Dempster not showing his hand yet

July, 24, 2012
7/24/12
7:59
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
The game of high-stakes poker continues between the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves and pitcher Ryan Dempster.

While the Cubs starter contemplates whether to approve a deal that has been agreed to by the Cubs and Braves, the Dodgers are lurking, but still refusing to put their top pitching prospect Zack Lee in a deal for the veteran hurler.

Dempster is holding the trump card in this game of show-and-tell due to his 10-and-5 veto rights, which allow him to basically dictate where he is traded, or for that matter, to be not traded at all.

When Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and Dempster talked about the process of trading the pitcher, the Cubs promised to work hand-in-hand with him in order to get the trade done in a satisfactory way for the team, Dempster and his family.

Having the situation put on display on Monday did not sit well with the 35-year-old pitcher. Dempster really did not have a chance to mull over a possible move to Atlanta before the media pounced, wanting to know his decision. Meanwhile the tweeting world was told that a Braves source had revealed the trade before the pitcher had his private time to consider the deal.

Here is what we know:

No. 1: Dempster is in no hurry to say yes to the Braves

No. 2: The Cubs are not happy with the offer from the Dodgers without Lee coming back in the swap.

No. 3: The Braves will not wait around another week for Dempster to decide which way he wants to go.

The battle of wills may come down to Dempster’s desire to go to the Dodgers versus the Cubs’ need to get the top prospects available for the pitcher. At this point and time, it appears to be a standoff on at least four different fronts.

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Jason Hammel
WINS ERA SO IP
8 2.98 104 108
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Rizzo .286
HRA. Rizzo 25
RBIA. Rizzo 59
RA. Rizzo 72
OPSA. Rizzo .910
ERAJ. Samardzija 2.83
SOT. Wood 108