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updated: 7/24/2012 11:15 PM

No reason to blame Cubs' Dempster for no trade

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  • Cubs starting pitcher Ryan Dempster says there's still time to consider any trade possibilities.

    Cubs starting pitcher Ryan Dempster says there's still time to consider any trade possibilities.
    Associated Press


Ryan Dempster has been a pretty popular guy in Chicago since coming to the Cubs in 2004.

But it seems he has taken an unpopular stand with many Cubs fans, if you read the social media.

For the past two days, Dempster's name has been linked to reports of him being traded to the Atlanta Braves.

The Braves' website reported Monday that a deal had been done, with speculation that the Cubs would receive pitching prospect Randall Delgado in return.

The only apparent hang-up is that Dempster has the right, collectively bargained for, to veto any trade involving him because he has so-called 10-and-5 rights, meaning he has been in the major leagues at least 10 years and five with the same club.

Dempster, who may prefer the Los Angeles Dodgers, has not yet approved the Atlanta deal, and many fans on Facebook and Twitter have castigated him for not allowing the Cubs to get good prospects in return.

A couple of thoughts before we get to Dempster's comments to reporters assembled in Pittsburgh, where the Cubs are playing the Pirates:

•Dempster has every right to accept a trade, veto a trade or wait a few days before accepting a trade.

•The future of the Cubs is not Dempster's problem. It's the problem of highly paid executives Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer.

•Dempster has the leverage, and like any good negotiator in any business, he's going to use it, as anyone would, or should.

As far as any hubbub goes, Dempster told reporters: "That's fine. People can say what they want to say. All I know is when I put the uniform on, I give 100 percent to the Cubs, and that's all you can really ask."

The nonwaiver trading deadline is July 31, and with plenty of teams needing starting pitching, there isn't any drop-dead urgency for the Cubs to get a deal done now.

Various reports say the Atlanta deal is still alive and that the Dodgers still may have interest in Dempster.

"I want to look everything over first before I make any decisions, and I have time to do that," Dempster told reporters. "There's a week before the trading deadline. That's where I stand on it."

Various reports came out during the past two days, some saying Dempster felt "blindsided" by the news getting out.

"Something that is supposed to be a private matter doesn't stay private," he said, declining to state a preference of teams he'd go to. "I think if I just keep that close to me, that's the easiest way."

In other news involving Cubs pitchers, No. 2 starter Matt Garza won't start again until Monday at the earliest. Garza headed home to Chicago to be with his wife, who is due to give birth.

In Saturday's start at St. Louis, Garza felt cramping in his right triceps, and he had to exit the game after 3 innings.

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