DEMPSTERGATE!

I don't know...

The supposed Ryan Dempster trade between the Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs is turning into quite a saga. The saga began when word leaked via Twitter yesterday about the trade, apparently before Dempster had been informed of the deal. That prompted Dempster to tweet that there was no trade.

Reports later surfaced that the deal was awaiting MLB approval, and then needed Dempster's approval. And now Ken Rosenthal has this information:

Chicago Cubs right-hander Ryan Dempster does not want to be traded to the Atlanta Braves, according to major-league sources.

At least not right now.

Dempster, as a player with 10 years of major-league service, the last five with the same team, has the right to block a trade to the Braves.

The pitcher instead wants to be sent to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who were unable to reach agreement with the Cubs on a suitable deal, sources said.

Dempster, 35, had indicated that the Dodgers were his first choice and the Braves were his second. With the non-waiver deadline still a week away, there is still time for the Cubs and Dodgers to complete a trade.

And so the saga continues to play out. I heard yesterday that players with 10/5 trade veto rights have 24 hours "minimum" to approve or veto a trade. If that's the case, then the earliest Dempster could be traded is likely this afternoon around 4pm -- the time he likely found out about the trade yesterday.

This could be just another false report on the part of Rosenthal, and the trade could happen this afternoon, but this certainly does thicken the plot. If anything, news reports like this will sour Braves fans (and maybe the Braves themselves) on Dempster.

As I've said all along, I'd prefer this trade not happen. Dempster is not this good, he's just in the middle of a good stretch of pitching, and who knows how long that will last. Of course, it could last the remainder of the season, but that's a long shot given his drop in velocity this season, and abnormally low BABIP. I would also prefer that the Braves not deal away Randall Delgado, who has been solid for the Braves this year while growing into a rotation spot as a 22-year old in the Major Leagues. It would be stupid, stupid, stupid to trade him for a rental-pitcher.

Hopefully we'll find out one way or another so we can all just move on to the next thing.

[UPDATE 4:15PM]

This update from a Chicago beat writer:

I don't blame him for taking his time to make a decision, that's not why I'm against this trade. I'm against this trade because I don't want to swap two to three months of Dempster for four to five years of Delgado. I've seen a lot of pitchers come through the Braves system, and few come through with the tools and have the success that Delgado has had.

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