Ryan Dempster, Paul Maholm, Reed Johnson, and Geovany Soto all are sent packing while the Cubs get 5 minor league players in return. If I had to make a snap judgment right now, I’d have to call the Cubs losers in the trade game. And the losing started when Ryan Dempster said no to the Atlanta trade.
As a 10 and 5 player, Dempster has a certain set of rights when it comes to trades, and I fully support those rights. But if media reports are to be believed, Dempster had listed the Braves as a team that he would be willing to go to in a trade, and then changed his mind when the Cubs actually agreed to a deal that would send Ryan to Atlanta. Apparently Dempster really wanted to go to the Dodgers. While that’s great for him, it put the Cubs on the wrong side of the scale when it came time to negotiate a deal with L.A. It’s hard to drive a hard bargain when in a trade when one side knows the other side has no other option.
This is where I really credit Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein. When the Dodgers offered far less than what the Cubs thought Dempster was worth, they just said no. They put the ball back in Dempster’s hand and said we can work out a deal to NY or Texas; or you will just stay in Chicago (and all the fans will know you blocked the Cubs future progress) .
So instead of getting a Major League ready Randall Delgado from Atlanta for Demspter, the Cubs end up sending both Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson for two lower level minor league players.
Then they trade Soto for minor league pitcher Jake Brigham. My friend Steve over at One Strike Away…Twice likes Brigham as a potential 4th or 5th starter in the rotation. I’ll take that in return for an oft injured and disappointing Geo Soto.
Then back to Dempster. With the deadline rapidly approaching, the Cubs went back to the Rangers and worked out a deal that would send Ryan to Texas for two more minor league players.
Look, I know the Cubs were going to lose Dempster after the season anyway and should be happy that they got some mid-level prospects back in return instead of nothing, but the truth is, it seems like the Cubs didn’t get what us fans thought Dempster would bring in return. After all, if Andrew Cashner brought Anthony Rizzo, shouldn’t Dempster have also brought a top of the list prospect?