Quick Hits: Blue Jays, Cubs, Nishioka, Mariners

Four years ago today, the Cubs officially announced that they had signed Ryan Dempster to a four-year, $52MM contract. Dempster was worth 12.9 wins above replacement over the life of that contract, according to FanGraphs, who valued his production in those four years at $56.3MM. Now a free agent, Dempster will seek what could be the last major contract of his big league career, and interested suitors are hoping he can once again exceed his contract's value.

Here are tonight's links from around the league…

  • Jose Bautista tells Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca that prior to signing his five-year, $65MM extension, Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos promised him that when the time was right, he'd add the pieces to make a big run. Bautista tells Davidi that he always believed in Anthopoulos, and now his faith has been rewarded: "We had a great club before this, but now we have an elite club."
  • Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago tweets that the Cubs are not currently in talks to trade away any of their young players.
  • Former Twins infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka has signed a two-year deal with the Hanshin Tigers, according to a Sponichi report. Nishioka's deal is worth 600 million yen. That translates to about $7.4MM, meaning he'll earn more money than he forfeited in asking for his release from Minnesota.
  • Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times looks at several Mariners issues in his latest blog post. Baker opines that Josh Hamilton has never been a realistic target for GM Jack Zduriencik and also explains why he feels Billy Butler is a realistic trade target despite the presence of Jesus Montero and John Jaso on the roster. Both Montero and Jaso saw significant time at DH in 2012.
  • Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio examines five potential trading partners the Diamondbacks could talk to about Justin Upton (ESPN Insider required). Bowden looks at players that would interest Arizona GM Kevin Towers on the Rangers, Rays, Tigers, Indians and Braves.

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