Ryan Dempster’s first choice, the Los Angeles Dodgers, cooled on trading for him Sunday, creating an opening for his second choice, the Atlanta Braves.
On Monday, the Braves closed the deal on Dempster, with further details still to come, according to various reports.
Dempster, as a player with 10 years of service, the last five with the same team, had the right to veto any deal or insist on a contract extension from his new team to make a deal possible.
Two other teams interested in Dempster – the Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals – shared the same reservations as the Dodgers about parting with better prospects for a player who is a free agent at the end of the season.
Dempster’s preference was to remain in the National League. A poor outing by right-hander Jair Jurrjens against the Nationals on Sunday might only have reinforced the Braves’ desire to trade for a quality starter – and Dempster leads the NL with a 2.11 ERA.
Dempster knows Braves general manager Frank Wren and manager Fredi Gonzalez from their days together in the Marlins’ organization.
-Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi