Was Sunday’s outing against Minnesota the last time Ryan Dempster toes the rubber for the Cubs?
Now that Cuban prospect Jorge Soler is signed, trading Dempster appears the next move for the Cubs front office, which should begin the first of many trades for Chicago in the coming weeks.
As recently as late May the Cubs and Dempster confirmed there were discussions about re-signing the 35-year-old to an extension. But the present dire straights of the organization seems to have both sides agreeing on a change of scenery.
Dempster’s 10-5 rights provides him leverage to nix potential trades. But there are certain to be plenty of viable options for Dempster to choose from.
The divisions races in both leagues are hotly contested and the addition of a second wild card only heightens the pursuit of quality starting pitching.
Dempster Has Relatively High Trade Value
There are hardly better trade options for pitching than Dempster (2-3) who’s put together a terrific season, including the third-best ERA (2.31) in the NL.
He’s currently riding a 15 innings scoreless streak; is well on his way to a fifth-consecutive season of 200.0 innings pitched, and would have a far better record if not for the Cubs minuscule run support–seventh lowest in the National League.
Of course, there’s also Dempster’s strong leadership, post-season experience and his expiring 4-year contract that sweetens the deal.
With Team Theo hungry to restock the organization with younger and more affordable talent, dealing Dempster is too killer to pass up.
Where Could Dempster Go?
The Yankees may be one candidate to land Dempster, although they have doubts about Ryan’s transition to the American League and seem more interested in trading for Matt Garza.
Baltimore could be another suitor in the AL. They have the money to increase payroll, but may not have the prospects Chicago values in return.
The Tigers went all-in with the signing of Price Fielder but are playing well below expectations. The AL Central is as winnable as it comes and Justin Verlander is a lone warrior in Detroit’s starting rotation.
In the National League the Giants are contending despite the horrific struggles of Tim Lincecum, who’s steadily declined as the season’s progressed, and could be supplemented with Dempster’s help.
My best guess, however, has Dempster heading to the Dodgers.
Los Angeles, with the majors best record (39-22) and a strong rotation, appears a cinch to make the postseason.
The move would also reunite Dempster with his old pal and former-Cub teammate, Ted Lilly, who’s currently on the 15-day DL with shoulder inflammation.
If the Dodgers are willing to part with its future in order to chase a championship, southern California would be awful inviting for Dempster.
DEMPSTER’S POSSIBLE LAST OUTING AS A CHICAGO CUB
|Sat June 16||BOSTON|
|Fri June 22||@Arizona|
|Wed June 27||NEW YORK METS|
|Tue July 3||@Atlanta|
|Sun July 8||@New York Mets|
|Tue July 10||AS GAME (3 likely starts afterwards)|
|*July 31||Trade Deadline|