Dempster: I never turned down Braves deal

August, 1, 2012
8/01/12
11:11
AM CT
By ESPNChicago.com
ESPNChicago.com
Ryan Dempster said Wednesday he never turned down a trade from the Chicago Cubs to the Atlanta Braves after a deal was agreed upon by both clubs last week.

[+] EnlargeRyan Dempster
Rob Grabowski/US PresswireRyan Dempster wanted to wait as long as possible to see if a deal with the Dodgers could be worked out.
Dempster, who was dealt by the Cubs to the Texas Rangers minutes before Tuesday's non-waiver trade deadline, said he just wanted time to think about the proposed trade to Atlanta, which would have netted Chicago 22-year-old pitcher Randall Delgado.

"All I said was I would be open to going to a team ... my kind of specifications for going anywhere was going to a winner," Dempster said Wednesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "If I was going to leave this situation with the Cubs that I have been with for so long, I wanted to go somewhere that had a real good chance of winning.

"The truth of the matter is, at the end of the day, I didn't turn down any trades. All I asked for was more time on one particular trade. I didn't really get that time. It got leaked out that I said yes and then I said no. And even after I said no -- I never officially said no -- I said I needed time to think about it, and I have the right to that time. I know people want an answer overnight, but I've been traded twice in my career with no say and so to have a little bit of say and time to make a decision, that's all I wanted. Unfortunately it went down the way it did. I felt bad for the Atlanta Braves. They are a first-class, top-notch organization."

Word of a deal between the Cubs and Braves for Dempster leaked on July 23. Dempster said he awoke from a nap that afternoon hearing that a deal was in place without his knowledge. As a major league veteran of 10 years and the last five with the same team, Dempster had the right to veto any deal.

Braves general manager Frank Wren told an Atlanta radio station the next day that the Braves were moving on after they didn't get a decision by their self-imposed deadline.

"I was more shocked than upset," Dempster said when he heard news of the Atlanta trade. "I didn't really understand what was going on but (I was) just trying to get things straightened out and kind of clear the air. That happened awhile ago and we've moved past that."

Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said Wednesday that Dempster's decision had more to do with wanting to wait as long as possible to see if a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers -- his preferred destination -- could be worked out rather than a dislike for the Braves.

"We had explained to him for several days before we did that deal that it was going to be the Braves, that they were the most aggressive team," Hoyer said Wednesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "It wasn't as much a lack of interest in Atlanta, it was just I want to wait until the last possible second to rule out the Dodgers. That was really the crux of it. It wasn't a matter of not wanting Atlanta."

Dempster's need for time to make a decision likely cost the Cubs Delgado, a young major league-ready pitcher who has started 17 games for the Braves this season. Instead, they ended up with a pair of Single-A players in pitcher Kyle Hendricks and third baseman Christian Villanueva in the deal with the Rangers.

"It came out like I was turning down trades left, right and center and the truth of the matter is I never really turned down any trades until the very end when I said yes to Texas."


Former Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster joins "Waddle & Silvy" to discuss his trade to the Rangers, how the deal went down and more.

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