Dodgers still upset with Cubs about Ryan Dempster trade talks
BY GORDON WITTENMYER email@example.com August 5, 2012 10:34PM
General manager Jed Hoyer said the Cubs have had at least one informal conversation with free-agent right-hander Ryan Dempster. | LM Otero~AP
Updated: September 7, 2012 6:19AM
LOS ANGELES — The Cubs refuted a published report Sunday that they did anything to hurt their relationship with the Dodgers’ front office by allowing Ryan Dempster to be in the team offices as they conducted trade talks with the Dodgers on Tuesday afternoon.
But, according to sources, Dodgers officials remained chapped Sunday at the suggestion Dempster — whose consent was required to trade him — was allowed to listen to at least parts of those conversations. And Cubs’ efforts to reach out to general manager Ned Colletti over the weekend did little to thaw what could become a frosty relationship with a team that might be a fit for a Matt Garza trade in a few months.
Colletti declined repeated interview requests from the Sun-Times.
‘‘If I was the Dodgers, I’d be upset if I thought players were listening in on our conversations, but that’s clearly not what happened,’’ Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said. ‘‘As I made clear [Tuesday] in my press conference, I kicked Ryan out of my office and put him in a separate office before we made any phone calls. Ryan was in the offices so that he could be there on a moment’s notice. He certainly wasn’t there to listen in on phone calls, and we would never let that happen.’’
If there was confusion on that, it was caused by team president Theo Epstein’s comments Wednesday as he outlined the final-hour events leading to Dempster’s eventual trade to the Rangers.
‘‘In the end,’’ Epstein said, ‘‘once he came to our office and actually heard the conversations we were having with L.A., he realized, OK, maybe that’s actually not going to happen.’’
According to team sources, Dempster didn’t listen to negotiations but instead talked directly to Colletti from the Cubs’ offices. Dempster also made a call to personal contacts with the New York Yankees, trying to stir trade interest there, according to another source.
Colletti, through a Dodgers team official, confirmed having the conversation with Dempster. But, according to a source, he remained skeptical of how much other access Dempster was given during his trade conversations with Hoyer.
Garza to DL
Garza’s efforts to return to the rotation Tuesday in San Diego ended when he was sent back to Chicago for what manager Dale Sveum called a ‘‘precautionary’’ exam on his balky elbow.
‘‘It was pretty stiff [Sunday],’’ Sveum said the day after Garza said he felt good after a full bullpen session.
Garza will be put on the disabled list, backdated 16 days, just to create a roster spot for another pitcher to make a spot start in his place Tuesday.
Who takes that spot is unclear at best. All three guys the team discussed as backup plans pitched for Class AAA Iowa in the last three days.