Yesterday the Cubs signed free agent pitcher Ryan Dempster to a four-year, $52 million deal (the last year is a player option). Dempster also talked to the Blue Jays, Braves, Dodgers, Yankees, and Mets. Reactions to the deal:
- Newsday’s Ken Davidoff says it "doesn’t seem like a great investment in a 31-year-old without a proven history as a starting pitcher."
- Umpbump’s Paul Moro says "Although he’s on the wrong side of 30, I think that this will be one of the saner deals this offseason."
- Bleed Cubbie Blue says, "Good clubhouse guys aren’t easy to find, and when you have one like Dempster who gets it, in addition to being dedicated to his craft and staying in shape so he can continue to perform at the high level he did in 2008, you keep him."
- Sabernomics says, "Are teams really thinking this guy is a legitimate front-of-the-rotation starter worth $13 million a season for the next four years? … 2008 screams ‘fluke!’"
- ESPN’s Rob Neyer (whose blog is now free) says, "Dempster gave up only 14 home runs in 2008. I don’t believe that number is sustainable."
- Dave Cameron likes the deal for the Cubs, noting that the contract assumes Dempster regresses.
- Ken Rosenthal notes that the Cubs had extra appeal to Dempster because he has 10-and-5 rights with them.
- Dempster has a backloaded contract, but my math says the Cubs will now be above $130MM after arbitration raises. Payroll is expected to rise at least slightly from the $130MM level, but the Cubs don’t have much room in the budget for that lefthanded bat right now.
Tim Dierkes also contributed to this post.