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ESPN says Braves land Dempster. Pitcher says no they didn't

Despite ESPN reports that Ryan Dempster has been traded to Atlanta, the righthanded pitcher claims he has not been dealt.

I guess we're going to have to stay tuned to see how this develops. There is speculation that Dempster either has exercised his no trade rights -- or that he hasn't yet decided if he will agree to the deal.

Let the dominoes begin to fall:

The Cubs have traded starting pitcher Ryan Dempster to Atlanta for righthanded pitcher Randall Delgado.

Dempster, who was cuffed about Friday night by the Cardinals in a 4-1 St. Louis win, is 5-4 with a National League leading 2.11 ERA. Delgado, who made his major league debut last season, is 5-10 in 24 major league starts with a 3.98 ERA.

The Cardinals were rumored to be one of three or four teams believed to be finalists for Dempster. But I was skeptical that the Birds would give up a significant young piece to a division rival.

I still believe, if the Cardinals are to make a deal for a starter, that they're more likely to trade with Tampa Bay for one of their pitchers who is under control for a year or two beyond 2012 or with the Astros for Wandy Rodiguez who has two years left on his contract including an option. The Astros move to the American League next year so there won't be the inter-division weirdness of a deal with the Wee Bears.

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