Is it possible that the Braves’ demands and not Ryan Dempster’s are holding up his trade from the Chicago Cubs to Atlanta?
Yes, and here’s how, based on what I know, and also upon my own speculation:
Dempster, as a player with 10 years of major-league service, the last five with the same team, has the right to veto any trade. He also can ask for a contract extension or some other financial inducement in exchange for waiving his no-trade rights.
Free agency awaits Dempster at the end of the season, and he currently leads the National League with a 2.11 ERA. He is not necessarily interested in an extension, according to a source with knowledge of his thinking. But the Braves could – repeat, could – push for such an arrangement, even making it a condition of the deal.
Follow the logs:
A Dempster trade from the Cubs to the Braves likely would involve a significant amount of cash going to Atlanta to cover the remaining portion of Dempster’s salary. In exchange, the Cubs would want a better prospect – reportedly, Braves right-hander Randall Delgado. And the Braves, to give up a better prospect, might want Dempster for more than the final two months of the season.
Dempster likes the Braves – they are his second choice for a trade destination after the Dodgers, sources say. But that doesn’t necessarily mean he would want to sign an extension to remain in Atlanta. His long-term preference, according to one source, is to join a team that trains in Arizona. The Braves train in Florida.
I don’t know that the above scenario actually is taking place. I just know that this is one possible explanation for the holdup in this trade.