This is a Guest Post by John Guminski. He’s a Junior at the University of Missouri majoring in Journalism.
The latest rumor churning from the mill is Detroit and Boston are both looking heavily into Ryan Dempster. The timing couldn’t be more perfect for Theo Epstein and crew to unload the 35-year-old right-hander, which could happen before the weekend.
Dempster has pitched 33 consecutive scoreless innings and currently leads the majors in ERA (1.86). His trade value couldn’t be any higher.
The question always comes down to getting the right return that fits your team’s future needs.
The Cubs farm system is filled with lots of hitting depth and star power, but lacks pitching outside of Trey McNutt and Dillon Maples. Dealing a guy like Dempster would hopefully bolster the farm system in these areas.
The Tigers’ organization has two prospects in particular the Cubs could realistically inquire about; 3B/ LF Nick Castellanos and RHP Bruce Rondon.
Castellanos, 20, is currently playing in AA where he’s hitting the cover off the ball. Through 33-games, he has posted a .301 average with seven doubles, five home runs, and 17 RBI.
His walk rate, however, is problematic with only four in 136 at-bats. But it’s something that can be corrected, especially under the Cubs’ organizational focus on working the count. He’s also started to play in right field, but his defense projects well enough to stay at third–a position of need for the Cubs.
Bruce Rondon is the closer at AA Erie and is rapidly climbing up the Tiger’s organizational board. In 12-games, he hasn’t given up a run. He has 9 saves in this time while only giving up 6 hits, and 13 strikeouts.
Rondon shows the potential to be a power closer with a fastball touching triple digits on the gun. With Carlos Marmol unable to close out games efficiently, I think looking for a future closer would be a smart move.
Boston Red Sox
The main pitching attraction coming in the Red Sox farm system is Matt Barnes. Barnes was drafted 39th overall in the 2011 draft and is progressing quite well.
He’s currently posting a 3.34 ERA with 63 strikeouts in 59.1 innings at Class A Salem. He features a mid to high 90’s fastball, a plus curveball, and keeps it all under control with only 15 walks.
Theo drafted Barnes, so it is obvious that he likes him, but the Red Sox new front office might determine that Dempster is not worth him.
Overall, there are many teams vying for the service of Ryan Dempster (as many as 10) at the deadline, but Theo/Jed will move him for the prospect package that best serves the Cubs future.