UPDATE: Ryan Dempster traded to the Braves for Randall Delgado — maybe

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UPDATE: Dave Kaplan of CSNChiago.com is reporting that Dempster has not yet approved the trade, as he must, as a 10-5 guy.  Dempster himself tweeted from his own Twitter account that there is no trade, at least not yet.  It’d be weird for this many reporters to report this much on such a deal from disparate sources if it wasn’t expected to happen, but stay tuned!

2:25 PM: All indications are that Randall Delgado is, in fact, the player going to Chicago.

2:10 PM:  Mark Bowman of MLB.com confirms that Dempster is coming to Atlanta. The player(s) in return are not yet confirmed. Bowman suspects that the deal may involve Randall Delgado. Delgado is 4-9 with a 4.42 ERA on the year, though he is just 22 and is still considered an excellent prospect.

1:57 PM: Jon Heyman reports that the pitcher in question is Ryan Dempster. No word yet on who goes back to Chicago if that is, in fact, the deal.

Dempster gave up four runs over six innings the other night and saw his 33-inning scoreless streak come to an end. But he’s still been crazy-solid on the year. He’s 5-4 with a 2.11 ERA with 77 strikeouts and 27 walks in 98 innings and a WHIP of 1.051. And he’s been even better on the road than he has been in Wrigley.

1:56 PM: We don’t know who it is yet, but …

Whoever it is, it’s needed. The Braves have one of the worst rotations in the National League. Certainly the worst among contenders, and something needs to give.

Seattle Mariners to make a “full-court press” for Shohei Ohtani

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Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a team-sponsored podcast the other day that the M’s will make a “full-court press” for Shohei Ohtani. To that end, Dipoto said that the M’s would be willing to let the two-way star to pitch and to hit, which is something Ohtani is interested in doing in the United States. Not all clubs are likely to let him do this, with most likely seeing him as a starting pitcher only.

Ohtani, who is expected to be posted by his Japanese team, the Nippon Ham Fighters, possibly as early as today, can sign with anyone he wants. He is, however, subject to the international bonus pool caps, so the bids on him will be somewhat limited. The Texas Rangers and New York Yankees have the most money available: $3.535 million for the Rangers and $3.5 million for the Yankees. The Twins ($3.245 million), Pirates ($2.266 million), Marlins ($1.74 million) and Mariners ($1.57 million) are the only other teams with more than $1 million left. Twelve teams — including the Dodgers, Cubs, Cardinals and Astros — are limited to a maximum of $300,000, having met or exceeded their caps for this signing period already.

Ohtani, however, is said to be less motivated by money than he is by finding the right situation. While a lot of guys say that, the fact that Ohtani is coming over to the U.S. now, when his financial prospects are limited, as opposed to waiting for two years when he is not subject to the bonus caps and could sign for nine figures, suggests that he is telling the truth. As such, a team like the Mariners that is willing to allow him to hit and pitch could make up for the couple of million less they have in bonus money to spend.

As for how that might work logistically, Dipoto said that the team would be willing to play DH Nelson Cruz a few days in the outfield to accommodate Ohtani, allowing him to DH on the days he’s not pitching. That might be . . . interesting to see, but given how badly the Mariners could use a good starting pitcher, they have an incentive to be creative.

Ohtani, 23, suffered some injuries in 2017, limiting him to just five starts and 65 games as a hitter. In 2016, however, he hit .289/.356/.547 with 22 homers in 342 at-bats and went 11-3 with a 3.24 ERA, and a K/BB ratio of 146/51 in 133.1 innings as a starter.

Five clubs have more money to spend on Ohtani than the Mariners do. None of those teams are on the west coast, which some Asian players have said in the past they preferred due to faster travel back home. The Mariners, owned for a long time by a Japanese company which still retains a minority interest in the club, and long the home for high-profile Japanese players such as Ichiro and Hisashi Iwakuma, likely have a better media and marketing reach in Japan than most other teams as well, which might be a factor in his decision making process. Is all that enough to sway Ohtani?

We’ll find out over the next couple of weeks.