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.
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.