Braves GM: We're 'moving on,' no longer pursuing Dempster

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ATLANTA --- Don't look for Ryan Dempster to be in a Braves uniform any time soon.

Atlanta General Manager Frank Wren said Wednesday during a radio interview that the team is "moving on" in its pursuit of Dempster, the Cubs' ace and Major League Baseball's ERA leader.

"I think it's very highly unlikely," Wren said on "The Rude Awakening" on 680-AM The Fan in Atlanta, which were first reported by ESPN.com. "We put parameters on the deal that expired (Tuesday). We were moving on from the time we heard that there was the potential of another club being really where he wanted to go. And he had a lot of personal reasons for that.

"We haven't stopped pursuing other pitchers. We've had scouts in ballparks seeing everyone. It's one of those bumps in the road but at the same time we put parameters on it that expired yesterday so we've moved on."

Cubs assistant GM Randy Bush said that was OK --- they were moving on too.

"I don't want to comment on that," Bush said when asked about Wren's statement. "Frank, certainly we can let his comments stand."

Wren said the team is still looking for a pitcher that can help them for the last two months of the season, and while he had hoped Dempster would be that guy, in the end, it didn't work out.

"I'm not going to paint us in a corner one way or another," Wren told the radio station when asked if there was any chance a deal for Dempster could be revived before Tuesday's trade deadline. "Let's just say that we have moved on. We're looking for impact pitching, someone that can make a difference for us as we go down the stretch the last two months."

Dempster was reportedly going to be exchanged for Braves starter Randall Delgado.

Neither player apparently was aware of the deal, other than the reports that emerged Monday linking their two names together.

"I don't think players ever get a heads up on deals," Wren said during his radio interview. "I mean, it just doesn't work that way. In his case, from my understanding, and I'm only getting it secondhand from the Cubs, they had a meeting with him a couple of weeks ago and laid it out and that the primary two suitors were us and the Dodgers. He had positive things to say about both, but he had a slight preference to the Dodgers because of Ted Lilly. He and Ted Lilly are best of friends, and he'd like to go play with his friend. I think there were also some personal issues that suited better for him.

"As it went down, from my understanding, the Cubs informed him over the last week that the Dodgers weren't really as aggressive as we were, and they thought the deal was going to go with us. I think he was given a heads up along the way. I think it may be the way it was presented as far as coming out in the media. I think that was the blindsiding, not that he didn't necessarily that he didn't know it was coming down."

Dempster was still slated to start today's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Dodgers, meanwhile, did pull off a blockbuster deal Wednesday --- it just wasn't for Dempster. L.A. acquired Miami Marlins star Hanley Ramirez.