The trading deadline almost always arrives soiled and gasping. And so for an hour Monday afternoon the Atlanta Braves were reported to have acquired Ryan Dempster from the Chicago Cubs for 22-year-old right-hander Randall Delgado, which sounded about right. Except then Dempster's foundation tweeted there was no trade, and not long after that Dempster was spotted in the Cubs' clubhouse changing into his Cubs uniform.
Dempster, as a player with 10 years of major-league service and the past five with the same club, has the power to veto trades, which may have been the hang-up. Or not. If the Cubs are including a financial package in the proposed deal, MLB must approve it.
The Cubs are in Pittsburgh, where Dempster had been – or is – scheduled to start Wednesday afternoon. There had been some thought Dempster would be traded by last Friday before his start against the St. Louis Cardinals, but the Cubs were unable to reach an agreement. The Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers are believed to have the greatest interest in Dempster, and as of Monday afternoon the Cubs and Dodgers weren't close to a trade.
Asked by reporters in Pittsburgh about the rumor he was about to become a Brave, a wry Dempster was quoted as saying, "If it's on the Internet it must be true."
He declined further comment.
If the Cubs and Braves are nearing a trade for Dempster, and if the only technicality that remains is Dempster's blessing, then the player involved likely would be Delgado, who in 17 starts has a 4.42 ERA and 1.429 WHIP. He possesses a fastball that reaches the mid-90s and developing off-speed pitches, including a decent curveball and changeup. Delgado last pitched Saturday in Washington, where he allowed two runs in six innings in a no-decision.
If they dealt Delgado, the Braves would have kept their top two pitching prospects – right-handers Julio Teheran and Arodys Vizcaino.
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