What we have here is … a failure to communicate.
Someone with the Cubs assumed that Ryan Dempster was going to be OK going to the Braves. If they didn’t think that, they wouldn’t have gotten a deal in place yesterday. But Ken Rosenthal reports that, nope, that’s not what Dempster wants:
Chicago Cubs right-hander Ryan Dempster does not want to be traded to the Atlanta Braves, according to major-league sources.
At least not right now.
Dempster, as a player with 10 years of major-league service, the last five with the same team, has the right to block a trade to the Braves. The pitcher instead wants to be sent to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who were unable to reach agreement with the Cubs on a suitable deal, sources said.
Rosenthal says that the Dodgers are interested, but a deal could not be struck before the Cubs started talking to the Braves, who are thought to be Dempster’s second choice. Which just means that the Cubs’ chances of getting a good deal here are way less today than they were yesterday. I mean, if you’re the Dodgers, you bid low, right? And if you’re the Braves, you pull back on stakes as rich as Randall Delgado now that you know how desperate the Cubs will be if and when they get back to you?
Ten-and-five rights: powerful things.
But we can at least dispense with the notion that Dempster was “blindsided” here, right?
Phil Hughes was officially designated for assignment by the Twins on Tuesday, the culmination of multiple injury-plagued seasons and poor performance.
Things couldn’t have started out much better for Hughes in Minnesota. The former Yankees hurler joined the Twins on a three-year, $24 million contract in December of 2013 and reeled off a 3.52 ERA over 32 starts during his first season with the club. He set the MLB record (which still stands, by the way) for single season strikeout-to-walk ratio and even received some downballot Cy Young Award consideration. The big year resulted in the two sides ripping up their previous agreement with a new five-year, $58 million deal, but it was all downhill after that.
Hughes took a step back with a 4.40 ERA in 2015 and struggled with a 5.95 ERA over 11 starts and one relief appearance in 2016 before undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. He wasn’t any better upon his return last year, putting up a 5.87 ERA in nine starts and five relief appearances. Hughes missed time with a biceps issue and required a thoracic outlet revision surgery in August. He began this year on the disabled list with an oblique injury, only to put up a 6.75 ERA over two starts and five relief appearances before the Twins decided to turn the page this week.
Hughes is still owed the remainder of his $13.2 million salary for this year and another $13.2 million next year. The deal didn’t work out as anyone would have hoped, but unfortunately this is another case of health just not cooperating.