He Took the Rangers . . .

Ryan Dempster’s status was resolved at last: ESPN says the Chicago Cubs righthander is going to the Texas Rangers, after the Los Angeles Dodgers—thought to be his true preference—finally backed out of the trade talks for him after refusing to budge on the Cubs’ insistence on Allen Webster, the Dodgers’ second-best pitching prospect, in a swap for what probably amounts to a rental.

The Rangers came into play for Dempster after Colby Lewis went down for the season after surgery to fix a torn elbow flexor tendon. Dempster will shore up the rotation and add some veteran stability for Yu Darvish, who’s about to go through his first Show stretch drive. He also provides rotation insurance if Roy Oswalt (acquired from the Phillies) continues to struggle. Matt Harrison and Derek Holland also have postseason experience.

Bullpen Bump for the Cardinals

Right at the deadline, practically, the St. Louis Cardinals gave their bullpen a shot, landing Edward Mujica (RHP) from the Miami Marlins in a swap for 2010 first-rounder Zack Cox. Mujica has kept righthanded hitters at bay this season (.211 BAA) but his overall numbers (0-3/4.38 ERA/two saves/41 games) suggest he’s likely to become a pen specialist.

Deadline Eve Sleepers?

Of the five deals that went down on Deadline Eve, Sports Illustrated‘s Jay Jaffe, who also writes for Baseball Prospectus, seems most impressed with the one that sent Travis Snider to the Pittsburgh Pirates, who sent reliever Brad Lincoln to the Toronto Blue Jays to get Snider:

Snider.

I'll Take the Yankees or the Rangers, Too: Dempster

Dempster.

The Ryan Dempster watch just took a turn: the Chicago Cubs righthander has told ESPN, reportedly, that if a deal can’t be swung with the Los Angeles Dodgers (his first choice, especially with good buddy and ex-Cub teammate Ted Lilly in Los Angeles already), he’d accept a deal to either the New York Yankees (who are said to have him on the radar, anyway) or the Texas Rangers.

What the Cubs want for Dempster, or for Matt Garza: “quality minor league arms . . . [and] a top third baseman.”

. . . and down the stretch the traders come . . .

Further details to come, but the final hour before the non-waiver trade deadline has been rather brisk:

* The Miami Marlins have sent Gaby Sanchez to the Pittsburgh Pirates for outfielder Gorkys Hernandez and a competitive-balance pick. However, one Fox Sports commentator says the Fish aren’t going to move Josh Johnson (P) . . . yet.

* The Boston Red Sox, needing pitching desperately enough, have picked up lefthanded relief pitcher Craig Breslow (who pitched for the Red Sox in 2006 before they waived him) from the Arizona Diamondbacks in a deal for reliever/starter Matt Albers and veteran outfielder Scott Podsednik. The Snakes are also said to be talking to the Cincinnati Reds about a Lyle Overbay trade.

A Snag on Blanton

There’s a snag in the possible movement of Philadelphia’s Joe Blanton to the Baltimore Orioles—and it has nothing to do with anything the Orioles found in Blanton’s medical records, for which they asked to review Monday. The Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly says the snag is money:

Blanton.

The Orioles are deep into negotiations with the Philadelphia Phillies about acquiring right-hander Joe Blanton, but the amount of money the Orioles would have to pick up could be a sticking point in reaching an agreement before Tuesday’s 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline.

The Giants Sing a Song of Hunter Pence

They won’t be doing this with each other anymore: Hunter Pence (r.) will be doing it against Shane Victorino (l.), now that Pence is a Giant and Victorino, a Dodger . . .

Now we’re rolling. The Philadelphia Phillies and the San Francisco Giants have finished a deal to send Hunter Pence to the Giants for major league-established outfielder Nate Schierholtz and two prospects, catcher Tommy Joseph and pitcher Seth Rosin. (Now, there’s a name for a pitcher!)

Victorino to the Dodgers: The Trade Winds at 5.5 Hours to Go . . .

One of the signatures of the Philadephia Phillies’ former grip on the National League East is departing, according to Fox Sports. The network says Shane Victorino was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers Monday for relief pitcher Josh Lindblom and minor league pitcher Ethan Martin, whose name was raised earlier during conversations with the Chicago Cubs regarding Ryan Dempster.

Victorino returns to his first organisation . . .

The Trade Winds, Approaching the Eleventh Hour, and other sorties . . .

The Ryan Dempster situation may be hovering in mid-air, but that didn’t stop the Chicago Cubs from dealing elsewhere Monday. They sent Geovanny Soto (C) to the Texas Rangers for a minor league pitcher; and, they sent Paul Maholm (LHP) and Reed Johnson (OF) to the Atlanta Braves for another pair of pitching prospects.

The Rocks Say Rest in Peace, Marvelous Marv

Nobody told him there’d be any possible day like this . . .

Even a man who’s old enough to have seen the Original Mets and lived to tell the tales could barely believe this one. And I’d seen the legend of Marvelous Marv Throneberry, very live, enough to know that everything written about the hapless first baseman long since was bloody well true.

But wherever he is (he died in 1994), if Marvelous Marv was watching the Colorado Rockies play the Cincinnati Reds Sunday, he might have sent down a note to manager Jim Tracy and his crew.