According to multiple published reports, Ryan Dempster has invoked his 10/5 rights and vetoed a trade that would have sent the 35-year-old right-hander to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for a supremely talented 22-year-old hurler by the name of Randall Delgado.
Based on this news, it’s kind of hard for Cubs fans not to be a little peeved with the long-time Cub fan favorite. While I certainly respect Dempster’s right to veto any trade using his veteran 10/5 privileges, I also know that there were a plethora of reports that came out in the days and weeks leading up to the trade that listed Atlanta as Dempster’s second favorite destination behind Los Angeles.
If that was the case, and not a false report, why is Dempster vetoing this trade?
Essentially, what Dempster has done is put the ball entirely in the Dodgers’ court and given them the upper hand. The Dodgers, who the Cubs have reportedly re-engaged in trade talks, can now offer pretty much whatever they want. If Dempster is vetoing a trade to his second-favorite choice of destination, that’s a pretty clear statement that he will only accept a trade to one team – the Dodgers.
With that in mind, why would Los Angeles offer anything of value? They know that LA is essentially the only place Dempster will, evidently, accept a trade and they also know that the Cubs need to trade him now if they want to get anything of value for him. With the new collective bargaining agreement in place, teams no longer get the same number or caliber of compensation picks for free agents signing with new teams as they did in the past.
The whole situation is so Cub-like it’s painful. In the matter of two weeks the Cubs have gone from having 10 teams chasing Dempster with offers on the table from at least three different organizations at one point or another to apparently only having one choice of destination and absolutely no leverage.
So, unless Theo Epstein and/or Jed Hoyer can pull off some kind of Jedi mind trick, it looks like the Cubs are going to have to either trade Dempster to LA for table scraps or settle with holding onto him for the rest of the season and making him a contract offer for next season that is high enough to qualify for a compensation draft pick.
And according to a recent tweet from Buster Olney, that appears to be exactly what’s happening.
“As of now, Cubs’ plan is to keep Dempster and make qualifying offer to get a draft pick — unless offers improve. Not close to LAD deal yet,” Olney said in a tweet.
There’s some bright and cheery news for your Wednesday morning.
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