Cubs Working To Move Dempster

The Cubs are working hard to move Ryan Dempster “by the end of the week,” according to one executive who spoke with’s Jayson Stark (Twitter link). Joel Sherman of the New York Post hears that the Cubs don’t want to delay and that Dempster could be “the first domino” for this year’s trade market (all Twitter links). 

The Cubs are exchanging names with teams interested in Dempster, Ken Rosenthal reported today. The Dodgers, Tigers, Braves, Red Sox and Nationals are in the mix for the right-hander, Rosenthal reported. Dempster has the right to veto any trade, but has indicated that he’d be open to joining contending teams.

Dempster, 35, has a 1.86 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 92 innings for the Cubs this year. He earns $14MM in 2012 — more than $6MM between now and the end of the season — but the Cubs are said to be willing to absorb salary to facilitate a deal. Whichever team acquires Dempster won't be eligible to obtain draft pick compensation for him should he depart as a free agent after the season.

81 Responses to Cubs Working To Move Dempster Leave a Reply

  1. Remember92 3 years ago

    Really hope this isn’t the first domino to fall. A starting pitcher with 1 1/2 yrs of control and an era under 2. That will net the Cubs a nice return. Then I’m sure other GM’s will see the return on Ryan and start to make this an even stiffer sellers market…yikes!!

  2. Jimmy Bloomfield 3 years ago

    he only has 1/2…. garza is under team control through 2013 youre mixing them up

  3. Jimmy Bloomfield 3 years ago

    as a cubs fan i would like to see him make ONE more start for us… we’re hot! then deal him and re-sign

    • As a Cub fan Id like to see him dealt before he tweaks his back or gets shelled & has the highest trade value he’s ever had.  Thanks Ryan.  Youre welcome back in 2013.

  4. Lets go Red Sox, this is your chance to solidify that rotation.

    • cobb1918 3 years ago

      I like that trade but only if the BoSox don’t empty the farm for him!

  5. mgsports 3 years ago

    Back to the Marlins or to Nats or Balitmore or Tigers with Barney or Soriano.

    • CHendershott 3 years ago

      Oh man, if the Cubs threw in Barney I don’t see how the Tigers wouldn’t be willing to throw their entire farm at them.

      As a White Sox fan I’d rather the Tigers did not shore up two of their biggest needs in one fell swoop, but a non-partisan look says that is a great match-up…

  6. 23553 3 years ago

    Perfect replacement for Strasburg IMO, not too expensive, and not a long term commitment. Also, while they have, and can easily use, Lannan, the Nats will need a 6th starter for the weekend due to their doubleheader, which fits with Dempster being dealed by the end of the week.

  7. slider32 3 years ago

    I agree Dempster is a perfect fit for the Nats, they could go with a six man rotation the rest of the year. This way they won’t have to shut Stasburg down at all.

  8. a5ehren 3 years ago

    Any word on the kind of return the Cubs are asking for?  He’s obviously going to get  dealt somewhere at this point…

  9. Brent Hatch 3 years ago

    This news, while not a surprise at all, makes me sad.  What an exemplary human being Dempster is.  Losing he and Woody in the same year is a major loss of character and positive leadership in that clubhouse.  Hopefully they get some tremendous value for him, and wouldn’t it be wonderful to see him sign with the Cubs this winter?

    • burtonbball88 3 years ago

      Well we lost Wood and Dempster, but without Zambrano, I’d say that the character and positive leadership can never be worse than 2011.

  10. drumzalicious 3 years ago

    I really think he’s pitching over his head right now and wont be able to sustain it for the rest of the season.

    • asovermann 3 years ago

      His career era since being converted to a starter in chicago is around 3.50, I’m there teams wouldnt mind getting that from him.

      • gamaize 3 years ago

         Which bumps up how much with a switch to an American league team with a DH in place of the pitcher in the lineup.

        • jb226 3 years ago

          Over the half a season hes being acquired for?  I’d say it washes out with the fact that in a first-time hitter-pitcher matchup the advantage typically goes to the pitcher.

          Demp’s a pro.  Whatever team gets him will be lucky to have him.  I don’t think anybody expects a sub-2.00 ERA going forward, but he will help whatever team he joins.

        • asovermann 3 years ago

          2 of the teams interested in him have the best two DH’s in the league in Ortiz and Butler, after those two DH’s are there really any other full time DH’s that pose much of a threat? The DH really is a pretty weak position these days.

        • petrie000 3 years ago

          probably something like .25, at best… Not having to bat also means being able to pitch more innings, though, and more time to work on just pitching in the off-days…

          A good pitcher’s a good pitcher in either league, American League GM’s just like to trot that argument out to drive down trade value for players they want.

  11. sourbob 3 years ago

    The exhausting thing about Dempster trade rumors–other than them going on forever–is how often people make proposals for acquiring him based on the lowest possible estimate of his value over the rest of the season. Yes, he’s 35. Yup, he’ll be a FA. No, you won’t get draft picks. Yes, he’ll probably regress some from his hot start.

    But right now, he’s arguably the most effective available starting pitcher who’s officially on the market, he has a good track record, he’s a top notch clubhouse guy, he’s riding a hot streak, and at least ten teams are in on him. THAT is what is going to set his price. That’s how the trade market works. You pay for upside.

    Figuring your team has a shot at getting him on the cheap while he’s doing this well and there’s this much demand is just ridiculous.

    • cloudrambler 3 years ago

      You don’t pay upside. You pay FMV, which accounts for upside, but also takes in those other values against the other pitchers that are (supposedly) on the market. Cubs aren’t doing themselves any favors trying to deal both Dempster and Garza and to do Dempster first. 

      • sourbob 3 years ago

        Funnily enough, there are multiple columnists saying that dealing Dempster now to help clear the deck to trade Garza later is precisely what the Cubs should do. They may be wrong, but it is a well-discussed notion.

  12. Rick Martin 3 years ago

    Who would the Cubs get in return? What are your thoughts? What are the thoughts of the sportswriters? Could the Cubs get Lannan plus prospects from the Nats? Do the Tigers have anyone the Cubs could use who isn’t named Castellanos or Marte? Would the Dodgers send some young arms plus DeJesus Jr or Sellers or Van Slyke?  Who do you think the Cubs should target?

    • asovermann 3 years ago

      The Cubs would never want Lannan, they’re building for the future

    • Natsfan89 3 years ago

      The Cubs would get Detwiler + prospects from the Nationals. Not the top flight ones like Goodwin, Rendon, or Meyer but still decent prospects like Skole, Freitas, and Rosenbaum.

      • jb226 3 years ago

        Sounds quite good to me.

      • Yeah I agree. Theo’s a smart enough guy that he pick out a few sleepers if need be.  IMO they’ll be under the radar guys like the Miles Head type but more big league ready

      • Hawkguy 3 years ago

         Not so sure about that. I think Meyer is a trade chip the Nats would be willing to give up for Dempster. I also think he could be packaged with Reed Johnson for the Nats to use as a 4 or 5th OF option.

      • Sourbob 3 years ago

        “Sure, he had a five year record of success, was leading the majors in ERA, and there was a ten team budding war, but we offered ’em Ross Detwiler…”

        • Natsfan89 3 years ago

          I’d love to hear what you think a realistic offer from the Nats would be…

          • sourbob 3 years ago

            I don’t know their system all that well. But I think it’s safe to say that bidding wars for top available players are seldom settled by bottom of the rotation arms like Detwiler and Lannan.

            Do those guys have value? Sure, to someone. Do the Nats need them? Not particularly. But just because you have a guy you want to deal and there’s a guy you want does not mean that’s the basis for a deal. Detwiler probably isn’t that useful to the Cubs, either, and Lannan is all but useless.

          • Natsfan89 3 years ago

            Detwiler is 6’5 lefty with a mid 90s fastball whos under club control for the next few years. If he joined the Cubs right now the only pitcher in the Cubs rotation with better stats would be Dempster.

            How you can honestly think he has no value to the Cubs is beyond me.

          • petrie000 3 years ago

            Detwiler’s an interesting piece, honestly. His trade value’s not as high as it could be since he hasn’t pitched well of late, but he’s one of those guy who could be fantastic in a few years… or could crash and burn hard.

          • sourbob 3 years ago

            I didn’t say he had no value. I said he might not be that useful to the Cubs. He’s a worthy enough young pitcher–a guy who’s had mixed results at the big league level but might blossom into a solid 3/4 during his next few years of team control. Kinda like Travis Wood. (See, we already have one of those guys.)

            That said, Detwiler will be 27 years old next season and has been league average-ish so far. He may improve some (probably he will) but he’ll also be maybe 30 and several arbitration raises down the road the next time the Cubs contend.

            The Cubs aren’t going to go into a deadline bidding war looking for not-that-young guys with middle of the road ceilings who’ll be making millions before they can put together a playoff run.

            They’re going to target prospects. Guys with riskier, but potentially brighter futures who won’t be making squat for 2 to 3 years. They won’t nab any absolute top prospects, but there’s no reason they need to unload their best trade chips for mildly useful stuff people have lying around either.

          • sourbob 3 years ago

            I should differentiate though: it’s the talk of a deal built around Lannan that I find ridiculous. The proposed deals built around Detwiler don’t seem like the best way to capitalize on the demand for Dempster, but they’re not terrible proposals. I just think at this point they’re more likely to cash in for prospects.

      • Matt_P102 3 years ago

        If the Cubs can get Detwiler and Skole for Dempster they should do it in a second.

        • Rick Martin 3 years ago

           I originally mentioned Lannan (see waaaay above) since it was the name that came to me. After looking it up, I would, too, prefer Detwiler. Skole looks promising, but he’s just in A ball so I think it would take more than just those two for Dempster or Garza.

          • Matt_P102 3 years ago

            I think Garza will return more than Dempster.

            Dempster is having a career half so far. Over the last few years he’s been a #3 pitcher. He’s better than Detwiler (#4 guy) but it’s reasonably close.

            I don’t really think the Nats trade Detwiler. With Lannan and Wang on the way out, the Nats are low on starting pitchers. If they add Dempster and he and Edwin Jackson leave in FA, they’d be desperate for pitching and have to overpay. And if they traded Detwiler, they’d still need another pitcher for this season once Stras is benched(although a playoff rotation of Gio, J-Zimm, Dempster and Jackson is better than Gio, J-Zimm, Jackson and Detwiler).

            Maybe the Nats would trade Goodwin or Meyer for Garza?

  13. highest bidder wins and Natsfans thats a very mediocre offer

    • Natsfan89 3 years ago

       Mediocre and fair are entirely different things. I’m sure some GM will blow his load for Dempster but despite the year he’s having giving up top prospects for a 35 year old rental with no guarantee of an extension and no draft compensation if he leaves isn’t worth it.

      • natural_light 3 years ago

         ” I’m sure some GM will blow his load for Dempster but despite the year
        he’s having giving up top prospects for a 35 year old rental with no
        guarantee of an extension and no draft compensation if he leaves isn’t
        worth it.”

        I haven’t herd that this trade season, way to be original guy. BTW Rizzo will probably be the load shooter in that story and we will have some very good prospects from whoever lands Demp. Demp wants to come back via FA in any trade to boot.

        • Natsfan89 3 years ago

          Why would expect Rizzo to be the load shooter? Rizzo hasn’t been burned on any trades he’s made.

      • In that case you keep him, there are 10 teams interested in Dempster. A lowball offer of Detwiler as the centerpiece will not win the bid. Sorry to disappoint you

        • Natsfan89 3 years ago

          Detwiler, Skole, Frietas, and Rosenbaum isn’t a lowball offer but I’ll ask you the same question I asked the other guy. What do you think a realistic offer from the Nationals would be?

          And keep in mind the new CBA has completely boned selling teams leverage. Go read Nicholson-Smiths post about it if you don’t believe me.

          • Robert McCuaig 3 years ago

            It’s boned the buyer, not seller.  The price is the price, if Theo doesn’t get what he wants, he moves on to the next team.  And if no teams offer fair trade value, we keep Dempster– a fan favorite and leader in the clubhouse, who may well re-sign this winter.  No big loss.
            Why do some buying teams’ fans think that selling teams are forced to give away quality players just because the team stinks…?!?!  Not the way it works.  Bud is not holding Theo’s feet to the fire to deal everyone another team wants.  
            Ditto for Garza, he’s under control next year and still is an extension candidate.

          • In my honest opinion the Cubs will go after pitching prospects not mid level positional prospect players. If you are offering Detwiler up as the centerpiece you have to go with one of your top 3 pitching prospects (all in low A ball) if not 2. Dempster for Detwiler, Matt Purke/Sammy Solis/Alex Meyer

        • cyberboo 3 years ago

          Under the new CBA, low-ball offers will now be the norm, not the exception, since rentals offer nothing in return for the team trading for them.  Theo and Jed have a choice.  Hold onto Dempster and get a sandwich pick, or trade him for 2 or 3 tier 2 or 3 prospects.  If they hold him, offer 12.5 and he turns it down, the sandwich pick between the first and second round goes to Chicago.  If Pittsburgh sign him and their top 10 pick is protected, their next pick simply disappears.  It doesn’t go to the Cubs in the draft.  The rules have changed and fans expecting teams to pay with elite prospects will be disappointed, because the teams aren’t going to offer anything close to an elite prospect for a rental any longer, putting the pressure on the seller, not the buyer.

          • burtonbball88 3 years ago

            That would be what is offered, and not decided. It is still an opinion of what will happen. You also have to factor in the amount of sellers. More teams are buying and bidding. We don’t really know who is being targeted or offered in these Dempster trade talks. It will be interesting to see if this really affects the trade that drastically. I would still think that teams may just take the chance if they are in the right position and have the right prospects to offer.

    • cyberboo 3 years ago

      Under the rules of the new CBA, teams no longer have to trade top prospects for rentals or one year players.  If Greinke rejects arbitration from Milwaukee with a 12.5 qualifying offer, they receive one sandwich pick, that’s it.  If Pittsburgh signs Greinke, Milwaukee don’t receive their first rounder. If it is below the top ten, it disappears, ceases to exist, with all teams moving up one slot. One comp pick is it, regardless who the player is.  Teams receive zero compensation if a rental walks at the end of the year, which means they aren’t going to trade anything valuable for a Dempster, Garza, Greinke, Hamels, etc.  GM’s will have a choice.  Trade them for a couple of prospects or perhaps a major league player or keep the player, offer arbitration, then get a sandwich pick between the first and second round.  If the player isn’t offered 12.5M, they walk for nothing. Any team that trades elite prospects now for rental players should fire their GM for stupidity.

  14. chris_synan1 3 years ago

    I will give the cubs Punto for Dempster, and that might be too much since he is 35 and a rental

    • BlueSkyLA
      BlueSkyLA 3 years ago

      Ben Cherington, is that really you?

    • natural_light 3 years ago


    • Ray Koenig 3 years ago

      How about the Cubs just trade Dempster to Boston for nothing as part of the ongoing compensation for Epstein. Keep crying, Sox fans.

    • Ptk123 3 years ago

      I will give the Red Sox Soriano and no money for Ellsbury and you pay half his salary!

  15. Frank Richard 3 years ago

    I think a possible deal with the tigers is best maybe sending Dempster, Garza, Barney, and Vitters to Detroit for Castellanos, Turner, Porcello, and lower level prospects. The cubs get 2 major league ready pitchers and the best third base prospect who is blocked and they send a guy who can still fit in the outfield or spot start at third in Vitters. Detroit gets 2 arms for this year and one of which is controlled for next year and a defensive 2B. I think the lower prospects would have to be good also.

  16. Frank Richard 3 years ago

    I think a possible deal with the tigers is best maybe sending Dempster, Garza, Barney, and Vitters to Detroit for Castellanos, Turner, Porcello, and lower level prospects. The cubs get 2 major league ready pitchers and the best third base prospect who is blocked and they send a guy who can still fit in the outfield or spot start at third in Vitters. Detroit gets 2 arms for this year and one of which is controlled for next year and a defensive 2B. I think the lower prospects would have to be good also.

    • Robert McCuaig 3 years ago

      We don’t want to sell all of our chips to Detroit.  Their prospects are not that great, and they don’t want to give up Castellanos.  I’m losing faith in Turner.  The rest seem mediocre at best…

  17. haymaker9 3 years ago

    If the Dodgers offered Eovaldi, Ivan DeJesus Jr, and Dee Gordon (as PTBNL) for Castro and Dempster, who hangs up first?

    • dodgers33dodgers 3 years ago

      probably the cubs

    • BlueSkyLA
      BlueSkyLA 3 years ago

      Castro has to be on the Cubs’ untouchable list.

    • Robert McCuaig 3 years ago

      Cubs’ FO would be laughing too hard to hang up immediately, but they should in that scenario…
      Dee Gordon is Tony Campana in the INF, Eovaldi is not impressive- avg at best, DeJesus Jr has no real tools, a prospect without a pos., speed but weak SB% in MiLB

  18. VDrules 3 years ago

    That would be a really dumb move for the red sox to trade for him.

  19. Cardinals not interested?  I can hardly beleive that.

  20. Heeector 3 years ago

    White Sox get:
    RHP Ryan Dempster
    RHP Rafael Dolis

    Cubs get:
    RHP Simon Castro or RHP Nestor Molina
    SS Tyler Salandino

  21. Frank Richard 3 years ago

    Cubs get: Marcelo Carreno, RHP. Jacob Turner, RHP. Nick Castellanos, 3B. Drew Smyly, LHP, Brenny Paulino, RHP. Tigers get: Matt Garza RHP. Ryan Dempster RHP. Darwin Barney 2B. Josh Vitters 3B.

  22. Braves get:

    Cubs get:
    JR Graham
    Edward Salcedo

    You ask for multiple prospects in the hope that 1 pans out. Both are A ball prospects with a lot of upside.

  23. drabidea 3 years ago

    And it is that kind of mentality that kills your farm system and makes it so you can’t win the world series in future years

  24. cloudrambler 3 years ago

    How much playoff experience does Dempster have 😉

  25. NWDC 3 years ago

    LOL my long lost twin.  Great minds think alike.

  26. What do you mean like giving up Josh Reddick a 40 homer hitter for a replaceable and oft-injured closer?  What what

  27. No he wants top prospects for Dempster how could that kill the farm

  28. Encarnacion's Parrot 3 years ago

    I fail to understand your point, as Reddick has never hit 40 homers, and has only once even gotten to half that total – this season.

  29. cloudrambler 3 years ago

    Not to mention that Reddick is also oft injured…just somehow has escaped that bug this year. A’s gotta be happy now…but we’ll see a couple years down the road.

  30. petrie000 3 years ago

    i don’t see how. for that argument to have any sort of validity you’d have to see an average ERA  for starters in the AL actually higher than those in the NL. as well as higher innings per year average and a larger workload for relievers. To my knowledge none of that is true.

    The argument that it’s tougher to pitch in the AL is based on the illusion that it has better hitters and stronger line-ups… and the assumption that Dempster, who put up a 3.50 ERA over 3 years in a division with Joey Votto, Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder and Brian Braun has somehow never faced ‘real hitting’ like they’ve got in the AL.

  31. Robert McCuaig 3 years ago

    Id take Shelby Miller and Kolten Wong; would be a sweet deal. 2B of the future and a potential top of the rotation starter? Yes, please!

  32. natural_light 3 years ago

     guy let me explain this to you

    Dempster is not guaranteed to come back to chicago this winter, he just said that he would be open to returning to chicago after this season if he gets traded.
    Let that soak in for a minute……………………………….
    …………………………………………………………………  Can you see that it wont hurt his return chances at all if your team wants to win this year then that team will have to overpay to get him. Period. Especially if the cubs pay all or most of his sallery. Think about this the very great Verlander is not even pitching at Dempsters leval ( and Verlander is in my opinion the best pitcher in baseball normally ) and I dont care what anyone says the AL central is as weak as the NL central even though they have the DH. So you must pay to land the hottest pitcher in baseball if your team needs him for that playoff push.

  33. Maybe you guys haven’t been paying attention.  The new CBA agreement means no one will give up a package of top prospects for a rental player.  You’ll be lucky to get one top prospect for Dempster this year.  I’m not going to speculate on who the trade peices would be, but the Cards should at least be interested.

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