Rangers Acquire Ryan Dempster

The Rangers acquired Ryan Dempster from the Cubs for minor league third baseman Christian Villanueva and minor league right-hander Kyle Hendricks.  The Braves and Dodgers were favored at various points for Dempster, but the Rangers jumped in and made the move and the 35-year-old approved the deal.

Ryan Dempster - Cubs (PW)

Dempster was drafted by the Rangers in the third round way back in 1995 and was traded to the Marlins the following year.  In recent years, he's been a reliable starter for the Cubs, acquiring 10-and-5 rights.  The Rangers' need for starting pitching was heightened when Colby Lewis went down this month. 

Dempster posted a 2.25 ERA with 7.2 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 and a 42.1% ground ball rate in 104 innings with the Cubs this year.  He's earning $14MM — nearly $5MM between now and the end of the season — and will hit free agency this fall.

The Rangers won't be eligible to obtain draft pick compensation for Dempster, since they're acquiring him midway through the last year of his contract.  If the Cubs had kept Dempster, they could have made him a one-year qualifying offer following the season and been eligible for a compensatory pick in 2013.

Villanueva, 21, has a .285/.356/.421 batting line in 425 plate appearances with Class A Myrtle Beach this year. The third baseman entered the 2012 season as the 100th-best prospect in MLB, according to Baseball America. He has a .286/.350/.438 batting line in four minor league seasons.

Hendricks, 22, has a 2.82 ERA with 7.7 K/9 and 1.0 BB/9 in 130 2/3 innings over the course of 20 starts at Myrtle Beach. The 6'2" right-hander has 150 strikeouts and just 21 walks in 166 1/3 innings since being selected in the eighth round of the 2011 draft.

The Braves nearly acquired Dempster for Randall Delgado, but the trade didn't go through.  Instead, Atlanta obtained Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson from the Cubs in a trade that was announced last night.

ESPN's Buster Olney first reported the trade and Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reported which prospects were involved. MLB.com's Ken Gurnick and Scott Miller of CBS Sports had early word of the deal, which made it in just under the trade deadline buzzer. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported that the Cubs would obtain two Class A prospects.  Photo courtesy of US Presswire.

140 Responses to Rangers Acquire Ryan Dempster Leave a Reply

  1. Wilsonl 3 years ago

    Good move; but is Profar or Olt involved? Please not.

  2. swing1 3 years ago

    Who saw this coming? Hope they didn’t give up too much for this guy.

  3. mike melusky 3 years ago

    Wonder if Martin Perez is part of the deal. (Edit, a pair of class A arms.)

    • Chase Johnston 3 years ago

      Wait, The Rangers balked at including Perez for Greinke but you think he’s in for dempster?

  4. Dang that was close

  5. Mikey Roederer 3 years ago

    Please let the Cubbies get something good in this trade…We did decent yesterday, but we could use a big name here!!

  6. Squirrel57 3 years ago

    And it’s 1:00

  7. Karkat 3 years ago

    Nice move for Texas to keep up with the Joneses (the Greinkes?). I trust they didn’t give up too much for the rental.

  8. JacobyWanKenobi 3 years ago

    I’m just happy it wasn’t New York. Nothing against Dempster.

  9. greengrove 3 years ago

    They’re going to the series!!!
    …Then losing

  10. ACraig21 3 years ago


  11. DerekJeterDan 3 years ago

    He makes up for the loss of Colby Lewis. It’s a good, not perfect counter to the Angels move. Dempster might have difficulty adjusting to the American League but its an ok move. Good character guy.

    • erm016 3 years ago

      Character doesn’t win ballgames. I’m still not sure he’s a good character guy the way he did the Cubs wrong the last two weeks.

      • CandyMaldonadoLand 3 years ago

        bitter Braves fan chiming in

        • Richard Cleven 3 years ago

          No. bitter Cub fan. Much rather have Delgadeo.

        • alxn 3 years ago

          implying braves fans aren’t ecstatic that they didn’t give up Delgado for 2 months of Dempster

      • he did the cubs wrong cause he used his right to block a trade, yeah that makes sense. . . .

        • Yes, it does make sense. He approved the Braves as a possible destination, then retracted. Yes, that does mean he did them wrong and cost them a ton of leverage. Don’t reneg on your word – that’s a part of your character.

          • if he would of approved it that would mean that he signed the papers, he obviously didnt, thats why he was never was traded to the braves, the papers were never signed, and he came right out after the trade came out, he came out and said that it wasnt true.

          • You’re telling me that Theo approached the Braves and did the leg-work, wasting his time without having any inclination as to whether Dempster would have approved the trade? No. That’s why Cubs management and fans have soured on Dempster. Not because he invoked his due 10-5. It was because he cost them leverage by initially being open to the Braves and later retracting. Even after the Delgado mess, Demp said he’d accept a trade to Atlanta, further angering Cubdom. So no, while he signed no papers for the TRADE, trust me that Theo an co. have no interest in spinning their wheels and had his DESTINATION approval.

          • Also, his reason behind vetoing the deal was on principle. He didn’t like that Theo and co. didn’t approach him to inform him that the deal was on the table. Braves beat reporters leaked it, and he was offended. Rather than not going based on destination, it was to prove a punitive point. So no, he did not approve the trade. What he DID approve was the destination, only to say “nah, I’d actually rather go to LA.”

          • Which is also a lie.

          • and that is his RIGHT.

          • Which just goes to show that he lied. He had to register exercising his 10-5 rights with MLBPA and league. He vetoed the trade.

      • BlueCatuli 3 years ago

        Remind me what he did again?

  12. iTarget Designs 3 years ago

    The Shaky Glove takes his talents to Arlington!

  13. dc21892 3 years ago

    I feel bad for Demspter. His dream season comes to an end soon. He is going to get shelled in home starts.

    • CandyMaldonadoLand 3 years ago

      The year he went 17-6 with a 2.96 ERA wasn’t too shabby either.

  14. Michael Wadle 3 years ago

    Thank God he is gone….someone else’s headache. Woohoo!

  15. jwsox 3 years ago

    He will be a solid middle of the order pitcher not a top flight guy in the AL but not bad at all as long as olt or profar are not involved this is a solid trade

  16. RaiderNation408 3 years ago

    And Billy Beane didn’t make a move…..SMH

  17. East Coast Bias 3 years ago

    Relieved Yankees did not make this trade. I wonder what Texas had to give up…

  18. Funkhouser Jr. 3 years ago

    I loved Dempster as a Cub, but he’s never been a true Ace. After the chaos that’s happened in the past month, he needed to be traded. Hopefully the Rangers ponied up with something halfway decent.

    • CandyMaldonadoLand 3 years ago

      What “chaos”? Exercising his 10 and 5 rights? Derrek Lee did it when the Angels wanted him and he wound up getting shipped to the Braves. Carlos Lee blocked that trade to the Dodgers earlier this year also.

  19. Sky14 3 years ago

    Just goes to show how unreliable Jim Bowden is.

  20. Ian Masterson 3 years ago

    Wow. That’s… a bitterly disappointing ending to all this.

  21. HarshReality666 3 years ago

    Lol…he is going to be destroyed in a bandbox worse than Wrigley

  22. Brandon Smith 3 years ago

    Two Class-A pitchers going to Cubs

  23. HolaAmigas 3 years ago

    Is this supposed to counter the Greinke deal? Hm.

    • JacobyWanKenobi 3 years ago

      No, it’s supposed to strengthen their rotation to better the team.

      • HolaAmigas 3 years ago

        As long as they didn’t give up Profar or Olt, I think it works. Not Josh Johnson, but I think it works for the Rangers.

  24. M.Kit 3 years ago

    2 Single A pitchers for Dempster is the word right now

  25. stever 3 years ago

    Big deal – Dempster not what he used to be.

    • TheFallenSoldier 3 years ago

      he is having a career best year, i believe he is still leading the NL in ERA.

      • oz10 3 years ago

        And Millwood lead the NL in ERA before he came to Arlington and he has never been the same pitcher since.

        • MetsMagic 3 years ago

          No, Kevin Millwood lead the American League in ERA with Cleveland. Millwood was very good in his first and last seasons with Texas.

    • Thats weird he has had the best era in the league about all season

    • Yea, what are you talking about? Dempster is much better than he used to be. Dempster was never really very good until he moved into a starter role with the Cubs.

    • howiehandles 3 years ago

      new to baseball? He’s 117-121 lifetime, and he has career best WHIPs and ERA this season? What exactly did he used to be?

      • CandyMaldonadoLand 3 years ago

        Come on, we all know that a pitcher’s record is a stat that is pretty much useless. If you wanna go old school, ERA determines a lot more.

  26. bigpat 3 years ago

    I’m guessing Texas gave up a very nice piece or two because it took forever for Dempster to get dealt. I hope some more deals come in because it’s been pretty disappointing thus far. Most of the deals came in days before the deadline.

  27. Robert Daniels 3 years ago

    Rosenthal saying two class A players. One a picther, one a position player

  28. Steve Keasling 3 years ago

    This is obviously a big lie! The Dodgers were the only team in on Dempster, and traded a bag of balls for him when Ned won and Theo and Jed caved in, as the Dodgers had all the leverage here….

    • M.Kit 3 years ago

      Or its called the Rangers swooped in last minute, as teams do, lol

    • Steve Keasling 3 years ago

      ^ oh look, this thingy here tells me there are 11 (as of now) Dodger fans angry about being wrong. Sorry Dodgers, Cubs didn’t give you Dempster for free…..and other teams wanted him, and had the man parts to make a trade.

  29. Cubs27 3 years ago

    Soooo… Perez?

    • WrigleyTerror37 3 years ago

      no not even close

      • Robert Daniels 3 years ago

        Agreed. Gonna have to wait till Garza to even think about getting Perez

    • asovermann 3 years ago

      Hope for one of their low level bats like Sardinas, Odor or Alfaro, but even then thats very doubtful for Dempster.

  30. Chicago’s FO can’t be happy that they went from getting Randall Delgado + a prospect or two to a couple of A-ballers…. depending on who they are of course

  31. HarshReality666 3 years ago

    Chicago had to dump him for what they could. Dempster had all the power and he would have been crushed by the drunks after vetoing the Atlanta deal.

  32. Clay Chason 3 years ago

    I was hoping he would end up in the AL, let the regression begin…..

  33. sethss 3 years ago

    at least Texas actively addressed their need; meanwhile … back here in The Bronx … Casey McGeHee


    I applaud the Rangers (no sarcasm at all) for plugging that hole

    • jjs91 3 years ago

      WHat were the yankees big needs exactly? The rangers needed dempster more than the yankees did.

    • MetsMagic 3 years ago

      The Yankees didn’t need to make a big move, I don’t see anyone possibly taking them over in the division. Yankee fans get upset whenever someone else makes a big splash and they didn’t.

      • bobskube 3 years ago

        A. Did you read the post above yours? He doesn’t seem upset.


        B. dempster is no where in the vicinity of being a big splash.

    • YanksFanSince78 3 years ago

      Yanks didn’t really need another mid-back guy IMO. They needed a #1 or #2 type if they wanted to make an impact. Would’ve been nice to get Demp but I’m not mad at them for not.

  34. Brian 3 years ago

    It makes you wonder how much of a dropoff the Rangers prospects are from those in Dodgers offer. If there’s a major difference, I think the Cubs overplayed their hand a little bit considering how little leverage they had from Dempster’s original refusal to go to the Braves.

    • They are actually a major upgrade.

      Villanueva was a top 100 prospect at the beginning of 2012 and Hendricks is a good young pitcher. Not Delgado good, but he has stuff and control to make it to MLB. Sits 90 mph and can run it up to 93-94. Exceptional control and command. Not afraid to through any pitch in any count and throws strikes. Saw him pitch several times while he was in high school in Capistrano a few years back and in one AA start in Frisco last year as well as big league camp in spring training.

      Only time I saw Villanueva play was in spring training and he struck me as a small guy at the time. What did impress me was his defense. If he bulks up a bit he could be a fixture at 3B for Cubs.

  35. Robert Daniels 3 years ago

    Cubs get P Kyle Hendricks and 3B Christian Villanueva

  36. pmitchell 3 years ago

    I trust Nolan and Jon. They have had great success in adding key players at this time of year. They know what they are doing. Lets’ go Rangers.

  37. WrigleyTerror37 3 years ago

    Rangers send 3B Christian Villanueva and RHP Kyle Hendricks to Cubs for Dempster.

    • Robert Daniels 3 years ago

      To be honest, I think that’s fairly solid for a team that really had no leverage

  38. HarshReality666 3 years ago

    If you’re going to trade for pitching, why not acquire Grienke?

    • PiratesFan 3 years ago

      Much more expensive, plus the Angels already got him.

      • HarshReality666 3 years ago

        Hamilton is anything but a sure bet to resign, your pitching staff is a mess, some of your key players aren’t getting any younger and you need to take advantage of these opportunities.

        • PiratesFan 3 years ago

          Angels felt the same way, that they needed to take advantage of the opportunity. They just beat Texas to the punch.

    • Brian 3 years ago

      I don’t think the Angels would trade within the division, especially to the team ahead of them.

  39. notsureifsrs 3 years ago

    lollin. where is that cubstalk guy who couldn’t stop yapping about all the cubs’ leverage and how enormous hauls they were sure to get

    • Robert Daniels 3 years ago

      To be honest, Kyle Hendricks and Christian Villanueva are good hauls for a team that had no leverage. As a Cub fan I don’t mind this trade.

      • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

        as not-very-good hauls go, this was a pretty good one

      • Much, MUCH better return than Allen Webster. Together these two dont offer the upside potential of Delgado, but both should be MLB players.

  40. PiratesFan 3 years ago

    Cubs won this trade.

    • oz10 3 years ago

      To be seen. Could be a very even trade or not. Those two guys could never make it to the Majors and Dempster could be that little extra the Rangers need or completely vice versa.

      • Right, but either way, the Cubs don’t lose. Even if Demp won those ten starts, they’re not doing anything for the Cubs other than posturing them for a lower draft pick in next year’s draft.

    • Agreed. ~10 starts and he walks? His ten starts don’t matter anyhow, so I’ll take the #100 BP prospect.

      • S OB 3 years ago

        They would have also received a DP had they seen him walk in the offseason, so that needs to be considered when pondering the return.

        Considering the season he is having and the number of teams looking for a starter, plus factoring in the much higher return they were able to taste before he cut the legs out from under them; they lost this one and merely recovered a fraction of the value they should have been able to get.

  41. Jon Taddeo 3 years ago

    I’m so glad the Yankees didn’t overpay to get this guy…I think he’ll get shelled in the AL even though he’ll wind up getting more run support so the wins will probably stay the same by the ERA will go through the roof

    • CandyMaldonadoLand 3 years ago

      Thanks for the prediction for what could have happened if he were traded to NYY.

      • jjs91 3 years ago

        The rangers also play in the al so it’s actually still the same prediction…

  42. HolaAmigas 3 years ago

    Is this a good deal for the Cubs? I sort of feel bad by how Dempster was throughout this entire process.

    • HarshReality666 3 years ago

      Chicago’s hands were tied by Dempster. They did about as well as they could

    • BitLocker 3 years ago

      crapshoot on prospects. Cubs are going to find out in three to five years. Though, stats in A-Ball are very good. However, it’s only A ball.

    • Sky14 3 years ago

      I think they did very well considering they had about ten minutes before receiving nothing for Dempster.

  43. Jeff Snedden 3 years ago

    Smart, solid move by Texas. Wait everyone out and snag Dempster on the cheap.

    • Wasnt cheap. Two very good young prospects including the best catching prospect in Rangers system for 2 months of Dempster. MUCH better offer than anything Dodgers offered.

  44. CrimsonBirds 3 years ago

    Wow another pitcher..

  45. Philip Marlowe 3 years ago

    Anyone have any scouting info on Villanueva and Hendricks?

  46. UnbaisedSoxFan 3 years ago

    Good Trade for the Rangers! Needed to do this after LA made a move.

  47. Frank Lapidus 3 years ago

    Good deal for both Cubs and Dodgers…Rangers is wait and see.

    Cubs got a decent haul, and Webster was a better prospect, glad the Dodgers keep him.

    • Braaaaaak Wrong answer. But thanks for playing.

      Villanueva is a top 100 prospect (BA #100). Grades as a “B”. Plays great defense at 3B.
      Webster top 100 prospect (BA #95). Grades as a “B”. Is two years older than Villanueva.
      A wash.
      And that doesnt include a Hendricks, who has exceptional control and command and will make a MLB squad.

      • Frank Lapidus 3 years ago

        dude I love how you whip out BA like it’s the end and be all. Webster is putting up numbers comparable in the stats that matter to Zack Wheeler and they are the same age. And before you run off and go look up their ERA, stats that matter are k/9, bb/9, hr/9, and FIP.

  48. Jerry Barrett 3 years ago

    Not only did they get dempster but they got his catcher too

    • M.Kit 3 years ago

      Forgot about that. Wonder if Soto will be Dempster’s personal catcher

  49. Lunchbox45 3 years ago

    congrats to the fans of teams who actually cared enough to improve today.

  50. Eduardo Medina 3 years ago

    not bad at all!!!

  51. Phil Meyer 3 years ago

    Check out Dempster’s Interleague numbers. He’ll get rocked in the AL, especially pitching in that LL park in Arlington.

    • vtadave 3 years ago

      Phil – According to my calculations, he has a 3.03 ERA in interleague action since 2009. What am I missing?

      • southbaytrojan 3 years ago

        Like i said above, he has a whip of 1.43. Him pitching in that joke of a ballpark won’t end well.

  52. southbaytrojan 3 years ago

    Career interleague numbers:

    11-15, 35 GS, 4.63 ERA, 1.465 WHIP

  53. BlueSkyLA
    BlueSkyLA 3 years ago

    The Mystery Team strikes again!

  54. ChadSmooth 3 years ago

    This is an old technique the Rangers used…. its called desperation. Panicked when Angels landed Greinke. Have fun struggling in the heat, and getting rocked in the AL. I like Ryan Dempster, but he’s an NL pitcher and having arguably the best season of his career.

    I think the Cubs really wanted one of the Braves young SP and Dempy wouldn’t go… sucks for Theo and Jed would of been a nice grab for a rebuilding team.

    • M.Kit 3 years ago

      How did they panic? They didn’t give up any of their top prospects

  55. The rich got richer again today , boy that Rangers farm system is stacked its no wonder they’ve gotten so many guys so easily at the deadline…

  56. Thomas Webb 3 years ago

    Nice move by the Rangers

  57. Good riddance to Dempster. Cubs got a top 100 prospect and a good young pitcher in exchange for a 2 month rental of the bum. Nice job Hoyer.

  58. HaloeD 3 years ago

    pujols career vs dempster: .327/.433/.782 with 1.215 OPS. i like this trade 😀
    hes gonna get shelled in arlington

  59. swing1 3 years ago

    Well on a personal basis, I’d have to agree too.

  60. asovermann 3 years ago

    Surprising, I thought they’d move Headley, Denorfia, and Gregerson.

  61. How is Arlington any different than pitching at Wrigley with/without the wind blowing out?

  62. jjs91 3 years ago


  63. S OB 3 years ago

    Ichiro Suzuki
    Zack Greinke
    Hanley Ramirez
    Hunter Pence
    Shane Victorino
    Ryan Dempster
    Anibal Sanchez
    Wandy Rodriguez
    Francisco Liriano
    Brett Myers
    Marco Scutaro
    A.J Happ
    Brandon Lyon
    Paul Maholm
    Johnathan Broxton
    Edward Mujica
    Chris Johnson
    Travis Snyder
    Carlos Lee
    Gaby Sanchez
    Geovany Soto
    Omar Infante
    Brandon League
    and many more

    …this trade deadline has been extreme, especially against
    something like last year where Pence, Bourn, Jimenez and a handful of
    relievers headlined the moves.

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