Ryan Dempster has exercised his $14MM player option for 2012, the Cubs were informed today according to Gordon Wittenmyer of The Chicago Sun-Times (on Twitter). Dempster hinted at wanting to remain in Chicago beyond next season a few weeks ago. The team confirmed the move on their Twitter feed.
The 34-year-old right-hander just finished his worst season as a full-time starter with the Cubs, pitching to a 4.80 ERA in 202 1/3 innings. His underlying performance was no different than previous years, however. He struck out 8.5 and walked 3.6 batters per nine innings, getting a ground ball 44.1% of the time. Dempster eclipsed the 200 IP plateau for the fourth straight year, every season since he moved back into the rotation in 2008.
Given the underwhelming class of free agent starters, there's a good chance that Dempster could have secured a multi-year contract on the open market this offseason. Instead, he'll join Matt Garza, Randy Wells, and possibly Carlos Zambrano in the Cubs' rotation next summer.
No surprise there.
Other news – the sun rises in the east.
No it rises on the West
This is actually turning into a discussion.
sun rises in the central
That’s pretty vague. It rises directly on the east twice a year and doesn’t deviate too far from that point, go bring a compass outside at 6am if you don’t believe me.
Whats a sun?
I’m not completely surprised, but he isn’t making out like a bandit on this. If he tested free agency I’m sure he would get somewhere around 3 for 30m. He passed up long term security with this deal for what, an extra $4m this season? He will regret it if he has a bad year or an injury.
Hoping Demp can bounce back after that disappointing season. He had some horrible starts early on (I think his ERA was upwards of 7+) but was much better as the season progressed.
Demp is a good guy, him exercising this isn’t such a bad thing. We need pitching BADLY. I’d rather him take the one year deal than see us prob re-sign him for 3 coming off of his worst season. $14MM tryout and ideally we can flip him at the deadline. No downside to this option being picked up at all.
they need GOOD pitching badly. When your best pitcher is mediocre you have a problem
cubs’ best seems to be garza, with demp not too far behind though. i have faith hoyer & theo can fill out the staff with depth much better than we came into 2011 with.
He is a pretty good pitcher, and they surely got their money’s worth the first few years of the deal. He started off terrible this season but got back to his normal self as the season went on.
I think their coach did a horrible job with managing him last year. I seen numerous games where they left him in too long and his numbers really took a hit. I appreciate that he stinks against Pittsburgh though.
quade did that with EVERY pitcher. which doesn’t make much sense considering the bullpen was prob our best team asset.
the bullpen was overworked because of the crappy 4th and 5th starters. I don’t know what choices he had.
Dumpster was looking at a 2yr/20mil deal or 3yr/30mil–but doubted the Cubs would offer that. And he doesn’t want to leave Chicago.
So, he took 14mil for one year and could still sign an extension for the next year or two at 6-8 million per, and effectively get the same money. But he’ll have a better chance to stay in Chi-town for the rest of his career this way.
Frankly, he’s a leader on the team, he keeps guys loose, and his Harry Caray impression is fantastic. He can still be a middle-of-the-rotation pitcher with a few strong games (and bad ones) sprinkled in.
He’s getting overpaid this year but I don’t think the Cubs could get much better pitching for about the same money.
Also–“possibly Carlos Zambrano”???
Theo Epstein needs to work some magic and ship him the hell out of Chicago. Guy shoulda been gone long ago.
SAVE THE GATORADE MACHINES!!!!!!!!!
I agree–but pitching is at a premium. And if he doesn’t look willing to keep Zambrano, or talk him up as a power pitcher, then his leverage in a trade is so weak he gets nothing in return.
And from last August to this one, Zambrano was 17-6 for a crappy Cubs team. So he can still offer some team something. You’d hate to give that up AND pay for it AND still need a pitcher.
So Theo is smart to talk about holding onto assets–even if he has no desire or intention to keep some of them.
Power pitcher? Try sinker baller. He tops out at like 95, if that.
Good to hear. Great clubhouse guy and a solid starter.
I would have preferred he declined it, but oh well, its not the end of the world. He earned the right to exercise it. I dont see him fitting into our long term plans, but hes a class act and I wouldnt hold anything against him for exercising it.
I was actually hoping he did pick up the option – I had fears of him declining and signing a 3yr deal with cubs and then finding out last year wasn’t a fluke. Now if he reverts back to 09 or 10 form we have the entire year to talk exclusively to him about a 2yr extension. Slight overpay but still good to have in the clubhouse so no big deal.
Dempster’s FIP and xFIP numbers have been remarkably consistent over the past 3-4 years, suggesting that if the Cubs put a competent defense around him, his results should improve.
Theo will unload Zambrano- will pay most of the salary or swap bad contracts. Theo has to do that in order to look good in front of his new boss.
Just another one of Hendry’s awful contracts the Cubs have to ride out.
With $32 mill coming of the books next year in just Dempster and Zambrano’s money, hopefully Theo will do something smart with that cash.
Funny, not too long ago when Demp was the stopper and at top form none of these people were around. Have a bad-mediocre year and they come scurrying out of the woodwork. Dempster has earned his pay in more ways than on the field and it’s a shame some people are so shallow they can’t appreciate this fact.