CHICAGO — So how did Theo Epstein and his subordinate Jed Hoyer do at their first trade deadline with the Chicago Cubs? Despite spending most of their time trying to accommodate a trade request by Ryan Dempster, not too bad.
In a deadline-beating trade Tuesday afternoon, the Cubs sent Dempster to the Texas Rangers for a pair of Class A minor leaguers. As first reported by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Cubs got Kyle Hendricks, a 22-year-old right-handed pitcher, and Christian Villanueva, a 21-year-old third baseman.
Dempster had wanted a trade to the Dodgers, and used his 10-and-five veto power to nix a trade with Atlanta, reportedly his second choice, after the Cubs failed to agree with Los Angeles. The Cubs kept trying with the Dodgers, and also engaged the Yankees, in an effort over the past few agonizing days to move Dempster somewhere before he filed for free agency.
But the Rangers, who also tried to get Matt Garza from the Cubs (as Yahoo! Sports' own Tim Brown noted), won in the end. And Dempster got his wish. Finally. Sort of. Not everything was about him, though. The Cubs also made a pair of deals late Monday, one of which looks extremely promising: Getting pitcher Arodys Vizcaino from the Braves for Reed Johnson and Paul Maholm. Vizcaino is recovering from Tommy John surgery, but could be a closer in the future.
Dempster made his way around Wrigley on Tuesday afternoon, saying his final good-byes before joining the Rangers in Texas (where he has knocked Roy Oswalt from the starting rotation). Via the Chicago Tribune, Hoyer said Dempster spent a significant amount of time with him, getting an insider's view of how hard it can be to actually make a trade.
"I was really actually glad he was in our office the last couple of hours," Hoyer said. "To be able to see how we work and see what happens. He sort of sat in our office and watched himself on TV. Then we kind of briefed him on where things were, and at some point, he sort of said 'Well, if this Dodger thing is not going to work...' and he sort of opened it up to a handful of teams."
Hoyer said the Cubs had to get a last minute deal because they didn't want to go to a team Dempster wouldn't waive his 10-and-5 rights for.
"We had to, not scramble, but work pretty hard at the end to find a suitable deal for him," he said.
Everyone has to scramble at the trade deadline, but Hoyer probably was being nice to Dempster — who was in his rights, but also made life a little more complicated than necessary.
As for where the Cubs go now, they could keep Garza — who is getting over a triceps injury right now anyway — until the offseason and then try again to trade him. Funny thing about the trade deadline: It's not that much of a deadline. The trading never really stops.