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Dempster Trade on Hold, Garza On Deck

By bullpenbrian - July 23, 2012 - 4:05 pm Leave a comment.

Now this…Dempster Tweets trade to Braves not a done deal, yet. What a headache.

Finally, yes, FINALLY…we have a real Cubs trade to talk about!


Ryan Dempster to the Braves for 22-yr-old RHP Randall Delgado. Nice!

Good deal for Dempster. He rejoins the pennant race on a team hungry to reach October.

Atlanta is playing with urgency. It’s Chipper’s last year and these guys won’t want to repeat the disappointment of last season’s historical September collapse.

The Braves (52-43) trail NL East leading Washington by 3.5 games, but currently hold one of the two NL Wild Card spots.

I couldn’t be happier for Dempster. He’s a winning player who deserves a winning team. This might be his last shot at a ring, not to mention, the city of Atlanta will love Dempster’s southern gentlemanly qualities.

I’ll take a look at how Dempster fits into the Braves rotation a bit later.


Meanwhile, the Dodgers remain interested in acquiring Matt Garza. The Cubs reportedly want the highly-regarded pitching prospect Zach Lee in return.

It appears any deal will include a package of players being swapped both ways.

Pitchers are headlining the trade reports, but make no mistake, Los Angeles is starved for run producers. My guess says the hold-up is position players being squabbled over.

July 19: Los Angeles ranks 14/16 in runs scored in the National League. They’ve played the most one-runs games in the majors this season (36) and are certain to fall out of the race unless they find offensive help, particularly at first base where James Loney is batting a paltry .245 with 2 HR, 25 RBI.

Bryan LaHair and Darwin Barney could be potential fits in LA, which desperately needs offensive upgrades at first base and shortstop.

Dempster was long expected to be the first Cubs trade domino to fall. A Garza deal could come to fruition by the end of the day. More trades are sure to follow.

At last, the best part of rebuilding is underway. Staying tuned…


Cubs Taking Offers And Risks On Ryan Dempster

By bullpenbrian - July 21, 2012 - 3:00 pm Leave a comment.

It feels like the Dodgers called the Cubs bluff on Friday.

Seemingly unwilling to come off the pitching prospects Team Theo wanted in return for Ryan Dempster, Los Angeles stood firm and didn’t budge.

By most reports it’s evident Dempster’s first choice is to join LA, and with the two clubs swapping offer sheets, it’s clear the Dodgers have what the Cubs want–young, talented pitching prospects.

Apparently, neither side wanted it enough to make a deal happen, and the Dodgers are now reportedly out of the hunt for Dempster.

What I don’t understand, however, is why the Cubs let Dempster toe the rubber in St. Louis last night?


Can Cubs Avoid Franchise Worse Record After Trades?

By bullpenbrian - July 20, 2012 - 2:15 am 2 comments.

If a trade for Ryan Dempster is not imminent, as one reports suggests as of Thursday afternoon, then I wonder why the Cubs would have Casey Coleman and the newly acquired Justin Germano on hand in St. Louis for a spot-start in Dempster’s place?

Let’s just say my money’s on Dempster being dealt (Dodgers, Braves, Nationals) before he takes the mound against the Cardinals Friday night.

It only makes sense for Team Theo to capitalize on Dempster’s high trade value of five straight victories, 33.0 consecutive scoreless innings and his major league leading 1.86 ERA.

The risk is simply too great for the Cubs to let Dempster toe the rubber and not to pull the trigger on a deal tomorrow afternoon.


Meanwhile, as if trading a fan favorite like Dempster won’t be tough enough, how fitting this team has spoiled us with the major’s best record since June 25 (14-5) right before the trade deadline. A Cubbie occurrence, I tell ya!

And not long after Dempster is wearing Dodger blue (or some other shade of blue), we can expect more trade dominoes to fall off the Cubs roster: Matt Garza, Paul Maholm, Reed Johnson, Jeff Baker and perhaps a block-buster involving the likes of Bryan LaHair or Darwin Barney, among other possible candidates.

It’s all in the name of rebuilding, of course, but it’s hard not to imagine where this hot streak could lead with the Cubs current roster intact.


Updated Trade Rumors Ryan Dempster & Matt Garza

By bullpenbrian - July 13, 2012 - 1:06 pm Leave a comment.


I’ve updated the graphic according to the latest trade rumors as of noon today.

The Dodgers are being linked to both pitchers and remain the front runner in the Dempster sweepstakes.

Boston rumors are picking up steam as several sources (listed below) agree the Red Sox simply can’t fold the tent this season, meaning they’ll likely make an attempt to land quality pitching.

I’ve included the Braves in on the Dempster rumors and Baltimore joins the party for Matt Garza with limited interest.

As a reminder, the larger the team logo, the more rumored interest.


Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza Trade Rumors

By bullpenbrian - July 10, 2012 - 4:00 am 2 comments.

Trade Rumors

The above image details the level of interest of teams rumored to be pursuing Cubs pitchers Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza via trade. The larger the team logo, the more interest. I’ve done my best to use good judgment on gauging the trade interest of all teams.

The July 31 non-waiver trade deadline is 21-days out. Much can, and will, change during the next three weeks. But this is how the trade speculation appears to me at the present time.


Did Cubs Win or Lose Matt Garza Trade?

By bullpenbrian - June 25, 2012 - 5:05 pm 5 comments.

I’ve offered to host a hot-debate between two @BullpenBrian Twitter followers.

The matter at hand is whether or not Jim Hendry should have traded 5-prospects for Matt Garza on January 8, 2011. (Hak-Ju Lee, Chris Archer, Robinson Chirinos, Sam Fuld & Brandon Guyer).

Below is a summary of each case. Please vote to determine the winner. May the best case win.

Court’s now in session:


It’s Matt Garza’s Time To Shine

By bullpenbrian - June 13, 2012 - 7:07 pm Leave a comment.

Matt Garza | Photo Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Matt Garza (2-4) 3.99 ERA is due for a big outing.

He’s winless over his last six starts posting an (0-3) record and 5.40 ERA.

His last victory was April 29 at Philadelphia. It’s also the last time Garza lasted more than six innings. We know the Cubs workhorse is capable of better.

He is, as baseball folk like to say–due.

It’s to Garza’s advantage he makes tonight’s start at home where he’s pitched particularly well going (1-0) 1.91 ERA in four outings.

The Tigers, meanwhile, are simply not hitting well as a team outside Fielder & Cabrera.

Whether Garza is positioning himself for a contract extension or a valuable trade option, it seems there’s no better time than now to make his case either way.

I’m looking forward to watching.


Oh No, Garza. Not The Yips

By bullpenbrian - May 17, 2012 - 4:00 am Leave a comment.

Some call it the ‘yips’. Golfers call it the ‘shanks’. Baseball players refer to it simply as ‘The Thing’.

Whatever you call it, Matt Garza is suffering from it—his inability to make the simplest of fielding throws.

Another pitcher, Rick Ankiel, famously suffered from the yips with the Cardinals. He eventually coped by converting to an outfielder.

Yankees second baseman Chuck Knoblauch was so riddled by the shanks he too switched to the outfield, and eventually had to become a DH.

Roy McAvoy…that’s another story.

Garza’s case, thankfully, hasn’t reached such extremes. But his two throwing mishaps during Wednesday’s game left me wondering…how much worse will Garza get?


Will Cubs Revamp Its Rotation?

By bullpenbrian - May 2, 2012 - 9:10 am 4 comments.

Wishing for a revamping of the Cubs pitching staff is not wrong at all. The troubling part, however, is the organization is void of better options for the time being.

As of this posting the Cubs team ERA of 4.21 ranks 22/30 in the majors. The starting staff’s ERA is 4.20 and ranks 20th in the majors. The Cubs bullpen ERA is a tick higher at 4.23, ranking 22nd in MLB.

Any way you shape it, that’s not very good. But to be fair, the Cubs starting rotation doesn’t deserve much blame for the team’s (8-15) start to the season.

Matt Garza & Ryan Dempster have been simply terrific. Jeff Samardzija is holding his own and Paul Maholm has come on strong winning his last two starts.

But that’s where the good ends and the bad begins.


Cubs Starters Tops In NL

By bullpenbrian - April 12, 2012 - 11:00 pm 1 comment.

The Cubs have only two wins to show for it, but its starting staff is off to a terrific start.

Chicago ranks second in MLB for innings pitched by its starters (46.2), trailing only Seattle’s (48.0). And had it not been for Paul Maholm’s abrupt outing on Tuesday, 4.0 IP, the Cubs likely would lead all of baseball in this category.

It’s an uplifting sign for a club struggling to score runs and a life-saver from its bullpen ranked last in the NL. But as long as the starting pitching holds strong, the Cubs have a chance to creep back towards the .500 mark.


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