sale !

      We’ll take Bryce Harper. :-)

    • Jason Penrod

      Dempster plus Soto to the Nats for Anthony Rendon and 2 low level pitchers. I like that deal.
      Also Dempster plus Barney to the Tigers for Castenellos and 2 mid level pitchers would be great! Of course the Cubs might have to throw in some low level minor league guys on our side, but I think it would be worth it. Castenellos has nowhere to play with Cabrera and Fielder on the roster.

      • cubtex

        Dream on. Nats won’t trade Rendon and Castellanos is being moved to outfield. Neither of those 2 are going anywhere.

    • John_CC

      Dempster would be a great add to that staff of young studs. And if they truly intend to limit Strasburg’s innings, they will need another starter. I like this one…

  • Neil

    National media catching on to the Garza-Royals rumor

    There’s a surprise shopper looking for pitching this month: The Royals. Called on Matt Garza, among others.

    • Aaron

      The Nationals would be a very intriguing destination for Dempster or Garza, with the following guys at the top of the list:

      Goodwin-OF: .322/.438/.531, 18 doubles, 1 triple, 8 hr, 36 RBI, 15 SB, 43 walks, 39 K’s

      Meyer-SP: 7-4, 3.10 ERA,18 starts, 90 IP, 68 hits, 34 walks, 107 K’s, 1.133 WHIP

      Skole-3B: .280/.434/.553, 14 doubles, 21 hr, 73 RBI, 79 walks, 94 K’s

      Wort-reliever: 2-4, 2.52 ERA, 27 games, 39 IP, 32 hits, 14 walks, 65 K’s, 1.169 WHIP

      Karns-SP: 8-2, 2.08 ERA, 13 starts, 91 IP, 49 hits, 38 walks, 120 K’s, 0.956 WHIP

      They might not want to part with Meyer, but they would easily part with those other guys, especially since Zimmerman is signed long-term at 3B, so Skole isn’t needed, and Werth and Harper are entrenched in the OF, so they might consider parting ways with Goodwin.

      I have serious doubts about the viability of a trade to the Nationals, since we’re only just now hearing about their interest. But you would have to like the prospects in dealing with the Jays, Nationals, and Rangers if they’re in the running for Dempster or Garza.

      I’m not quite sold on any other team’s prospects, ESPECIALLY the Dodgers

      • Mike Simala

        Anthony Rendon is the 3b prospect to look at from the Nats. He hurt his ankle and hasnt played yet this year. But hes gonna be special.

        • cubtex

          Anthony Rendon is special. I saw him play at Rice a couple of times. I doubt the Nats would include him in any trade.

          • Mike Simala

            Well they did sign Zimmerman to that nice long extension, maybe just maybe theyd be willing to part with him.

          • Aaron

            Don’t be so sure, Cubtex, it’d be a HUGE risk for the Cubs to get him. He’s had significant ankle issues dating back to Rice, and now with the Nationals. He was already seen as fragile coming out, which is why they were able to take him a little later than he was projected (which was 1st overall projection going into the year).

            I once was enamored with his talent potential, but he is too much of a risk for my liking right now.

          • cubtex

            I would definately take a gamble on him if the Nats want to let him go. He can flat out hit.

    • Aaron

      If that really is the case, then I wouldn’t do it for any less than Starling and Odorizzi, which the Royals would never do

      • Mike Simala

        Odorizzi, Will Myers, Bubba Starling are definitely the only options id go for. Lamb, Montgomery and Duffy have struggled this year and last, last time i looked.

    • daverj

      I’d love to see Myers in Cubbie blue.

  • Neil

    From Joel Sherman: Exec said Cubs don’t want to delay: Dempster pitching great now, just off DL, not in future plans, Cubs must keep adding future pieces

  • Neil

    From George Ofman: ‏Shopping Demspter and Garza isn’t a problem. Adding Lahair to the mix is. Little if no interest.

  • Neil

    From Joel Sherman: Unscientific canvassing of outside execs on where Dempster goes: Dodgers viewed as faves, Tigers strong contenders, Red Sox longshots

    • BosephHeyden

      Are “executives” seeing something that we’re not seeing with these Dodger prospects? I mean, it’s not just here, but every sports writer and interviewed scout seems to agree that the Dodgers have one of the most lacking farm systems in the majors. What’s more, Ryan Dempster may be a rental, but he is, without a doubt, the best available pitcher on the trade market. Trading him to a contender is pretty much the equivalent of a team trading a few prospects with long term value for four or five wins they wouldn’t get without Dempster, which, as we all know, can be the difference between a Wild Card berth and no playoffs at all.

      I just absolutely cannot fathom why Dempster is so undervalued that the Dodgers are considered the favorite, especially since the package that keeps coming into play is barely good enough to get an average pitcher with two years of control.

      • Aaron

        couldn’t have said it better

  • cubtex

    Royals DFA’d Jonathon Sanchez today. Remember how many of us were saying that the Royals stole Sanchez from the Giants for Melky Cabrera? Wow! Was I wrong about that! Melky is one of the top hitters this year in baseball. Giants are smiling now.

    • Ripsnorter1

      I guess that 7.76 ERA in 12 starts didn’t cut it in Kansas City…..

      How about this blockbuster deal?

      Volstad straight up for Sanchez?!

      Naw. KC would never go for it. We’d have to throw in another player…..or two….LOL

      • cubtex

        Haha. Maybe we can aquire Brett Lillibridge who was DFA’d by Red Sox for Dempster and include him in that deal too.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Brent Lillibridge was DFA’d? How about him straight up for Michael Bowden? At least Lillibridge can strike out, something Bowden can’t do to anybody.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Samardzija may have ruined Paul Konerko’s career.

            He has been Marlon Byrd since the beaning in the eye.