Ryan Dempster Rumors

Melvin On Marcum, Dempster, Jackson

If Ryan Dempster signs with the Red Sox, the Brewers might not pursue other free agent starters, Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Melvin indicated free agent starters have shown limited reciprocal interest, according to Haudricourt. "This may be one of those years when we don't do too much,” the GM said. “We're still looking at relievers but we might see if we get a surprise in Spring Training.” Here are the details on the team’s search for starting pitching…

  • Though Shaun Marcum recently indicated he’d consider returning to Milwaukee, Melvin said he hasn’t talked to the right-hander’s agent. Marcum hadn’t been on the Brewers’ radar, Haudricourt reports. “I always thought he'd engage in talks with a team and get something worked out, and he probably will," Melvin said.
  • Melvin confirmed that he offered Dempster a two-year contract and said he hasn’t heard back from the right-hander’s agent. "It doesn't appear that he'll be coming to Milwaukee," Melvin acknowledged.
  • There’s “some intrigue” with respect to right-hander Edwin Jackson. The Brewers spoke with Jackson’s agent, though it doesn’t sound as though talks developed from there.

Red Sox, Dempster Nearing Deal

The Red Sox are close to a deal with Ryan Dempster, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). Rosenthal reported yesterday that the Red Sox were in serious talks with Dempster. LSW Baseball represents the free agent right-hander.

Dempster, 35, posted a 3.38 ERA with 8.0 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 and a 43.5% ground ball rate in 173 innings for the Cubs and Rangers in 2012. The 15-year veteran saw his average fastball velocity dip below 90 mph, but he continued generating swings and misses. His 10.4% swinging strike rate was right around his career mark of 10.8%. He's not linked to draft pick compensation, which means the Red Sox won't have to surrender a pick to complete a deal.

Earlier in the offseason Dempster turned down a two-year, $25MM offer from the Boston. The Brewers and Royals have also been linked to Dempster, who ranked 16th on MLBTR's list of top 50 free agents this year.

The Red Sox could use rotation depth for the 2013 season. Their current rotation options include Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Felix Doubront, John Lackey and Franklin Morales.

This post was first published on December 13th, 2012.

Red Sox In Serious Talks With Ryan Dempster

The Red Sox are in serious discussions with Ryan Dempster, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). He cautions that there is no deal yet and the LSW Baseball client could still sign elsewhere.

Dempster, 35, pitched to a 3.38 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 173 innings for the Cubs and Rangers last season. His performance did suffer after making the midseason move to the American League (5.09 ERA in 69 innings with Texas). Dempster has thrown at least 170 innings with a 7.7+ K/9 in each of the last five seasons however, one of only four pitchers who can make that claim.

Last week we learned that the veteran right-hander turned down a two-year, $25MM offer from the Red Sox. The Brewers and Royals also have interest. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes ranked Dempster as the 16th best free agent this offseason, predicting he would sign with Milwaukee.

Quick Hits: Liriano, Twins, Dickey, Phillies, Dempster

Earlier today, the Phillies finalized their trade for Michael Young while the Dodgers agreed to sign Zack Greinke. Here's the latest from around the league as Saturday turns into Sunday…

  • Talks between the Twins and Francisco Liriano have gone "backwards" according to LaVelle E. Neal III of The Star Tribune (on Twitter). The two sides had been discussing a reunion earlier this offseason.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports looked at two trade scenarios for the Mets involving R.A. Dickey. One featured the Rangers while the other featured the Blue Jays.
  • Agent Craig Landis told Peter Gammons of MLB.com (via Twitter) that he figures client Ryan Dempster will get a three-year deal once Greinke signs. Landis added that the pitcher would prefer to pitch in the National League with a team that has spring training in Arizona.
  • Michael Young's relationship with the Rangers' front office wasn't in great shape, tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. Young got $1.2MM in benefits from Texas in exchange for waiving his no-trade clause.
  • The first few weeks of the offseason have been really important for the Twins as they are 100% committed to rebuilding their pitching, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN.com.
  • Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reviewed Skip Schumaker's tenure in St. Louis. Strauss writes that the second baseman/outfielder's tenure with the Cardinals is likely through as GM John Mozeliak recently admitted that he is a trade candidate. The Dodgers and Twins are among the teams that are interested in Schumaker.

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.

Ryan Dempster Rumors: Friday

It seems as if the Brewers, Royals and Red Sox are leading the charge to sign Ryan Dempster, with the Cubs apparently out of the running.  Here's the latest on the Canadian right-hander…

Free Agent Rumors: Dempster, Ichiro, Jackson, Tejada

Approximately half of the free agents on MLBTR’s top 50 list remain unsigned, which means there will be lots of action in the next few weeks. Here are the latest free agent updates from around MLB…

  • The Brewers, Red Sox and Royals are the "three main teams" looking at Ryan Dempster, reports Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link).  This would seem to eliminate the Cubs, who we recently heard weren't negotiating with Dempster.
  • The Yankees are still talking to Ichiro Suzuki as they continue waiting to hear from Kevin Youkilis, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Youkilis is weighing multiple offers and the Indians are also bidding for his services.
  • The Royals and other teams seem “very cool” to Edwin Jackson, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports (on Twitter). In other words they aren't overly eager to spend aggressively on him.
  • Braves GM Frank Wren said he has interest in certain outfielders as one-year stopgaps, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reports (on Twitter). The Braves need another outfielder, even after signing B.J. Upton.
  • The Diamondbacks are very interested in Miguel Tejada, Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com reports (on Twitter, in Spanish). The team offered Tejada a minor league deal, but he’d like a guaranteed contract.
  • The Marlins are only interested in Carl Pavano if he’ll accept a low base salary of $3MM or so plus incentives, Phil Mackey of ESPN 1500 reports (on Twitter). Pavano’s agent met with the Twins yesterday,  Mackey adds.

Cubs, Brewers, Royals, Red Sox In On Dempster

8:48pm: Levine's report "grossly misrepresents" the nature of the Cubs-Dempster talks, tweets Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.  He says negotiations are not happening and a reunion is implausible.

7:56pm: Dempster's agent has talked to the Cubs about a possible return to Chicago, reports Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com.  Though the Cubs have not made an offer, money and length of contract was discussed.  Dempster has two and three-year offers on the table, writes Levine, with the Royals and Brewers showing the most interest.  Levine sees a no-trade as a potential obstacle to Dempster returning to the Cubs.

2:13pm: The Royals made Dempster a two-year, $26MM offer, which he declined, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. Kansas City balked at Dempster's request for three years and it seems neither side has changed its stance, says Dutton (Twitter links).

1:59pm: The Royals and Red Sox are still interested in Dempster, according to Rosenthal, who says the Brewers remain in the mix as well. The Angels' current level of interest is unclear, says Rosenthal (Twitter link).

12:21pm: Dempster believes he will earn a three-year deal if other free agent pitchers like Anibal Sanchez, Kyle Lohse, and Edwin Jackson land four- or five-year deals, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

10:37am: With the Brewers still unwilling to commit a third year to an offer for Ryan Dempster, the two sides have reached an impasse in their negotiations, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. If another team steps up and offers Dempster a three-year deal, the Brewers will likely be out of the running, says Haudricourt.

We heard on Monday that Dempster is seeking a three-year contract, something Milwaukee preferred to avoid, having been burned on long-term deals for veteran starters before. Perhaps the two sides can reach a compromise on some sort of two-year deal with a third-year option, but for now it seems nothing is close.

GM Doug Melvin visited with Dempster's agent, Craig Landis, yesterday.

Latest On Ryan Dempster

11:02pm: The Brewers are still pursuing Dempster, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, but his current asking price is around the $13MM salary given to Dan Haren.  Brewers GM Doug Melvin visited with Dempster's agent Craig Landis, he told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

8:21pm: While the Red Sox remain in the mix for Ryan Dempster, the Angels are out of the running, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). Heyman also notes that the Brewers appear to be a logical fit for the right-hander, who has a home in Chicago.

Yesterday, we heard that Dempster is seeking a three-year deal, which isn't something the Brewers were willing to commit to at this point. Reports so far this winter have suggested that Milwaukee would prefer to go no more than two years for free agent arms.

Despite apparently no longer being involved on Dempster, the Angels have reportedly been casting a wide net in their search for a free agent starter, with Zack Greinke and Brandon McCarthy among their targets.

Angels Rumors: Haren, Greinke, Pitching

4:45pm: The Angels' once-tepid interest in Brandon McCarthy has picked up in Nashville, tweets DiGiovanna.    

1:52pm: Dan Haren's agreement with the Nationals takes another starting pitching option off the board for the Angels, who made an effort to bring back the right-hander after not tendering him a qualifying offer. According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter), the Angels made a one-year offer to Haren with a very achievable option year.

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets that there was at least one other team in on Haren at around $13MM, suggesting that the price tag for free agent starters will be high this offseason. That isn't great news for the Angels, since the team appears to have a finite amount of money to spend on pitching, according to DiGiovanna (Twitter link). If the Angels go big on a starter, they'll have to scrimp on relievers, and vice versa, says DiGiovanna.

Although the Angels have checked in on virtually every free agent starting pitcher, including Anibal Sanchez, Kyle Lohse, Edwin Jackson, Ryan Dempster, and Joe Saunders, Zack Greinke remains their first choice, tweets DiGiovanna.

Ryan Dempster Seeking Three-Year Deal

Although there is mutual interest between Ryan Dempster and the Brewers, the two sides aren't near an agreement in part because of the number of years Dempster is seeking, reports Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Haudricourt hears from agent Craig Landis that Dempster wants to sign for three years. The Brewers, on the other hand, prefer to go no more than two years on Dempster and other free agent arms.

Haudricourt writes that, even at age 35, Dempster is likely to land the three-year contract he's seeking because there aren't a ton of high-end starters available this winter. After seeing deals for pitchers like Jeff Suppan and Randy Wolf go south after a couple seasons, the Brewers are looking to avoid long-term commitments, despite their need for an established starter.

Last night, we heard that Dempster was one of the Brewers' top free agent targets, with teams like the Diamondbacks and Twins also likely to be in the mix for the right-hander.