3:45pm: ESPN is reporting details of the contract. Dempster gets a $4 million signing bonus, $8MM in 2009, $12.5MM in 2010, $13.5MM in 2011, and a $14MM player option for 2012. He can make additional money based on awards. Looks like the Cubs backloaded the deal to leave payroll room.
11:51am: Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times also says there’s a four-year, $52MM agreement and Dempster will sign the deal today. I consider this an acceptable price. There’s a health risk, but Dempster already had Tommy John surgery. He can probably maintain an ERA below 4.00.
11:47am: Dan Graziano of the Newark Star-Ledger has a source saying the Cubs and Dempster have agreed on a four-year, $52MM deal.
11:24am: SI.com’s Jon Heyman says the Cubs are "making progress" on a deal with Dempster.
10:50am: Rosenthal says the deal would be worth "slightly more than $50 million."
9:53am: According to Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs are close to re-signing Ryan Dempster to a four-year contract. Depending on their ownership situation, the Cubs may still pursue Jake Peavy or Randy Johnson. They could also be in the mix for Rafael Furcal.