The Braves are apparently done with Ryan Dempster. Braves’ GM Frank Wren was on 680 The Fan in Atlanta this morning, and he told Sandra Golden that a deal with Dempster is “highly unlikely,” and that the Braves “had paramaters that expired yesterday.” He added “we’ve moved on.”
This is a pretty big blow to the Cubs. They weren’t likely to get an offer as good as the one the Braves gave them in Randall Delgado and, if the Braves are truly out of it, they’ll apparently have to see if they can pry something better out of the Dodgers.
It’s extension season and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros — who already agreed to an extension with Alex Bregman — are discussing contract extensions with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.
Funny thing about Verlander, by the way: when he got his current $180 million deal, most people fell into the “oh, there’s an overpay!” column. What’s more, this past winter, when everyone was talking about how bad it is to give guys big long term deals, Verlander’s name was notably absent in the conversation despite the fact that his deal has turned out to be quite good. I suppose that says something about how good the anti-long-term deal folks are at cherrypicking.
That being said, Rosenthal says “it would be an upset” if either Verlander or Cole signed extensions. I can see that. Verlander is locked up this year and has a vesting option for 2020, and a lot can happen in a year or two. Cole is a Scott Boras client and Boras clients tend to hit the market rather than sign extensions. Perhaps their former teammate, Dallas Keuchel‘s, terrible experience on the free agent market this winter will alter that calculus. Hard to say.