Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said Ryan Dempster had a right to block a trade to Atlanta and does not deserve criticism for it.
“We were on great terms throughout the entire process,” Epstein said Wednesday.
The Cubs wound up trading their ace to Texas for two minor leaguers. But Epstein acknowledged he would have preferred to complete the deal with Atlanta for pitching prospect Randall Delgado that was on the table last week. It fell apart because Dempster, who had veto power, would not immediately give his approval.
The pitcher had told management that he would consider Atlanta, but the Dodgers were his first choice.
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Dempster spent the hours leading up to Tuesday’s non-waiver trade deadline in the Cubs’ offices and had conversations with Los Angeles. When it became clear a deal with the Dodgers would not happen, he allowed other teams to get in the running.
He ultimately wound up with the American League West-leading Rangers.
In Chicago, Dempster had been taking some heat, and Epstein said that wasn’t right.
“I don’t think it’s fair for anyone to criticize Ryan unless they’ve been in that spot,” he said. “It’s a right that he’s earned. Do we wish that we would have had 12 places that were an ideal destination for him instead of one? Sure. That Atlanta deal that we had lined up I thought was an outstanding deal for the organization. Would we have liked to execute it? Absolutely. But in the end, my thoughts in his situation might have been exactly the same.”
CANSECO FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY
Former Oakland Athletics slugger Jose Canseco has filed for bankruptcy protection in Nevada.
The former MVP is seeking asset liquidation in Chapter 7 documents filed Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Las Vegas. The bankruptcy petition says the 48-year-old Canseco lives in Las Vegas. It lists less than $21,000 in assets and almost $1.7 million in liabilities, including more than $500,000 owed to the Internal Revenue Service.
LOWE DESIGNATED FOR ASSIGNMENT
The Cleveland Indians designated former Seattle Mariners pitcher Derek Lowe for assignment late Wednesday, one day after the veteran right-hander was shelled by Kansas City.
The 39-year-old began the season 6-1 with a 2.05 ERA, but is 2-9 since with his ERA ballooning to 5.52. The 16-year veteran is 174-156 with 85 saves in his career.
Lowe has 10 days to accept the assignment to the minor leagues, be traded or be released.
The Texas Rangers have optioned left-hander Martin Perez to Triple-A Round Rock to make room on the roster for newly acquired pitcher Dempster. ... Cincinnati Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco is appealing his three-game suspension for making contact with an umpire during an argument. ... Two-time All-Star Bobby Abreu has been designated for assignment by the Los Angeles Dodgers to make room on the 25-man roster for newly acquired left fielder Shane Victorino. ... The Tampa Bay Rays have granted Hideki Matsui his release.