The conceivable fallout of the Ryan Dempster trade is a reminder why Theo Epstein prefers to play Cubs business close to the vest.
Since joining the Cubs, Epstein has instilled an identical bunker-mentality he used to combat the obsessive and baseball crazed market that is Boston.
He says very little, if anything, and let’s his actions do the talking for him. Jed Hoyer, same thing, and so on for the rest of the Cubs front office.
The Cubs firewall has become a sore spot with some local beat writers and reporters who rely on communication with the front office to report stories of substance, and most importantly, credibility, to their readers.
What Epstein’s approach hasn’t done, however, is jeopardized a potential trade the likes of Dempster who’s smarting over the fact ‘sources’ in Atlanta (not Chicago) leaked the framework of a potential trade for the 35-year-old yesterday morning.
The Cubs, of course, are not to be at fault for Dempster’s uneasiness with approving the trade. Team Theo, as I see it, are only guilty of working a deal–and a darn good one at that–to trade Dempster to a team Ryan agreed to be traded to, no less.
But the damage has been done, whether Dempster accepts the deal to Atlanta or not. What little information the Cubs front office has provided the media this season is likely to become a dead-end street, at least until the trade speculation passes in favor of September call-ups. There’s simply too much at risk between now and the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline to let either speculative or pending information slip outside the walls of the Cubs front office.
The Dempster drama is an unfortunate spot for all parties: Atlanta, Chicago & Dempster. No side is truly at fault, Atlanta certainly didn’t want the deal to fall through and Dempster has fairly earned the right to nix any deal. But as Len Kasper notably pointed out during Monday’s broadcast “It’s the world we live in.”
What’s transpired around the Dempster trade speculation should serve as an embarrassing reminder to both the media and baseball’s organizations that communication is best when it’s a two-way street.
When it’s not, inaccurate stories leak, players get angry and trades collapse. None of which is good for baseball, the media or the fans.