Sveum not thinking risk with Dempster start

PITTSBURGH -- Ryan Dempster took the mound in a Chicago Cubs uniform Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Pirates after he rejected a deal this week that would have sent him to the Atlanta Braves.

Asked about the risk starting a pitcher who could be traded soon, manager Dale Sveum said he had no reservations about sending Dempster out to pitch, even though another potential trade piece in Matt Garza suffered a cramp and subsequent sore arm in his most recent outing.

“Yeah, but you still don’t just hold people out when nothing has happened,” Sveum said. “It’s not something you do. If it was a position player would you hold him out a week because his name was mentioned and things were in the works? You just don’t do those things. You don’t start taking people out of lineups and missing starts because of rumors or because their name is mentioned.”

Late Tuesday night reports started to surface that the Cubs and Dodgers might actually be able to revisit a Dempster trade, but by Wednesday afternoon the latest news from ESPN’s Buster Olney was that the Cubs are now considering keeping Dempster the remainder of the season and making an offer that qualifies for a compensation draft pick if he doesn’t re-sign.

How this all plays out with Cubs fans remains to be seen. A vocal segment of the fan base had gotten used to the idea that talented young Braves pitcher Randall Delgado would now be pitching on the North Side.

Knowing that Dempster nixed those chances might not sit well with many. Just how upset Cubs fans are will be most evident the next time Dempster pitches in Wrigley Field, if he does indeed pitch for the team again. With Garza possibly pitching for the Cubs on Monday, Dempster could be pitching on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field.

Tuesday’s game just so happens to start a mere four hours after the 3 p.m. CST non-waiver trade deadline.