11:05pm: The Cubs are asking the Dodgers for minor league pitcher Allen Webster as the centerpiece of a Dempster trade, reports Morosi (Twitter link).
6:55pm: It's possible that the Dodgers could acquire Dempster from the Cubs without having to surrender Lee, a source tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com (Twitter link).
4:20pm: The Cubs are talking to the Dodgers about Dempster again, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports.
3:26pm: Dempster told reporters, including Doug Padilla of ESPNChicago.com, that he's taking his time to weigh his options (Twitter link). He plans to pitch for the Cubs tomorrow. "I have a pretty good idea of where I want to go," Dempster said, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter).
1:37pm: The status of the possible Braves-Cubs deal should be resolved "shortly," ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reports (on Twitter). The Cubs continue talking to the Braves and the Dodgers.
12:43pm: Dempster doesn’t want to be traded to the Braves right now, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Instead, the right-hander hopes to be dealt to the Dodgers. While the Dodgers had interest in Dempster and were considered by some to be the favorites to acquire him, they didn’t reach an agreement with the Cubs. Chicago would lose leverage with the Dodgers if Dempster rejects a trade to the Braves, his second choice.
TUESDAY, 9:05am: Dempster has given preliminary indications that he'd accept a trade to the Braves, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reports (Twitter links). However, Dempster felt blindsided when news of the proposed deal leaked before the Cubs reached him.
MONDAY, 6:20pm: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports writes that Dempster to the Braves now has a 50-50 chance of happening.
3:30pm: The teams are awaiting Dempster's approval, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports (on Twitter).
2:57pm: Dempster is in the Cubs' clubhouse preparing for tonight's game in Pittsburgh, according to reporters, including Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter). He declined to discuss today's developments, Doug Padilla of ESPNChicago.com reports (on Twitter).
2:38pm: The Cubs haven't received Dempster's permission to complete a trade, David Kaplan of CSNChicago reports (on Twitter). "There is no trade," Dempster tweets via his foundation. "Don't know where this info came from!" Meanwhile, Goldstein hears that the deal is not done, but acknowledges that it might simply be delayed while MLB considers the financial side of the transaction (Twitter link).
Delgado, 22, has started 17 games for the Braves this year, posting a 4.42 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in 91 2/3 innings. The right-hander entered the season as the 46th-best prospect in MLB, according to Baseball America. His average fastball checks in at 92 mph, according to FanGraphs. Delgado has a ceiling as a number three starter in the Major Leagues, Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus writes (on Twitter).
1:22pm: The Braves and Cubs have agreed to a trade that will send Ryan Dempster to Atlanta, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports (on Twitter). The right-hander can veto any trade, but he is not likely to demand an extension in order to approve the deal, according to Jon Heyman. Randall Delgado could be going to Chicago in the deal, Bowman adds.
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Dempster, 35, has an NL-best 2.11 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 98 innings for the Cubs this year. He earns $14MM in 2012 — more than $5.5MM between now and the end of the season — but the Cubs are said to be willing to absorb salary to facilitate a deal.
The Braves won't be able to obtain draft pick compensation for Dempster even if he signs elsewhere after the season. In other words, he's strictly a rental unless the sides reach an extension between now and the end of the season. The Braves believe they'd have a good shot at re-signing Dempster, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (on Twitter). The Cubs would have been able to obtain one compensatory selection for losing Dempster if they had kept him for the remainder of the season and made him a qualifying offer.
Braves starters have combined for a 4.34 ERA with 7.0 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 so far this year. The team's rotation currently consists of Tim Hudson, Tommy Hanson, Mike Minor, Jair Jurrjens and newcomer Ben Sheets. Brandon Beachy and Arodys Vizcaino are out for the season with Tommy John surgery, which diminished the organization's internal options.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com first reported that the Braves were nearing a deal for Dempster after David O'Brien first reported the Braves were nearing a deal for a starter. Photo courtesy of US Presswire.