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Ryan Dempster’s Bad Trade Karma

By bullpenbrian at 10.04.2012 2 comments.

I received some closure from the Ryan Dempster trade after watching the former-Cub blow his chance to pitch the Rangers to an AL West division title on Wednesday.

Despite an early 5-1 lead, Dempster couldn’t get out of the fourth inning. He departed with no outs, runners on first and second and the Rangers clinging to a 5-3 lead.

Derek Holland came on in relief but allowed both of Dempster’s base runners to score. The Athletics finished the inning having plated six-runs and never looked back winning 12-5 while capturing the AL West crown.

BBTIA.com “Ryan Dempster was bad, lasting just three innings in a must-win game (and, in the process, failing to generate much excitement about any additional post-season starts he may end up making).”

All totaled, Dempster was charged with 5-ER in 3.0 innings…a big-time disappointment in a big-time start.

I hardly had mix feelings about Dempster before he snubbed the Cubs on what appeared to be a lucrative trade with Atlanta this past July. Until then he was, unquestionably, one of my favorite players.

However, Dempster’s decision to veto the trade made it seem he had reneged on his word to help the Cubs out in the best way possible at the non-waiver trade deadline.

Ultimately, Dempster got what he wanted, the chance to play for a contender and pitch in meaningful games. But what was best for Dempster left Team Theo scrambling just minutes before the trade deadline with virtually zero leverage and fortunate they were even able to land two mid-level prospects in return from Texas.

If the way Dempster played matters at the trade deadline makes me bitter, so be it. A man’s only as good as his word…and from my perspective, Dempster sidestepped his promise to the Cubs.

Now, I wouldn’t go as far to say I was rooting against Dempster yesterday, but I didn’t feel badly for him, either. If anything, it feels as if I can close the door on the late July trade-drama and move on.

The Dempster trade will certainly have a longer lasting effect on the Cubs than Demps’ recovery from failing in the clutch with Texas, but while Dempster got what he wanted on July 31st…I felt like he got what he deserved on October 3rd.

How’s that for some trade karma.



  1. J-Huff says:

    I don’t understand why he was so against joining ATL. They too were a playoff contender. ATL is a more pitcher-friendly park in a league without a DH. ATL was a better situation for him.

    For the Cubs, they would’ve entered 2013 with Garza-Samardzija-Delgado-Wood-No. 5 pitcher. Actually, that wouldn’t have been too bad ESPECIALLY if a mid-tier FA were added. Just a lost opportunity.

    • bullpenbrian says:

      The short story, from what I understand, is personal off the field matters discouraged him from accepting the trade to Atlanta…Dempster was going through marital problems before the season (his wife has ties to Atlanta) and also claimed he wanted to be closer to his children and family, which reside out west…hence, his fondness for wanting to join the Dodgers.

      However, there was clearly a lack of communication between Dempster and the front office, otherwise why would Team Theo waste time framing a deal to send Dempster to the Braves?

      The fact Atlanta was offering a lucrative return in the deal just made matters worse…in addition, Dempster’s stubbornness to accept the fact he wouldn’t be traded to Los Angeles put the Cubs in a precarious situation trying to find a suitor for Demps without much leverage as the trade deadline drew to a close.

      In the end, Dempster, it appears, did very little, if anything, to help the Cubs max-out its return for the pitcher at the trade deadline.

      And…there’s no question Dempster is better suited for the NL than facing the more gaudy AL lineups, which is revealed in his nearly 5.00 ERA with Texas.

      Following his poor showing against Oakland on Wednesday…I wouldn’t be surprised if Dempster doesn’t take the bump again this postseason…and even that’s pending as the Rangers must first win the wc play-in game against Baltimore.

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