Ryan Dempster Rumors
While David Price has resigned himself to being traded, the Rays appear to be trying to figure out ways to make their ace the focal point of their pitching staff for many years to come, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Cafardo notes, however, the Rays' front office realizes it could be a losing battle, so a trade is likely with nearly half of baseball rumored to be interested in the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner. "It's a big name, a big-time pitcher," one National League GM told Cafardo. "Even if you feel you don't need that level of pitcher, you look into it because he's so special and such a game changer. You do more than kick the tires. You try to make something happen, and I think you'll see teams that don't even need him step up." Here's more from Cafardo's column:
- The Red Sox will likely trade one of their veteran starters to make room for their young arms. Cafardo suggests Jon Lester and Jake Peavy could be available while Ryan Dempster, John Lackey, and Felix Doubront are also vulnerable.
- Jacoby Ellsbury is a perfect fit for the Mariners and Carlos Beltran likewise for the Orioles.
- Curtis Granderson will likely receive a qualifying offer from the Yankees and there's a strong possibility he would take it because he could post his biggest numbers at Yankee Stadium.
- The Dodgers will make Andre Ethier and/or Matt Kemp available this winter. Kemp will come with injury concerns, but that shouldn't prevent a team from taking a chance on his talent.
- James Loney has rebuilt his value with a strong season in Tampa (.299/.348/.430 with a 2.1 oWAR in 158 games and 598 plate appearances). Loney could find a market with the Rangers, if the Rays don't re-sign the free agent first baseman.
- Reds pitching coach Bryan Price appears to be the front-runner to replace Dusty Baker as manager in Cincinnati while Nationals bench coach Randy Knorr is in a strong position to take over from Davey Johnson, unless ownership wants a bigger name as its new manager.
Ryan Dempster began serving his five-game suspension for throwing at Alex Rodriguez yesterday, and as MLB.com's Ian Browne writes, off-days on Thursday and Monday will allow the Red Sox to juggle their other four starters without forcing them to find a replacement starter. Of the suspension, Dempster said: "It [stinks], any time you get suspended. I've never been suspended in my career so it's not a fun feeling to have, but [I'll] start serving, be done with it on Sunday and get back to trying to help my team." Here's more on the Red Sox...
- Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal writes that the Red Sox selected Brandon Belt out of high school as a pitcher back in the 11th round of the 2006 draft, but the team didn't see enough in his mound potential to buy him out of his commitment to the University of Texas.
- MassLive.com's Evan Drellich spoke with Red Sox GM Ben Cherington, assistant GM Mike Hazen, manager John Farrell and Dodgers president Stan Kasten about last August's blockbuster that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto to Los Angeles. It's a lengthy piece that does a terrific job of illustrating the number of people involved in making the trade a reality and also explaining how technology has impacted trade negotiations over the years. Cherington said that he wasn't nervous to take the plunge and make a trade of historic proportions.
- Within the same piece, Farrell notes the differences between the Blue Jays, whom he calls a scouting-based organization, and the Red Sox, whom he calls a player-development-based organization.
- Xander Bogaerts' debut as a 20-year-old shortstop puts him in elite company, writes Marc Hulet of Fangraphs. Red Sox director of player development told Hulet that he's not worried about Bogaerts spending time at third base despite his lack of professional experience at the position: “Xander shows enough athleticism to play third base despite his limited reps, but will continue to get better the more he plays.”
Rob Neyer, writing for SB Nation, took a look at the future of the game, including some issues that a hypothetical new commissioner might tackle. His list included the poor attendance of the Athletics and Rays, Jeffrey Loria, and the absence of major league baseball from markets like Portland and Charlotte. Elsewhere in baseball ...
- The Red Sox have been very pleased with the early returns on free agent signee Ryan Dempster, writes Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. Boston gave the soon-to-be 36-year-old a two-year, $26.5MM deal this past offseason. This raised the usual questions about how Dempster would transition to the American League, and in particular its East division. The righty has responded by sporting an impressive 12.9 K/9, albeit with an elevated walk rate, both of which could be the result of increased use of his splitter. David Ross seemed to confirm that analysis after catching Dempster yesterday, saying that he was throwing "a Bugs Bunny splitty."
- With Carlos Ruiz returning, the Phillies are facing a backup catcher roster dilemma, writes Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The Phils must remove a player from both the 25-man and 40-man rosters to make way for the team's top backstop. Humberto Quintero has played well in limited action, putting up a .313/.353/.438 line over 17 plate appearances. Meanwhile, Erik Kratz still has an option remaining and has struggled as the team's primary catcher, hitting .191/.222/.309 in his 72 plate appearances. The club has until Sunday to assess whether to designate Quintero for assignment or, instead, option Kratz and make an alternative 40-man move.
- Dodgers' GM Ned Colletti is looking prescient for prioritizing versatility in the team's bench, writes Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times. With Mark Ellis the latest Dodger infielder to suffer an injury, the team can still turn to players like Nick Punto (acquired from the Red Sox last season) and Skip Schumaker (traded from the Cardinals this offseason). Much like with the L.A. rotation, the club's backup infield stock once seemed so full as to warrant a trade, but now looks like valuable depth.
The Red Sox announced that they will formally introduce Ryan Dempster at Fenway Park today. The Red Sox agreed to sign the free agent right-hander to a two-year, $26.5MM contract last week, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported (Twitter links). LSW Baseball represents Dempster.
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 the deal.
Earlier in the offseason Dempster turned down a two-year, $25MM offer from the Boston. The Brewers also made a two-year offer and the Royals were interested. Dempster ranked 16th on MLBTR's list of top 50 free agents this year.
Photo courtesy of US Presswire.
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.
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.
This post was first published on December 13th, 2012.
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.
- 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.
- Dempster turned down a two-year, $25MM deal from the Red Sox, reports Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston (Twitter link). This was slightly less than the Royals' recent two-year, $26MM offer that was also rejected, as Dempster is looking for a three-year contract.
- Dempster will sign with the first team to offer him a three-year deal, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The Brewers were also looking to sign Dempster to a two-year deal but aren't willing to go longer for starting pitching contracts.
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.