Red Sox Aggressively Pursuing Ryan Dempster

The Red Sox are 9.5 games out of the division lead in the AL East, but they're just 1.5 back from a wild card spot, and look to be interested in fortifying their rotation. ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that Boston is being aggressive in its pursuit of Ryan Dempster.

The 35-year-old Dempster, who is owed roughly $6.1MM over the remainder of the season, is in the midst of a very strong campaign. He's posted an MLB-leading 1.86 ERA to go along with a 7.3 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, and 42.5% groundball rate in 92 innings to date. Stats such as FIP (3.13) and SIERA (3.82) aren't as fond of Dempster's work, and he went through a short DL stint with a lat strain, but Dempster would be a clear upgrade to a Red Sox rotation that has compiled a 4.77 ERA this season.

Dempster has the power to veto a trade, but will reportedly consider being shipped to any contender. He's drawn interest from as many as ten teams, and prior to this point, the Dodgers and Tigers were thought to be the most serious players for the right-hander's services. Other interested parties include the Yankees, Braves, and Indians.

As a reminder, any team that acquires Dempster would be receiving a pure rental. Baseball's new collective bargaining agreement states that teams are only eligible to receive compensatory picks for players who spent the entirety of the season with that club.

A deal between the two sides would make for an interesting matchup, as it would represent the first deadline deal between new Cubs president Theo Epstein and his former assistant GM (and now Red Sox GM) Ben Cherington.

213 Responses to Red Sox Aggressively Pursuing Ryan Dempster Leave a Reply

  1. johnsilver 3 years ago

    Not good..

    give them Avilles and Punto, then if they complain? Throw in Lars Anderson.. More than Dempster is worth…

    • redsox4434 3 years ago

      So who would play shortstop? Ciriaco? Would Lillibridge be the backup infielder?

      • cubs223425 3 years ago

        Lillibridge just got kicked to the curb.

      • whosurpapa 3 years ago

        I wouldn’t mind Ciriaco playing short… he had a great ST and is doing great in AAA… he deserves a shot.

        • Ciriaco had a good start ill give you that but we don’t know how long that will last I say give them Shoppach and Nava. 

    • Njriv 3 years ago

       Cubs are strictly going for prospects

    • Colin Christopher 3 years ago

      What do you mean, “if they complain?” Dempster has been one of the better pitchers in baseball this season and Boston’s rotation has been mediocre. It’s not like Boston is in the catbird’s seat here, dictating all the terms to teams they trade with. The Cubs won’t complain…they’ll just say no and deal him to someone who brings them a real offer.

      • johnsilver 3 years ago

         “they’ll just say no and deal him to someone who brings them a real offer.”

        Now your talkin’ :-)

        Take him away from heah…

      • sdsuphilip 3 years ago

        he’s been lucky, decent number 3 tho.

        • Calling Dempster lucky is probably based on the sabermetrics stuff, but having watched him pitch, he has continued to develop as a thinking pitcher.  Most people say 30 something year old players are pretty much done learning on the field, but he has done it.  He’s so much more economical in his pitch counts, walking fewer (is that luck too?), giving up fewer hits.  Especially getting the ball to spots where he needs to in order to get the hitters out.  Looking at the mega breakdown of every statistical possibility doesn’t explain everything nor does it make people who super study that stuff experts.  If he was really lucky, he would have won about 4 more of his starts that the Cubs either didn’t give him enough support in or blew for him.

          • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

            “the sabermetrics stuff”

            this should be good

            “having watched him pitch, he has continued to develop as a thinking pitcher”

            yup, it is

            “Looking at the mega breakdown of every statistical possibility doesn’t explain everything”


          • Let_Timmy_Smoke 3 years ago

            Where’s Ken Tremendous when you need him?

          • ellisburks 3 years ago

            That was the greatest website of all time. Why do the good ones always die young?

          • Karkat 3 years ago

            Thank you for saving me from having to make this reply myself.

          • sdsuphilip 3 years ago

            He has a 244 BABIP, 85.5% LOB , and 6.7 % HR/FB % those will regress to his career norms of 300, 72.2%, and 10.2%, his xFIP is nearly identical to his last 4 seasons, he has been extremely lucky.

        • YanksFanSince78 3 years ago

          Demp is not as good as his current 1.86 ERA shows but he has a very good 3.13 FIP and a decent 3.71 xFIP. In addition, he pitches in a hitter friendly park and has much better numbers on the road as well with a 1.90 road FIP.

          Demp certainly shouldn’t cost anyone a top 50 mlb prospect but he should certainly fetch better than Aviles and Punto as one suggested. 

          And the NL Central isn’t the doormat that it use to be with the Cards, Brews and Reds ranking among baseballs best offensive teams.

          As for a “lucky pitcher” that’s usually obvious among pitchers who allow lots of runners but leaves them stranded, usually pulling some sort of “Houdini” like performance. Demp in his last 5 starts vs the MIL, MIN, BOS, AZ and NYM has allowed 25 hitters to reach base in 33 IP and only 6 walks. That’s not luck. I wouldn’t expect “ace like” performance for the rest of the year but let’s all give Demp credit because he is pitching at a high level right now and has been doing so all season.

          • sdsuphilip 3 years ago

            You just basically validated what I said in many more words, he has pitched like a number 3 and has been extremely lucky.

          • YanksFanSince78 3 years ago

            Yes…I said EXACTLY what you said except my “many more words” were used to show “facts” which actually showed that he hasn’t been lucky because his peripherals suggest that while he may not be as good as a 1.86 guy he’s still pitching at a high level.

          • sdsuphilip 3 years ago

            You showed that he has been lucky, as you said his periphals suggest he hasn’t pitched as well as 1.86 guy. His periphals show he has pitched like a number 3, as I said.

      • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

        well there goes that very serious idea. thanks for setting him straight

    • baseball52 3 years ago

      You’re talking every penny of Soriano in this situation, as well, I’m guessing.

      • cubs223425 3 years ago

        Pssh, that STILL wouldn’t make up for trying to grab Ryan Dempster’s sub-2.00 ERA for guys I wouldn’t even want on my AAA team.

    • Why would the Cubs want two washed up old failures in place of potentially one of the biggest trade commodities available? You, sir, need to hurry up and find your marbles; it appears you have lost them.

      • vtadave 3 years ago

        That was funny, almost as funny as a Dempster for Aviles/Punto/Anderson “offer”.

        • I know. At least give us a pitcher. After all, you are getting a high-quality pitcher, at least as this year’s stats would say. If we trade Dempster, we can’t exactly replace him well in the roty. Unless they’re giving Wells or Volstad another chance, which I hope they don’t do for Volstad because the guy’s awful, then we at least need a pitcher for the future.

          • Wells has been just as horrible.  Didn’t make it out of the 2nd a couple of days ago at Iowa.  Yuck.

          • That’s my point. The Cubs don’t have a significant guy to take Dempster’s spot if a trade comes around. We either need to get a Major League pitcher or find one in AAA.

      • johnsilver 3 years ago

         Maybe because he isn’t even needed? Boston has 5 SP. They don’t need to waste resources/prospects on another bedard type rental like they did last season who has never proved he can even be succesfull LT in the AL, much less the AL East.

        I already went over this.. They are not going to sit down beckett, lester, nor Bucholz and have Morales and Doubrant. Dempster isn’t worth the potential upgrade..period..

        The Cubs need to peddle this ware elsewhere I hope and this is another false rumor.

        • The Cubs aren’t the one shopping Dempster to the Sox. Read the title. The Sox are “aggressively pursuing” Dempster. If they didn’t want nor need him, they wouldn’t be aggressively pursuing him now would they?

        • cubs223425 3 years ago

          Boston has 5 SPs, 4 of whom have an ERA over 4.40 (the 5 starts from Morales being the exception). There is a difference between 5 SPs and 5 GOOD SPs. The Red Sox have 2 of those–Lester and Beckett. Until Buchholz can get his ERA (or, at least, his FIP) under 4.50, I’m going to keep him in the camp of bad pitchers.

          I hope the Cubs trade Dempster to another AL East team, and he leads that team to the playoffs over Boston, just because you refuse to use legitimate logic.

          • johnsilver 3 years ago

             Bucholz has been one of the better SP since Jun BTW, no chance he sits for anyone.

            “I hope the Cubs trade Dempster to another AL East team”

            You and me both :-)

          • cubs223425 3 years ago


            Buchholz: 4 GS, 30 IP, 2.40 ERA, 4.13 FIP, 0.5 WAR
            Dempster: 3 GS, 22 IP, 0.00 ERA (part of that, what, 32-innings scoreless streak?), 2.52 FIP, 0.7 WAR

            I’ll take the greater ERA, FIP, WAR, and overall production on the season.

          • Karkat 3 years ago

            Aw man we could’ve gone into the All-Star break at 43.2-42.8 if we had Dempster instead of Buchholz!!

            (And you know, Ryan Dempster is old and a FA after this year. Buchholz is controllable through the end of the 2016 season. Hmmm.)

          • cubs223425 3 years ago

            Buchholz is young and consistently hurt and bad as well. That, and team control is irrelevant to who should be pitching now.

            Oh, and you could have taken Dempster over using Daniel Bard, which was unquestionably stupid.

          • Karkat 3 years ago

            You’re not getting an argument from me that starting Daniel Bard was a terrible idea. I’d been saying that since before spring training even.

            I was just responding to you Buchholz/Dempster comparison.

          • mjlowe 3 years ago

            Bucholz is also a world class self-entitled a-hole that had to go on the disabled list because he can’t maintain a healthy diet, he’s a professional athlete and he can’t even eat right.

        • Karkat 3 years ago

          We actually have six at the moment. I think Lester is the worst of the bunch? It makes no sense. Are they going to end up… trading a starter? I can’t see them moving Morales back to the pen (plus I’m excited to see him pitch on Thursday so I can have seen all 8 starters we’ve used this year, and they can’t take that away from me).

          After Cook’s start tonight (and all the other ones) I can’t see them rushing to sit/bullpen him either.

        • mjlowe 3 years ago

          Do you live in an alternate reality where the 2012 Red Sox haven’t had inconsistent at best starting pitching? Their bullpen is the only reason they’re still in the chase. Saying they don’t need another starting pitcher is silly, Doubront is the only one who pitches consistently & the level he’s at is not one of playoff rotation caliber. Everyone else has been up & down, and with Beckett & Bucholz you never know if they’re going to show up with their head in the game.

          We’re not talking about an ace for the long term here, we’re talking about suring up the pitching staff for a chance to not write this off as a lost year as the home office has with their lack of activity since the start of the offseason last fall.

    • bigpat 3 years ago

      nevermind, bad at detecting sarcasm

      • johnsilver 3 years ago

         It’s ok.. Many others here are also Pat..

        We all have to have a bit here at times ya know?

  2. John Adams 3 years ago

    God I hope not. Not another big market team taking another good player to put with a team that has enough talent, because they aren’t playing good as a team. 

    • MB923 3 years ago

      Well…….It’s not like they’re “taking” him away from a small market team.

  3. Jimmy Bloomfield 3 years ago

    wil middlebrooks!

  4. fitz 3 years ago

    I know people want to hate but this is exactly what the Red Sox need. This team still has a real good shot at the playoffs with the lineup finally shaping up with the returns of Ellsbury, Crawford and later this week Pedroia. Another solid, reliable pitcher is their biggest need.

    • MaineSox 3 years ago

      I agree with this, but I would add the caveat that it would have to be at a reasonable price, and I don’t think it will be.

      Dempster (even assuming he regresses to his “norm”) would be an upgrade over the back of their rotation, but I think the Cubs are going to ask for more than they should give up for him (and rightfully so because someone will probably be desperate/foolish enough to give it to them – I just hope it’s not the Sox).

      • johnsilver 3 years ago

         Back of the rotation, as in Matsuzka and Cook I presume?

        How much of an upgrade is that really Maine? it is almost none. Boston isn’t going to sit Beckett, Lester, Bucholz down and they are having bad thoughts if they sit Morales without giving him 3-4 more starts, since he has been the best they have run out there over the last month.. Doubrant? Innings perhaps piling up? He has still looked “tight” even after 80+ pitches of late.

        That is 5 decent starters, even if they all have some warts. Why give the Cubs anything decent for another bedard type rental? it is just plain…..

        • MaineSox 3 years ago

          Dempster since becoming a starter in ’08:

          3.61 ERA, 3.73 FIP, 3.72 xFIP, 3.80 SIERA, 8.18 K/9, 3.28 BB/9 (2.49 K/BB).

          If he pitches to those averages he would be the best pitcher on the team this year – if everyone pitched to their averages he would be the third best pitcher on the team.

          Doubront will be over 100 IP after his next start and the most he has ever pitched in a single season is ~130 back in ’08, so I could definitely see him needing to keep his innings down (possibly by being moved to the ‘pen relatively soon), so he’s probably the most likely person to be replaced (and he’s looked a lot less sharp lately than he did earlier in the year).  Matsuzaka could end up back on the 60 Day DL, which would mean he may not pitch in Boston again this year, and Cook could easily be moved (and is no where near as good as Dempster).

          A rotation of Lester, Beckett, Dempster, Buchholz, Morales would be pretty nice, but the fact that Dempster is a two month rental, is not anywhere near as good as he’s looked this year, and them not being able to get any sort of compensation when he leaves means that he would have to come relatively cheap, and I don’t think he will.

          • johnsilver 3 years ago

             Noticed Doubrant warming up yesterday in latter innings and figured he might become the 2nd lefty out of the pen until at least Hill gets back. It would cut down his IP and allow Cook to remain around and they can still get rid of Matsuzaka with that 60 day DL stint for good like both of us have mentioned at a couple of sites today. LOL

            My issue is that what Dempster could bring to the AL vs what the cost would be for 2 months probably isn’t worth it. For instance? I wouldn’t by any means be for giving up anybody as good as Cecchini, brentz, Britton even for him alone. Much less one of the “big 3″ he’s just not worth it to Boston, vs what they already have.

            If somehow they can go out and get him for that infamous “PTBNL”, or really lower, B- to C class person? Like a De La Cruz? Shaw? Fine, but no more.

          • MaineSox 3 years ago

            Yeah, obviously the price would have to be right, but he would easily be an upgrade to the rotation (the biggest area of need for the Red Sox), so I think a guy just outside of the top 10 (like a Britton or Workman maybe) plus another lower rated guy would be reasonable from the Red Sox perspective, but I don’t know that that would be enough from the Cubs perspective.

          • johnsilver 3 years ago

             Britton and even Workman makes me choke Maine. both have upside, even if workman ends up in the pen in another couple of years he has significant upside.

            Now.. If they can convince Epstein to take Hernandez, or Pena? 😉

      • mjlowe 3 years ago

        The Cubs are willing to take less for Dempster because they apparently want a deal for him out of the way so they can focus on making a bigger deal for Garza. He won’t come super cheap but he also won’t sink the Sox farm system as an end of the season rental.

  5. Jimmy is high, Jimmy likes being high.

  6. Going from pitching in the worst division in baseball to the best division in baseball usually isn’t a good thing. He’s also a rental so unless they are giving a mediocre player and salary relief in return I really hope they look elsewhere.  

  7. slyfox1908 3 years ago

    The Cubs want pitching. I doubt they’d scoff at Bogaerts or Bradley Jr. but they’ll probably ask for Barnes and a Class A pitcher with a high ceiling. Does that sound reasonable, Red Sox fans?

    • cloudrambler 3 years ago

      Barnes, no. Ranaudo is much more likely.

      • vtadave 3 years ago

        Ranaudo is currently hurt and currently terrible, so that’s not likely.

        • cloudrambler 3 years ago

          And also was one of the best college pitchers two years ago. Trust me, he’ll be the best pitching prospect you’ll get back from the Sox. Barnes is probably untouchable unless a younger SP is coming back.

          • Oh, sure. Sounds like a Mark Prior story to me. Once one of the best and most sought-after pitchers in the game and gets hurt, suddenly a washed up young kid who believes he has a shot to come back but never regains his full potential. Same old song and dance.

          • cloudrambler 3 years ago

            I mean, if you want Mark Prior back, the Sox can give you him too.

          • Haha yeah, like we need that. Our single-A guys are better than that.

          • Leonard Washington 3 years ago

            For every Mark Prior or Kerry Wood there is are players like Roy Halladay who struggle and then figure things out. Not comparing Anthony to Doc but the kid clearly has talent and he might just figure it out with some time. If anyone knows about his talent its Theo, he drafted him. The Cubs are not sniffing Barnes, Bradley, Bogaerts, Garin, Lavarnway, or Brentz.

          • Which they shouldn’t. There’s no way we’re gonna get a guy like that for Dempster, but that’s not what they expect. They expect low-end prospects, at least what, 3 of them?

          • natural_light 3 years ago

             But Prior is a Redsock now maybe they want to trade that former top prospect back to the cubs again for Dempster. LOL

          • YanksFanSince78 3 years ago

            What does 2 years ago have to do with 2012? 

    • Those are the three prospects that the Red Sox have that are untouchable. Dempster is not worth a good prospect. The salary relief will be the biggest part of any deal with any team.

      • stl_cards16 3 years ago

        What makes you think the Cubs need salary relief?  The Cubs would rather eat the salary and trade him to someone that will give them the best prospects. 

        • You think the Cubs would take a mediocre prospect over lets say 4 million? 

          • NL_East_Rivalry 3 years ago

             They would probably just say no instead.

          • sourbob 3 years ago

            They have said repeatedly and consistently that they will pay most of his remaining salary in exchange for better prospects. Money, they have. Farm depth, not so much.

          • ctothed 3 years ago

            Small correction, but farm depth IN PITCHING and 3rd, not so much.

        • Leonard Washington 3 years ago

          Thats true but no team in their right mind is going to offer up its top prospects for anything less than an ace. Compensation is gonna keep this return reasonably low. 

          • I could see them trading Ranaudo but no one any better. I’m sure Theo has some guys in the Sox system that none of us are even thinking about. It also wouldn’t surprise me if there was more than Dempster coming back in the event of a deal since over the years Theo has always been pretty creative in trades.  

      • $1529282 3 years ago

        Yes. Salary relief for the guy who is leading the Majors in ERA at the moment. Come on now. Even if it’s due to regress some, it’s not like the guy is gonna turn into a pumpkin. Five straight seasons with an xFIP right at 3.70 pretty much. He’s a good pitcher, who’s pitching some of the best baseball of his career right now. He’s going to command a good prospect and he’s worth it to any team that’s seriously looking to make a playoff push.

        Half of the pitching prospects whose names that come up in these talks won’t ever even have one season as good as Dempster’s 2012 anyway.

        • cloudrambler 3 years ago

          If the Cubs were trading Garza to the Sox, you’d get one of those guys. Dempster, who is 35 and would be a pure rental is not worth 5+ years of control for any of those guys. I’m really really sorry Cubs fans.

          It’s almost as delusional as when the Sox thought they were getting Sale for Youk!

          • scott brecht 3 years ago

            ….or like when the Sox thought they were getting Castro for Theo…

          • ctothed 3 years ago

            I LOVE how every team thinks whatever they have is worth SO much more than they actually are.  You’re prospects haven’t proven anything.  They are worth generally, not much. 

            You have ONE pitcher in the top 100 prospects, so where is the value in what you have?

          • cloudrambler 3 years ago

            First, *your
            Second, if anyone ever watched Ranaudo in college or in the Cape Cod League, you’d know his value.

          • ctothed 3 years ago

            You are going to draw your value from what he used to pitch like and in friggin Cape Cod and College of all places?

          • slider32 3 years ago

            Cape Cod league is like low A ball, Renaudo is a good B prospect with past arm problems.

          • YanksFanSince78 3 years ago

            Yeah but it’s like a month in low A ball. Can’t base prospect value off of that. just like Betances, Renaudo has to prove his prospect value.

        • Leonard Washington 3 years ago

          Good pitcher no doubt, he will probably be helpful but its a 3 month rental with no comp picks. Its not gonna be some major prospect haul.

      • In what world is Dempster not worth at least one good prospect? They won’t ask for a top 7-10 guy, but you can’t argue that a 15-25 range prospect is worth it.

        • GoAwayNow 3 years ago

           I find that reasonable.

        • Leonard Washington 3 years ago

          I agree but unfortunately people here think a top 5 is somewhat essential to a deal.

      • YanksFanSince78 3 years ago

        Demp is not worth a top prospect with his ERA, FIP and xFIP? Right……. Wow. 

        Not saying that he SHOULD fetch a top 50 prospect but this idea that he’s a salary dump and therefore Theo should settle for a mediocre prospect is a joke.

        For the most part, a salary dump is usually viewed as a player who is UNDER performing and is making lots of money. ex. Soriano.

    • chris_synan1 3 years ago

      no, Dempster is 35 and will probably be a rental for the red sox, they will not give up there top pitching prospect…i’m sure they will ask for that but the sox won’t accept it…

    • MaineSox 3 years ago


  8. uww1 3 years ago

    2 of Barnes, Lavernway and Bogaerts

    • cloudrambler 3 years ago

      Absolutely not. That would be highway robbery. Cubs would be lucky to get one of those prospects for Dempster. They’re probably looking at someone like Ranaudo who is having a rough year but has a high ceiling.

    • We don’t need catching help. If we lose Soto, we still have Welington Castillo, Steve Clevegner, and Blake Lalli, among others, to play in the bigs.

    • johnsilver 3 years ago

      Cubs couldn’t get that for the pick of half of their MLB roster…


      I cannot believe how this has gone.. Just Barnes in one post, 3 of the Sox top prospects in another? Cubs think a 35YO rental is worth one of the BA top 50 ranked prospects or something?? a RENTAL with no AL East experience? My joke of a proposal made more sense.

    • Crucisnh 3 years ago

      I wouldn’t do Dempster for any ONE of those players straight up.  Not worth it.

  9. chris_synan1 3 years ago

    I would not mind trading for Ryan Dempster, but if you have to give up top prospects like the Cubs want no..they need to understand he is 35, even though he has been good this year and has been in the past just no…if the price is right get him

    • ctothed 3 years ago

      No problem, they can just trade him to NY or Toronto.

      • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

        please do. you know how anthopolous always gets robbed

  10. bmoneyy20 3 years ago

    someone is about to get took for dempster. why not an organization cubs people know top/botttom. the extra wild card could not have come at a better time for the cubs

    • cloudrambler 3 years ago

      Problem for the Cubs is that there are a lot of very very good pitchers on the market in the trade deadline. Dempster is good, but there are a lot of things that will make his value drop on the trade market.

      • ctothed 3 years ago

        There are a lot of very very good pitchers on the market?  Like who?

        • petrie000 3 years ago

          a lot of people want to believe Hamels, Grienke and Marcum are there to be had for the right price… that is, 3 top-10’s, some lesser prospects and the blood of the owners virgin daughter (yes, that’s a (slight) exaggeration for effect), But none of them are officially being shopped.

          The Cubs have the two most valuable pitchers known to be available in Garza (who would cost probably a hair less than the previously mentioned deal) and Dempster (who’s the bargain hunters option).

          In a perverse way this just means the price for both Garza and Dempster will be nauseating, since after them you have the likes of Jason Vargas… Epstein’s got any potential buyers by the short and curlies before negotiation ever starts and he knows it…

      • bmoneyy20 3 years ago

        the cubs have 2 of these good pitchers. they will get a nice package for dempster and his value will never be higher. watch and see

      • YanksFanSince78 3 years ago

        yes. there’s “allegedly” Greinke, Garza and Hamels who will cost 2x-4x whatever Dempster will cost and the rest are Liriano and Marcum types who will probably cost about the same as Demp does

        • Kayrall 3 years ago

          I’m confused, how does Liriano have value as high as Dempster’s?  Liriano has been consistently injured and inconsistent in recent years.  The only things he has going for him is budget cost (assuming no contract absorption) and age.

  11. slider32 3 years ago

    The Cubs will want at least one good prospect for Demspter.

    • Leonard Washington 3 years ago

      And they will get one just not one of the Sox’s top 10. 

  12. John LeClair 3 years ago

    Sorry I honestly don’t want Demp, he’s having a great year, but I don’t see him being as good in the AL East, if we are going to rent a player it should be Cole Hamels. Atleast I wouldn’t have to worry about him blowing up on us.

    • YanksFanSince78 3 years ago

      Then prepare to part with some combo of X, Middlebrooks, Barnes and Bradley.

  13. MB923 3 years ago

    And they should get at least one

  14. chris_synan1 3 years ago

    look at the bright side….at least the Red Sox are making an effort to address there pitching needs 

  15. harmony55 3 years ago

    Thirdbaseman Garin Cecchini, 21, and the struggling 22-year-old pitcher Anthony Ranaudo should get the Cubs’ interest. Cecchini apparently is blocked by Will Middlebrooks.

    • MaineSox 3 years ago

      I don’t know about a potential Dempster deal specifically, but I could see Theo going for some lesser known guys in the Red Sox system if any trades do happen between the two teams in the next couple years.  He knows that system as well as anyone not currently employed by the Red Sox (and probably as well as a lot of those guys too), and he would know where to find the “hidden” talent; guys like Vinicio, Montas, Vazquez, Coyle, and Shaw.

      It could make for some interesting trades between the two teams.

  16. As a Jays fan, I really hope they sell the future for the minuscule chance they have at the playoffs this year.

    • vtadave 3 years ago

      Not sure how being 1.5 games back makes their chances “miniscule”. Not a Sox fan, but they have Ellsbury and Crawford back, and if they can add a solid starter and probably another reliever, that makes them pretty dangerous.

      • NL_East_Rivalry 3 years ago

         correct, coolstandings has their chances at 35% and that’s mostly projected on runs scored and allowed up to this point. Of course they also factor in schedule and such.

  17. bigpat 3 years ago

    They need him badly if they still want to compete, I am not sure how seamlessly he will translate to the AL East at this point in his career but he would become the best pitcher on their staff with how they’ve been pitching this year. 

  18. some of you red sox fans should watch an NL game once in a while.  there’s not much to hate about ryan dempster.  he may be 35, but he had one year off due to recovering from surgery, he’s spent a few years as a closer, and has better stuff than almost anyone on your staff right now.  he’s gonna take more than cecchini (who i like) and ranaudo.

    • cloudrambler 3 years ago

      It doesn’t matter. He’s 35 and in control for less than half a season. And there are at least 4 other SP on the market that would command a similar or better package than Dempster no matter how good of a year he’s having. Cubs fans expecting a top prospect should start preparing themselves for disappointment.

      • Ptk123 3 years ago

        Who are these 4? I count Hamels who may not be traded and will cost far more, and I count Greinke who may not be traded and will cost far more.

        • Joe Goodin 3 years ago

          He could also consider Garza, but I don’t have a fourth either

          • wandy?

          • cloudrambler 3 years ago

            And James Shields (But Wandy is good too)

          • If I could name pitchers from other years I might as well pick Maddux in his prime and Pedro Martinez too.  Why the Dempster hating?  FOR THIS YEAR he is better than Wandy, better than Shields, et al.  There are not 4 AVAILABLE pitchers better than Dempster right now.  Anyone who says there is is biased.

          • cloudrambler 3 years ago

            Yeah, he’s pitching well, but his age is enough to make all of those other *very good* pitchers to command a bigger price. There are plenty of sabermetrics that could also be used against Dempster (as you can find right here on MLBTR)

          • ctothed 3 years ago

            He’s pitched better than well

          • But the problem is who is available?  Sure, there are better pitchers-even with Dempster having a great year.  But if they are not available for trade it doesn’t matter.  My point is to say there are 4 better pitchers available is an emotionally clouded statement.  In practical application there just aren’t.

          • Except that Wandy is not as good. 

          • i know, i was just tossing his name out trying to figure out who cloud was talking about

          • Kev 3 years ago

            Wandy has a xFIP .15 runs higher than Dempster. The only major difference between them this year is that Dempster has outperformed his peripherals to a ridiculous degree. I would expect severe regression from Dempster in the final couple months of the season.

          • johnsilver 3 years ago

             Anibel Sanchez perhaps, if/when Loria raises the white flag in Miami.

            Sanchez i would prefer over dempster anyway. Possibly ink him LT. Younger, solid “stuff” and have watched him over the years as a fan of both Boston and the Fish..

            He also was signed initially by the Sox as an IFA.

          • MaineSox 3 years ago

            Olney just reporting on twitter that the Marlins have said they could become sellers if they don’t turn it around in the next 10 days.

            Don’t know what it would take to get him from them, but I would love to see Anibal on the Red Sox (if they are going to trade for a starting pitcher, he’s the one I would prefer).

          • johnsilver 3 years ago

             Ditto here. I guess u catch him also when you get a chance? he can “get it up there” also and really think Boston could sign him LT really reasonable if they wanted, he is still young enough if they chose and no ill effects of those injuries he suffered after the beckett trade he had right after it.. They are a distant memory now.

            Sanchez is a solid, 2-4 starter and think could be a solid 2-4 in the AL also. He won’t cost an arm and a leg LT, no world class representation to over value him (think Jackson) and just think this is a guy they could grab, with low mileage because of the injuries earlier in his career for 3-4 years max and less than 13mAAV if they chose and even if they don’t want him LT? Still less cost to acquire as a rental than Dempster.

            He takes the ball every 5th day, gives 5-7 solid innings. That’s the guy..

  19. Mike1L 3 years ago

    There’s no way to value Dempster-he’s a 35 year old  who is having a hot streak after coming off a year with an ERA+ of 80 and won’t even stay for an encore if he is good.  Yankees, please, this is the wrong tree to be barking up. 

  20. sdsuphilip 3 years ago

    The type of prospects Jed/Theo love are high ceiling projectable arms and athletes with high potential, some guys in red sox system that I am sure Cubs would ask about would be Henry Owens, Cody Kukuk,  Garin Cecchini, Blake Swihart, and Stolmyl Potental, if the cubs really are looking for guys to plug in rotation soon which their fans say (though i honestly doubt) guys like Brandon Workman, Alex Wilson  (though he has turned to relieving some think he can be backend type), and Felix Doubrant makes sense. The Red Sox have a good but not great farm system with good depth.

    • MaineSox 3 years ago

      They have 3 top 50 prospects, and 5-6 top 100 prospects after graduating Will Middlebrooks, I’d say that’s a pretty great farm system.

      • sdsuphilip 3 years ago

        It’s a good but not top 5 system

        • MaineSox 3 years ago

          Maybe not, but it’s probably close, and when you combine the high impact guys at the top with the depth of quality prospects, it’s hard to call it anything but great at this point.

          And that’s not even considering guys drafted this year like Marrero and Buttrey.

          • ctothed 3 years ago

            Beyond maybe 3-4 guys you have nearly all C+ guys in your system

          • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

            you said that confidently, so i believe you

          • MaineSox 3 years ago

            I don’t personally own a farm system, so there’s that.  But if you’re talking about the Red Sox system they had 14 guys who were better than C+ coming into the season, then they drafted and signed 2-3 guys who are rated better than C+, they signed at least one international free agent who will ranked higher than that, and 4 of their C+ guys had their stock improve this season likely making them better than C+.

            Good trolling though.

          • ctothed 3 years ago

            You are correct, I was wrong about the amount of B prospects…..
            1) Xander Bogaerts, SS, Grade B+: Borderline A-. Jumped from Dominican Summer League to Sally League and showed very impressive power, needs polish and experience but terrific upside. May end up at third base. I have him at a B+ right now, but that is conservative and he may end up at an A- by the time the book goes to press.2) Matt Barnes, RHP, Grade B+. Has the build and stuff of a rotation anchor, and improved every year in college. Still some rough edges and he won’t get to the majors as fast as Trevor Bauer or Danny Hultzen, but he could be a real steal at 19th-overall in the ’11 draft.
            3) Will Middlebrooks, 3B, Grade B: Plate discipline/strike zone issues increase risk premium and preclude a higher grade right now, but he has the power and glove of a prototype third baseman. Needs 400 at-bats in Triple-A.
            4) Ryan Lavarnway, C-DH, Grade B. You can make a case for B+ based just on his bat but defensive questions are enough to drop down a notch. His glove isn’t good, but I think his reputation as a total butcher is a little overblown. Whatever they do with him, he’ll hit.
            5) Garin Cecchini, 3B, Grade B: Higher ceiling than Lavarnway and better plate discipline than Middlebrooks, but hasn’t seen full-season ball yet. Needs better defense but I like the bat. B+ or higher possible next year.6) Brandon Jacobs, OF, Grade B: Tool-laden outfielder with 20/20 power/speed potential, remains raw with the strike zone but made significant progress in 2011. B+ or higher possible with further refinement.
            7) Blake Swihart, C, Grade B-: Risky demographic as a high school catcher, but has plenty of offensive upside and should stick behind the plate. Another guy who could rank much higher once he gets some at-bats under his belt.
            8) Sean Coyle, 2B, Grade B-: Hit for power, stole bases, drew walks, adapting well to second base defensively. A second baseman who can hit is harder to find than an outfielder, so I put him ahead of Brentz.
            9) Bryce Brentz, OF, Grade B-: Prototype right fielder, with power, strong arm, strikes out a lot, questionable plate discipline, error-prone. Could develop into Ryan Ludwick-type hitter, or he could fizzle in Triple-A.
            10) Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, Grade B-: Jekyll-Hyde season, both statistically and scout-wise, with large variations in quality of both stuff and command from start to start making it hard to get a proper read on him.
            11) Henry Owens, LHP, Grade B-: We need to see him pitch, but one of my favorite high school pitchers from the ’11 draft due to feel for pitching. Will his velocity pick up?
            12) Jackie Bradley Jr., OF, Grade B-: Great glove, good feel for the strike zone, excellent track record in college until 2011. Did the switch to the less-potent bats expose his flaws? Could rank much higher, or much lower, a year from now.13) Alex Wilson, RHP, Grade B-: Turned things around after rough Double-A debut in ’10, will be ready for the majors sometime in ’12. Could be fourth/fifth starter for some teams but more likely a reliever in Boston.14) Brandon Workman, RHP, Grade B-: Profiles as workhorse

          • MaineSox 3 years ago

            And in his mid-season rankings he had Bogaerts, Barnes, Bradley, and Lavarnway all up significantly, and he had Doubront as a C+ because he projected him as a reliever, but Doubront has shown he is more than capable of starting, which would move him to at least a B-.  Plus, both Tazawa and Pimentel have taken steps forward this year, and they have signed guys like Marrero (who most slot in ahead of Lavarnway which means he’s at least a B and maybe a B+) and Buttrey (who would go ahead of Ranaudo).

          • johnsilver 3 years ago

            Just noticed you picked those ancient rankings apart.. Thank you very much..

            Most have taken significant upswings..

            original poster should really check the latest info.

          • sdsuphilip 3 years ago

            They have a lot of B/B- guys in their system guys like Henry Owens, Blake Swihart, Brandon Jacobs, Bryce Brentz, Garin Cecchini, Jose Vinicio, and some more

  21. Jeff Snedden 3 years ago

    Eventually, Karma will catch up to the Cubs for that Aramis Ramirez deal.  Still hands down the worst fleecing of a team since Lou Brock.  

    • Ray Koenig 3 years ago

      As if the Cubs haven’t had enough bad karma in their history.

  22. jammin502 3 years ago

    For those that think Dempster isn’t worth a quality return, here are a few things to consider. Dempster has currently gone 33 innings without allowing a run. This ties a Cub record. Dempster also leads the NL in ERA. There are 10 to 12 teams that are after Dempster, so there is a bidding war. The Cubs are willing to trade Dempster now and other options probably won’t be available for a couple of weeks.

    • cloudrambler 3 years ago

      You know what it is, I’m not impressed with the fact that he’s A) leading the NL in ERA and B) he’s doing it in the NL Central. Now me as a Reds fan, I know how bad offenses are in the NL Central right now. 

      • jammin502 3 years ago

        33 scoreless innings is impressive against anyone. That means that he isn’t walking people and obviously keeping the ball in the park. He has hitters off balance. I hope they don’t trade him to the Red Sox, I would think that other teams would have more to offer.

      • 15 or so of those innings came in interleague play

  23. Will 3 years ago

    If he is traded to the Yankees…i think the Cubs Score Betances and someone like David Adams. if he is traded to Boston, Maybe Sean Coyle, Cecchini or even Ryan Kalish.

  24. Dempster is a steady pitcher that can throw for good (not great) power and plenty of precision.  Yes he is 35 and a rental player.  Could the help the Sox in a playoff push?  BELIEVE IT!  If the Sox really want him they have to give a significant player(s) to get him.  I agree that his age and contract status should mean that the Sox should not give a top flight player(s).  But the bottom of the barrel or injured players living off an old college reputation wont cut it either.  The Sox shouldnt overpay but lets be honest the Cubs have a bunch of teams persuing Dempster and (as any other good front office should) get the best deal offered and not get low-balled either. 

    • Will 3 years ago

      Barney is not the answer at 2nd base…i would think the cubs are looking to acquire a 2b and SP in the deal…Rizzo is the 1b of the future, Castro at SS and they have to give Josh Vitters a shot at 3B soon enough. Sean Coyle makes since to me….Pedroia lite type of player…

  25. ctothed 3 years ago

    To MaineSox:
    Um, for people so anti the half year that Dempster has put up.  You sure are into a list done because of a half a year.

  26. GoAwayNow 3 years ago

    Ignore this

  27. GoAwayNow 3 years ago

      Garza, Cole Hammels, James Shields, Grienke have all been rumored.

  28. M.Kit 3 years ago

    • Ptk123 3 years ago

      Why do you think the Cubs have any intrest in a 27 or 29 year old OF that have only started games because of injury? Or a 1b/OF that isn’t even in your top 20 prospects, and another OF that isn’t in your top 20.

  29. M.Kit 3 years ago

    Lars Anderson/Che-Husan-Lin/Daniel Nava or Ryan Sweeney?

  30. I’ve seen Ryan Sweeney’s name mentioned on the down low a couple of times in the Chicago blogs.  Not sure we have somewhere for him to play unless we unload LaHair or Soriano or DeJesus…but other possibilities imo as a return for Dempster would be Renauldo, SS Jose Iglesias (Theo loves shortstops), and Sweeney for Dempster & maybe a guy like Junior Lake a 3b/SS/2b/OF – who knows where he winds up in the field – who has a good bat, some power & very good speed.

    • Ptk123 3 years ago

      The Cubs have no need for another OF, especially one that is already 27. And why would the Cubs give up prospects when they are trying to pile up on prospects?

  31. donbedouin 3 years ago

    A pitching prospect ranked in the top 51-75 (in all of baseball) range in the game is going to average .57 WAR a season, or 3.42 WAR total over 6 team control seasons. A pitching prospect ranking in the 76-100 range is going to average .48 WAR per season or 2.88 WAR over 6 years. Dempster if he continued pitching as he has, over 10 more starts this season, would be worth 2.14 rWARConsidering that Dempster’s production will be only consumed in the time where it’s the most valuable (during a playoff run and possibly the playoffs) and that the Cubs would likely pay both Dempster’s salary and the salary of the prospect if he makes the majors and makes it to arbitration: I’d certainly say that Ryan Dempster is worth a top prospect. 

    • Kev 3 years ago

      You’re assuming that Dempster will continue to pitch like this. Every advanced stat says he won’t. More of those balls put into play will fall for hits, he’ll stop stranding so many runners, and he’s going to give up home runs at a much faster pace, if his numbers start coming down toward his career norms. I would hope most FOs would realize he is pitching way over his head now.

      I think he’s worth a borderline B/B- prospect and some filler.

      •  Then why on earth do you want a pitcher who is bound to fail as you so clearly state do to the #’s.  Im sure Dice K and Dubront will do fine getting you to 4th place. 

        • Kev 3 years ago

          I don’t know if you’re replying to me exactly, but I don’t want him. I’m an Astros fan. What are we gonna’ do with him? Fourth place would be an improvement, actually. I just think that an FO desperate for pitching will pay that out, and hope Dempster stays lucky.

      • donbedouin 3 years ago

        Even if you base it off of his fWAR and FIP, that’s 1.64 WAR over a playoff race. Still worth more than a top 5 player from most organizations. 

        • Kev 3 years ago

          There’s no way Dempster gets more than a top 5 guy from any organization. Teams don’t just look at FIP and fWAR and call it a day. Do you want to be the GM that trades a stud prospect away for a guy who is bound to regress severely when there are other, cheaper options out there who will give close to the same WAR and FIP? Prospects are priced with an inflated prospect market in mind, not on a linear WAR continuum.

          • petrie000 3 years ago

            if your career as a GM may depend on making the playoffs this year, as in, say, Dombrowski in Detriot…. then yeah, a hot Ryan Dempster is worth a top 5 prospect since you’ll be long gone before he sniffs the majors.

          • Kev 3 years ago

            Meh, I think the Tigers are putting a higher priority on a bat who plays up the middle than pitching right now. But if they were going to trade a top 5 guy for Dempster because they’re desperate to win now, why not just trade Castellanos at the height of his value and a couple B-/C+ guys and get an ace? That would be more like going all in.

            I don’t think a team that wanting for the postseason is going to hang their hopes on a guy who is probably going to get blown up a few times for the remaining half season, and give up a top prospect for the pleasure. Dempster would more likely go to a marginal contender looking for a small boost that doesn’t pillage the farm. I really think his value is around Wandy’s right now, and ain’t no one giving up a top 5 guy for Wandy. Their advanced stats are very similar, it’s just Dempster is performing on a level that can not be sustained.

  32. Garza is the guy they’re gonna get a haul for not Dempster. 

  33. Would be the second deal between the Cubs and Red Sox (Marlon Byrd in April). Also Epstein doesn’t make the deals, the GM, Jed Hoyer does.

    • petrie000 3 years ago

      ‘president of baseball operations’ generally means being in charge of all levels of an organization, so any deal bringing prospects back would include Epstein. Hoyer basically handles payroll for the major league team.

  34. Clay Chason 3 years ago

    Dempster in the AL East will lead to more than just regression, just sayin…

  35. Can’t hurt if the price is right. Aaron Cook, although he has done a nice job, has TWO strikeouts in 29-2/3 innings! That can’t bode well.

  36. dc21892 3 years ago

    Epstein has Hoyer as the GM and I’m sure it’s more between them two, than it is Epstein/Cherington. Epstein trusts Hoyer, that’s why he was brought in.

  37. Eduardo Medina 3 years ago

    That´s a good move for Boston…

  38. ioftenpanic 3 years ago

    What about 3B-Cecchini and LHP-Owens for Dempster?  Too much (though you often overpay when in a playoff hunt)?  Pretty much two 100-150 type prospects.  Cecchini seems to make a lot of sense as the Cubs need 3B depth in their system and he is likely blocked by Middlebrooks and Bogaerts.  Owens leaves Boston with at least their top two arms.

  39. slider32 3 years ago

    I don’t see the Cubs trading with the Sox for Dempster. The Cubs are looking for young prospects not retreads.

  40. MaineSox 3 years ago

    Yeah, because the Red Sox don’t have any prospects, right?

  41. MaineSox 3 years ago

    The thought of Nick Punto makes me faint too…

  42. Why would he need to be major league ready? The Cubs are rebuilding. I think at most they would want a lower levels prospect with good potential to be ready in a couple years. Rebuilding is about patience. 

  43. Ptk123 3 years ago

    Theo isn’t the GM, however I am sure he and Jed are more intrested in improving the Cubs farm system than sticking it to their old boss.

  44. NL_East_Rivalry 3 years ago

     probably because if someone is major league ready, they have less chance to fail. Still a chance they wont make it, but proven ability is worth a ton and even bad teams just want someone decent to throw out there for their fans.

  45. johnsilver 3 years ago

     Really? The sight of him at the plate does the same to me? Is there some bug going around?? Maybe name it “Punto-Itis”????

  46. sdsuphilip 3 years ago

    Jed and Theo are more high ceilings guys than safe prospects, if they get back prospects close to majors that won’t have high ceilings for dempster

  47. Who could the Braves or Yanks offer for Demp? Just a question of who is being thrown around in theory

  48. cubs223425 3 years ago

    Fine. 22nd in WAR for all SPs, while having made 4-5 fewer starts than most of the guys ahead of him. If he hadn’t had the lat issues, and had made the other 4 starts (18 total), he’d be top-10 in WAR (2.95 projected). He’s 14th in FIP in the majors.

    5 of his 14 starts are against the NLC. In 11 of his 14 starts, he has given up 2 or fewer runs, including outings against 7 (of those 11) teams outside the NLC.

    He’s pitched well against the entire NL and in interleague play (2 scoreless starts, against BOS and MIN, and 1 4-run outing against the White Sox).

  49. YanksFanSince78 3 years ago

    You mean the NL Central that has 3 of the top offensive teams in the entire NL? You add a DH to the Brews, Cards and Reds and those 3 teams would probably rank in the top 7 or 8 in scoring in the majors.

    To illustrate how the NL Central is a non-factor as far as Demp is concerned. So far he has had 14 starts, 11 of which came vs NL teams. Of those 11 teams, 7 of them are among the top 8 offensive teams in the NL and the 3 AL teams he faced were the Red Sox the 2nd leading scoring team in the AL (7IP 0 ER), White Sox the 5th leading scoring team in the AL (6 IP 4 ER) and Twins (8 IP and 0 ER). It’s hard to say that he’s been lucky or has faced weak competition. It’s just not true.

  50. Ptk123 3 years ago

    Why do people keep saying this? He is 22 years old, and you are acting like he is on the declining end of his career! He has improved a lot since last season.

  51. castro’s D has improved greatly this year

  52. baseball52 3 years ago

    Because people only see Castro make errors.

  53. burtonbball88 3 years ago

    I don’t think that they have the right prospects for the trade. Sure they have a good prospect in Bogaerts, and a decent OF in Brentz the system, but no pitchers really stand out other than Barnes. I think that’s who it’s going to take to land Dempster and maybe even a little bit more.

  54. YanksFanSince78 3 years ago

    They have prospects but realistically, the top prospects that they have are more top 50-75 guys who the Sox are not going to be willing to give up for Dempster. Cubs can easily find another team in need of a guy like Demp who have a much DEEPER farm system and would be willing to give up guys who are more in the 75-125 range as far as prospect listings because those 75-125 guys are still not among their top 3 prospects. 

    For example

    A team who is top heavy with 3 top 75 prospects but then doesn’t have another prospect inside a top 200 list may be hesitant to give up ANY of their top 3 guys. However, a team with 1 top 50 prospect but 8 or 9 guys in the 75 to 150 range might match up better with what the Cubs might be looking for long term. Those 75 to 150 range guys might be players who Theo might view as easy top 75 guys in a year or so. 

  55. dc21892 3 years ago

    Hanley and A-Rod were moved because there was two SS’s and only one spot… Lmao. Nice try, though.

  56. MaineSox 3 years ago

    First of all, that has absolutely nothing to do with the conversation, or the strength of the Red Sox farm system, so I don’t know why you felt the need to say it.

    Second of all, that’s not true.  According to Baseball America’s midseason top 50 the Red Sox have 3 top 50 prospects while the Tigers have one.  And if you want to know about the strength deeper in the system, according to John Sickels’ midseason top 120 the Red Sox have 4 players in the top half (top 60) while the Tigers have two, and the Red Sox have 3 players in the bottom half (61-120) and the Tigers have none, so the Red Sox have 7 top 120 players and the Tigers have 2 according to Sickels (and if you want to go even deeper, the Red Sox had three players on the “other players considered” list, while the Tigers had one – so the Red Sox had 10 players in the top ~175, while the Tigers had three).

  57. MaineSox 3 years ago

    You think who is what it’s going to take to land Dempster?  Barnes?  Unless I’m reading your comment wrong (and I might be), you’re dreaming.

    As far as pitchers out side of Barnes go, they have Owens, Workman, Montas, Ramirez, and Pena.  And as far as outfielders outside of Brentz go, they have Jacobs and De La Cruz, and I think Bradley Jr (Boston’s #3 prospect, and a top 50 overall prospect) is probably offended that you would mention Brentz over him.

  58. MaineSox 3 years ago

    The Tigers have said they are unwilling to part with Castellanos in a trade, and even if they could be persuaded to, it wouldn’t be for Dempster.

    Even if you ignore teams’ willingness to part with players, the Red Sox have Middlebrooks, who would interest them at least as much as Castellanos (they aren’t going to part with Middlebrooks for Dempster, but as I said, the Tigers aren’t parting with Castellanos either).

  59. MaineSox 3 years ago

    The only teams who might have that many guys in the 75-150 range are the Padres and Rays.  The Red Sox have one of the deeper systems in the game (even before their top guys took the step into the “elite” territory their system was rated close to top 10 because of their depth).  They have four guys between 51 and 120 (according to Sickels’ midseason) and three more in the “also considered” category (which brought the total of guys up to 178), so they have 7 guys between 51 and 178.  So if the Sox aren’t deep enough there’s literally only 1-2 teams that are, and neither of them has any use for Dempster.

  60. Ptk123 3 years ago

    He may not play there forever, but he will be there for at least the next decade!

  61. MaineSox 3 years ago

    I hope it’s not the Red Sox, because I don’t want them to give up with the Cubs will be asking, but it certainly could be the Red Sox.  If the dodgers have a good enough farm system, the Red Sox certainly do.

  62. baseball52 3 years ago

    I’m agreeing with you…

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