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.
Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant was one of the most prominent examples of service time manipulation in recent memory. He was ranked as the No. 1 prospect in baseball going into the 2015 season by Baseball America. He then had an incredible spring, batting .425 with a spring-high nine home runs and 15 RBI. The Cubs, however, didn’t add him to the Opening Day roster, instead keeping him in Triple-A for the first two weeks of the season, ensuring the club would get another year of control over Bryant because he wouldn’t accrue enough service time. He made his debut on April 17 and the rest was history. Bryant won the 2015 NL Rookie of the Year Award.
While the MLB Players Association filed a grievance on his behalf, Bryant didn’t say anything. But it was a learning moment for him. The same is true of the past offseason, which Bryant says “opened my eyes,” as Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. He now considers labor issues a priority, saying, “I need to study up, have my voice heard, continue to learn, because this is going to affect us for years to come. And I’d be foolish not to kind of offer myself out there.”
As Wittenmyer notes, Bryant hopes to replace Jake Arrieta as the Cubs’ player reprensentative. The players make that decision later this month. Bryant also vowed to fight for the next collective bargaining agreement. He said, “Maybe the focus was on other things rather than some of the more important things. But I think with this next one things are definitely going to change, and there’ll definitely be more fight on our side just because we’re going to get the chance to experience the effects of some of the things we agreed to. The only way to get what you want here is to fight for it. And I think you’re going to see a lot of that.”
It’s good to see Bryant motivated by recent economic developments in baseball. Hopefully more players take his lead and become more informed, arming themselves with all of the tools they need to create a better situation for themselves when the current CBA expires.