We’ve been documenting the ongoing hoopla surrounding the trading of Ryan Dempster, so it seems as though we’d be remiss if we didn’t continue down that surprisingly long and winding road with the latest bit of news. This time it comes from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports who spoke with a source suggesting that the roadblock to the proposed Atlanta Braves/Chicago Cubs deal had little to do with Dempster’s hurt widdle feewings, and a whole lot more to do with his preference for playing in Los Angeles for the Dodgers.
Unfortunately, the Dodgers don’t have the horses in their system that would allow them to trade a Randall Delgado type. Yes, they do have 2010 first rounder Zach Lee in their system, but after that, there’s a drop off in talent. According to Rosenthal, it also seems as though the Dodgers are in the mix for other pitchers which lessens their eagerness to acquire Dempster a week before the trade deadline.
This puts the Cubs in a bit of a sticky situation. If the team can’t unload Dempster to the Dodgers, it not only removes a potential trading partner, it lessens the amount of leverage Chicago had originally going into negotiations with the Braves. If they come back to Atlanta at this point, they’re unlikely to find the Delgado offer still on the table.
What does all this teach us? No-trade rights are jerk faces for organizations.
Earlier I suggested that perhaps Dempster was gaming the system a little bit to increase the fee for his waiving of the no-trade rights. Now, it looks more like a masterful plan by the Braves front office:
Step 1: Leak the proposed deal before it goes to Dempster.
Step 2: Force the pitcher to reject the trade.
Step 3: Hope it comes out that Los Angeles is Dempster’s preferred destination.
Step 4: Know that when an offer comes back from the Cubs, it means the Dodgers have nothing to offer.
Step 5: Low ball and acquire yourself a starting pitcher to round out the rotation for the year while keeping another pitcher who will round out your rotation in the future.
Geniuses. Now, if they can just manage to get rid of Fredi Gonzalez.