The Atlanta Braves had a deal in place with the Chicago Cubs for starting pitcher Ryan Dempster. All they needed was for the Cubs to let Dempster know, and for Dempster to approve the trade. But before that could happen, word leaked of the trade on Twitter and the trade went viral. When Dempster arrived in the Cubs clubhouse yesterday, he found out about the trade from the media ... he felt blindsided.
The Cubs later informed Dempster of the deal, and are seeking his approval to be traded to the Braves. But Dempster is taking his time to decide, and apparently is no where near a decision. All indications are he will make his start tomorrow with Chicago, and hope that his preferred destination -- the Los Angeles Dodgers -- come calling before the trade deadline next Tuesday.
So the deal for Dempster is dead, in all but name only. Halleluiah! That trade as it was rumored was a dog. Now we have to hold out hope that this trade doesn't come back to life as a Zombie Trade ... YIKES! Seriously, though, Dempster is overrated and not worth half a Randall Delgado.
The Braves will move on to other targets. Unfortunately, I feel we the fans are being setup for disappointment. I'm not opposed to trading prospects, that's half the reason they exist. What I am opposed to is trading really good prospects -- or young players establishing themselves in the Major Leagues -- for rent-a-players, or players that the team will not control beyond this season.
The Braves have done good work in the past trading top prospects only for players that they would control at the end of the year. Guys like Michael Bourn, Javier Vazquez, Mark Teixeira, and even Nate McLouth -- he didn't work out, but had he, we would have controlled him beyond one season. Any trade the Braves make where they give away their top young talent, they need ensure that the player they get in return is under team control beyond this season.
Randall Delgado is a 22-year old pitcher who has a sub-4.00 ERA in 24 Major League starts. He can throw his fastball in the mid-90s, has good secondary pitches that are getting better, and has proven to be a fighter on the mound. Trading away four or five years of team control of him for a few months of Ryan Dempster, or any player, seems foolish and extremely short-sighted; and is a practice that will eventually catch up to an organization. Delgado is the kind of pitcher the Braves need to build around, not cash-in for the ERA leader du jour.