The Bag Skate – The Ryan Dempster Trade Foolishness

Posted: July 27, 2012 by Tony Leva in Baseball, Columns, MLB, The Bag Skate

by: Tony Leva

Ryan Dempster and his sandy vagina

This past week, the Cubs and Braves agreed to a trade.  Cubs free agent-to-be pitcher Ryan Dempster was to be dealt to the Braves for highly regarded pitching prospect Randall Delgado.  The common thought amongst those of us who pay serious attention to baseball and it’s inner workings was that the Cubs would be lucky to get merely a solid prospect for Dempster.  At 35 years old and having a career year,  Dempster has somewhat limited trade value.  He is basically a rental player for whoever trades for him, unless that team either signs him to an extension or re-signs him after the season.  With little more than two months left in the season, roughly 60 games, Dempster could be expected to make about 12 starts for his new team, assuming a 5 man rotation.  12 starts isn’t a whole lot, which is why we didn’t expect much more than what we did.  But there was a snag…

The snag was the fact that Dempster is a 10/5 guy….he’s been in the majors for 10 years, the last 5 with the same team.  This gives him automatic veto power over ANY trade the Cubs wished to make.  This is in the standard player contract and has been collectively bargained.  It’s been around for decades and has been worked around for just as long.  Players generally okay a deal to a desirable team or for a contract extension.  Dempster was asked about waiving his 10/5 rights and agreed to consider being traded to a contender.

We all figured Dempster would be traded this season and the weeks dragged on as TheoCo sought out the best deal.  A possible deal with the Dodgers kind of died on the vine as L.A. wouldn’t part with top prospect Zach Lee.  This wasn’t a shock for the reasons I’ve covered.   But from nowhere, the Braves were being mentioned as a possible trade partner.  In what seemed like no time at all, a deal was hammered out with the Braves, a contender currently in 2nd place in the NL East.    The news of the trade broke somewhat prematurely on Monday afternoon on the Braves website.  The big issue?  Dempster hadn’t yet waived the 10/5 clause.  Well, we figured, this was nothing that would be an issue.


Dempster was taking a nap before the game in Pittsburgh that night and awoke to his phone blowing up with texts and voicemails.  It seems everyone he knew was calling for the scoop or to offer congrats or whatever people do when someone they know gets traded.  As he figured out what had happened, he said he felt, “blind-sided”.  As the day went on, Cubs fans eagerly awaited the news that Dempster has agreed to the trade.  We did our homework on Delgado and what he’d bring to the table for us.  Let’s look at him a bit closer….

22 years old.  6′ 2″, 170.  RHP.  Rated by Baseball America 2012 as the #46 prospect in the game, #41 by Baseball Prospectus, #43 by ScoutingBook Combine.  This is from ScoutingBook’s own website…

A wiry power pitcher with three quality pitches and developing control, Randall Delgado looks every bit the part of a young phenom: some days he can blow hitters away, while on other days he looks lost on the mound. His fastball, which can touch 95, lives more in the 92mph range with significant late movement. He got a look at the Braves big club in 2011, and he should get a much longer look in 2012. Depending on how beat up the major league staff is in midsummer, he could even get a call to stay.

Sounds like a steal for TheoCo, right?  I mean, surely this was a masterstroke!!!  There is no WAY that a prospect this solidly ranked with that much upside should have been exchanged for 12 starts of a pitcher on the downside of his career who is unsigned beyond 2012.  WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG AT THIS STAGE?  WAIVING THAT 10/5 CLAUSE IS A FORMALITY, RIGHT?


What happened is that Dempster decided to get a big wad of sand firmly entrenched in his vageen because the Braves stupidly leaked the news. He initially denied there was a trade.   He hemmed and hawed and decided he “needs to do what’s best for my family” and vetoed the trade.  In doing so, he scuttled what was a serious home run deal for TheoCo.  Dealing Dempster, doing us a favor by not pitching like his usual mediocre self, at peak value for OVER that value wasn’t an easy trick to manage I’m sure.  They caught a team in the hunt with a serious need for a pitcher with their pants down and fleeced them.  And Dempster fucked it all up because his little feelings were hurt.  By doing so, he was seen as a waffling, selfish asswipe who went back on his word.

I never have an issue with a player invoking his 10/5 rights or a flat no-trade clause due to family considerations.  A few years ago, the Cubs asked 1B Derrek Lee if he would accept a trade to the Angels (I think).  Lee, who has a daughter with a medical issue, said thanks, but he’d prefer to stay in Chicago.  Nobody said shit about it because Lee was up-front about not wanting to leave.  There was nothing more to be said about it.

The difference is that Dempster said he’d take a trade to a contender, Atlanta certainly being that.  What could be the big deal about going to Atlanta for two or three months?  Yes, he has a child with special needs as well as Lee did.  (Riley Dempster was born with DiGeorge syndrome a few years ago).   But why didn’t Dempster just tell TheoCo that he wouldn’t consider a deal?  That we could have understood.  Anyone would have.  But the story doesn’t end there.

Dempster has said he’d like to be dealt to the Dodgers, who courted a trade earlier as I stated.  His good buddy Ted Lilly is on the Dodgers and Dempster would like to be re-united with him to continue their bromance.  (For the record, that will be the last time you see me use anything with the prefix “bro” on it.  It’s so fucking stupid I’d like to de-ball the clown who got that off the ground.)  So let me get this straight, Ryan….Atlanta is bad for your family, but L.A. is a shining beacon of values and high standards or something?  Is that what’s best for them?

What a hypocrite.  All he did was probably lessen the return that the Cubs get, hurting the rebuilding process and keeping us that much further away from a championship.  The Dodgers already wouldn’t meet our asking price, so we know for a fact the return won’t be as highly valued as Delgado is.  Add in the fact Dempster pitched on Wednesday and his value has dropped a bit due to that very fact….it’s one less start his new team will get.  It’s maddening to see a respected player like Dempster go back on his word and inhibit the plan TheoCo have in place.  He has always said he’d do anything to help the Cubs, yet when push came to shove, he acted like a teenaged girl who got felt up at the movies and pitched a fit.

I, and others, have lost some serious respect for the guy after this.  His baseball card should have this picture on it as far as I’m concerned.

  1. Jim L. says:

    Top notch, top notch.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Jim. I knew you’d dig that one.

  3. […] of negative feedback from numerous Cubs fans following his decision to veto the Atlanta trade I talked about last week. Dempster, who somehow became The People’s Champion (said with dripping sarcasm), allowed […]

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