Ryan Dempster Exercises 2012 Option

Ryan Dempster has exercised his $14MM player option for 2012, the Cubs were informed today according to Gordon Wittenmyer of The Chicago Sun-Times (on Twitter). Dempster hinted at wanting to remain in Chicago beyond next season a few weeks ago. The team confirmed the move on their Twitter feed.

The 34-year-old right-hander just finished his worst season as a full-time starter with the Cubs, pitching to a 4.80 ERA in 202 1/3 innings. His underlying performance was no different than previous years, however. He struck out 8.5 and walked 3.6 batters per nine innings, getting a ground ball 44.1% of the time. Dempster eclipsed the 200 IP plateau for the fourth straight year, every season since he moved back into the rotation in 2008.

Given the underwhelming class of free agent starters, there's a good chance that Dempster could have secured a multi-year contract on the open market this offseason. Instead, he'll join Matt Garza, Randy Wells, and possibly Carlos Zambrano in the Cubs' rotation next summer.

38 Responses to Ryan Dempster Exercises 2012 Option Leave a Reply

  1. MB923 4 years ago

     No surprise there.

  2. kimofromkauai 4 years ago

    Other news – the sun rises in the east.

  3. Cotes56 4 years ago

    I’m not completely surprised, but he isn’t making out like a bandit on this. If he tested free agency I’m sure he would get somewhere around 3 for 30m. He passed up long term security with this deal for what, an extra $4m this season? He will regret it if he has a bad year or an injury.

  4. nycub 4 years ago

    Hoping Demp can bounce back after that disappointing season. He had some horrible starts early on (I think his ERA was upwards of 7+) but was much better as the season progressed. 

  5. stewie75 4 years ago

    Demp is a good guy, him exercising this isn’t such a bad thing. We need pitching BADLY. I’d rather him take the one year deal than see us prob re-sign him for 3 coming off of his worst season. $14MM tryout and ideally we can flip him at the deadline. No downside to this option being picked up at all.

    • they need GOOD pitching badly. When your best pitcher is mediocre you have a problem

      • stewie75 4 years ago

        cubs’ best seems to be garza, with demp not too far behind though. i have faith hoyer & theo can fill out the staff with depth much better than we came into 2011 with.

  6. bigpat 4 years ago

    He is a pretty good pitcher, and they surely got their money’s worth the first few years of the deal. He started off terrible this season but got back to his normal self as the season went on.

    I think their coach did a horrible job with managing him last year. I seen numerous games where they left him in too long and his numbers really took a hit. I appreciate that he stinks against Pittsburgh though. 

    • stewie75 4 years ago

      quade did that with EVERY pitcher. which doesn’t make much sense considering the bullpen was prob our best team asset. 

      • Matt Mitchener 4 years ago

        the bullpen was overworked because of the crappy 4th and 5th starters. I don’t know what choices he had.

  7. Joshua Edwards 4 years ago

    Dumpster was looking at a 2yr/20mil deal or 3yr/30mil–but doubted the Cubs would offer that. And he doesn’t want to leave Chicago.

    So, he took 14mil for one year and could still sign an extension for the next year or two at 6-8 million per,  and effectively get the same money. But he’ll have a better chance to stay in Chi-town for the rest of his career this way.

    Frankly, he’s a leader on the team, he keeps guys loose, and his Harry Caray impression is fantastic. He can still be a middle-of-the-rotation pitcher with a few strong games (and bad ones) sprinkled in.

    He’s getting overpaid this year but I don’t think the Cubs could get much better pitching for about the same money.

  8. nycub 4 years ago

    Also–“possibly Carlos Zambrano”???

    Theo Epstein needs to work some magic and ship him the hell out of Chicago. Guy shoulda been gone long ago. 


    • Joshua Edwards 4 years ago

      I agree–but pitching is at a premium. And if he doesn’t look willing to keep Zambrano, or talk him up as a power pitcher, then his leverage in a trade is so weak he gets nothing in return. 

      And from last August to this one, Zambrano was 17-6 for a crappy Cubs team. So he can still offer some team something. You’d hate to give that up AND pay for it AND still need a pitcher.

      So Theo is smart to talk about holding onto assets–even if he has no desire or intention to keep some of them.

      • baseball52 4 years ago

        Power pitcher? Try sinker baller. He tops out at like 95, if that.

  9. Good to hear. Great clubhouse guy and a solid starter.

  10. cubsfan97 4 years ago

    I would have preferred he declined it, but oh well, its not the end of the world.  He earned the right to exercise it.  I dont see him fitting into our long term plans, but hes a class act and I wouldnt hold anything against him for exercising it. 

    • touchmymonkey 4 years ago

      I was actually hoping he did pick up the option – I had fears of him declining and signing a 3yr deal with cubs and then finding out last year wasn’t a fluke. Now if he reverts back to 09 or 10 form we have the entire year to talk exclusively to him about a 2yr extension. Slight overpay but still good to have in the clubhouse so no big deal.

  11. John Arguello 4 years ago

    Dempster’s FIP and xFIP numbers have been remarkably consistent over the past 3-4 years, suggesting that if the Cubs put a competent defense around him, his results should improve. 

  12. optionn 4 years ago

    Theo will unload Zambrano-  will pay most of the salary or swap bad contracts.  Theo has to do that in order to look good in front of his new boss.

  13. disgustedcubfan 4 years ago

    Just another one of Hendry’s awful contracts the Cubs have to ride out.
    With $32 mill coming of the books next year in just Dempster and Zambrano’s money, hopefully Theo will do something smart with that cash.

  14. demonopie 4 years ago

    Funny, not too long ago when Demp was the stopper and at top form none of these people were around. Have a bad-mediocre year and they come scurrying out of the woodwork. Dempster has earned his pay in more ways than on the field and it’s a shame some people are so shallow they can’t appreciate this fact.

  15. vtadave 4 years ago

    Guy has four straight 200+ inning seasons with no higher than a 4.08 FIP.  Hard to turn down $14 million, but I think he could have gotten something like 3/27 in a thin FA pitching class.

  16. legaryd 4 years ago

    Dempster’s put up 9.9 WAR in the 3 years since he signed his new deal.  Considering that wins on the market are worth about $5 million a win, he’s been worth just under $50 million.  He’s been paid $38 million over the past 3 years, so he’s been worth it.

    Also, considering he put up 2.8 WAR in his worst year ever as a starter, and at 34, not too old, he’s worth worth exactly the $14 million option he exercised and a good bet to be worth the money going forward.

  17. MB923 4 years ago

    Innings pitched is managerial decision.

  18. nathanalext 4 years ago

    I would hate to be in the fanbase of the team that did a deal like that.

  19. tacko 4 years ago

    Because the Cubs are the only franchise that gives out bad contracts.

  20. demonopie 4 years ago

    hate is a strong word.

  21. bonestock94 4 years ago

    Pitcher wins are a stupid statistic and are not indicative of a pitcher’s talent. In case you haven’t noticed, the Cubs are typically bad.

  22. touchmymonkey 4 years ago

    Those are horrible numbers! The only issue i have is that they include his time in FLA so doesn’t really count since neither of those  teams were technically in his division at the time. They also include his stats as a closer and you neglected to show his stats against the other teams in the division. Last 4 yrs as a starter in the central division 5-5 against Stlouis, 11-3 against milwaukee, 4-5 against the reds, 5-5 against the pirates and 3-5 against houston. thats 28-23 against his division. Not great but certainly not as bad as the cherry picked stats you chose to throw out there. Not even going to mention how w/l record is not best way to judge a pitcher.

  23. disgustedcubfan 4 years ago

    In that “walk a thon” game, Pinella is the goof who was not smart enough to get him out of there.
    A five game series and Lou thought he would leave him out there to work his way thru it.  Thanks Lou.

  24. bonestock94 4 years ago

    Yea that’s pretty bad. How many games though, small sample sizes are subject to anomalies. Also, I’d like to his FIP for those matchups too.

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