Dodgers interested in Ryan Dempster

Danny Knobler of CBS Sports tweets,

Dodgers are definitely interested in Cubs' Dempster, as they were 2 years ago. Back then, he didn't want to leave, and Cubs didn't trade him

The Cubs did trade Ted Lilly to the Dodgers, along with Ryan Theriot, but received little in return.  Only 2B Blake DeWitt saw MLB time and the pitchers, Brett Wallach and Kyle Smits, have fallen off the prospect radar. Smits has been released, Wallach is injured, and by next year, it's quite possible that none of them will be with the organization.

The Cubs hope to do better this time.

It's questionable as to how much the Cubs can get back.  I've seen it speculated that the Cubs can get a top 10 prospect back.  Dave Cameron of Fangraphs said in a chat that the Cubs could get more for Dempster than OF Travis Snider and RHP Noah Syndegaard from the Blue Jays.  That's lofty.  Keith Law, meanwhile, says to temper expectations because the new CBA won't allow for teams to recoup their losses on rent-a-players with a compensation pick. That's less encouraging.

There is expected to be some good competition for Dempster with all the teams still in contention and very few sellers on the market.  It's quite possible that Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster could be the two top pitchers on the market.  That may allow the Cubs to get a solid prospect, perhaps one that can make their top 10 list.  My guess is it will be a prospect with good upside but has some risks whether it's mechanics, delivery, pitchability concerns or poor 2012 performance.  They may combine that with a safer, lower-ceiling prospect that can help right away.

As for what the Dodgers have to offer, it's a lot of pitching.  They have some good arms in their system and the Cubs are in desperate need of quality pitching prospects.  The Cubs have quite a few intriguing prospects, but it's difficult to put any of them in the "impact" category right now.  That could change in time, but unfortunately, that's about where it stands right now.

This is not speculation on the return, but in case you're interested here are some of the better arms in the Dodgers system.  All are at the AA level so they're pretty close to being MLB ready....

  • Ethan Martin, RHP: Raw pitcher who has reached 98 mph out of the bullpen, secondary pitches (slider, curve) are so-so, but does have a solid change-up. He's having a good year but as you might expect, command is an issue.
  • Aaron Miller, LHP:  Has regressed somewhat but has flashed a mid 90s fastball, plus slider, and a solid change.  Velocity has dipped in recent years.
  • Nate Eovaldi, RHP: Eovaldi has a mid 90s fastball that he throws with good downward plane.  Secondary pitch is a plus slider.  Problem? Command and lack of a good change-up.  He nay end up a reliever, where he has reached triple digits.
  • Allen Webster, RHP: BAs #95 prospect, he's the top talent on this list. Has really struggled this year but he has the kind of profile this front office likes.  He has a hard sinking, mid 90s fastball, potential for a plus secondary pitch (curve, slider), and a plus change.  He also has the kind of "pitchability" that Wilken likes.  Compared to Derek Lowe.
  • Chris Reed, LHP: Great mental makeup, fastball in low to mid 90s range, flashes plus curve and potential for a good change-up. #2 starter ceiling.
  • Chris Withrow, RHP: Mid 90s fastball that can touch 98, a good, but inconsistent curveball, slider, and change.  More of a raw stuff with command issues and lower pitchability guy right now.  Has a chance to start, but I think he's a power reliever.

Another upside play could be Class A pitcher Garrett Gould, RHP, who is having an awful year in the High Class A California League, which is a notorious hitter's league.  Low 90s fastball that peaks at about 95, plus curveball and a change-up that also has plus potential.  Mid-Rotation type if he figures it out.  Some question his mental makeup as he tends to have a bit of a temper and perhaps not the kind of work ethic you would like.  Stuff-wise he's there, but the makeup questions will give the Cubs some serious pause here.





Filed under: Cubs Rumors

Tags: Ryan Dempster


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  • I think the only reasons I would trade Dempster would be (1) as a favor to him (contender) and (2) dump salary. I have no confidence the Cubs would get much of anything back for him. I wouldn't trade Garza at all. He's young enough to keep. Maybe I've just been burned by the deals over the past years where the Cubs have gotten little or nothing back.

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    In reply to JayPea:

    I think with the lack of quality SP available on the trade market, Dempster will bring back a solid prospect. There are too many teams that will be looking to add SP not to drive up the price.

    Dempster has to go for one simple reason: he won't be back next year. Rebuilding isn't about letting valuable pieces leave for nothing. Sure, we could probably resign him for a 1 year deal, although he can likely get a 2 or perhaps even a 3 year deal in free agency from some crazy team. But paying any player $10 million or more to play on a team that is going to lose 100 games next year makes no sense. If it's about adding a veteran who can help mentor kids, that can be done for far less than what Dempster will cost. Trade him and anyone who is going to be a free agent.

  • In reply to JayPea:

    I think the Cubs will get someone good, but not somebody that will get us all overly giddy.

  • David Schoenfield in his SweetSpot blog talks about some deals for Dempster:

    I think many are off base; some involve deals which move Castro to 3B or a collection of spare parts. Based on the post yesterday regarding future 3B, one interesting suggestion from him is 3B Lonnie Chisenhall from Cleveland. Schoenfield does not think Dempster for Chisenhall will work, so maybe something expanded would do the trick. Regardless, I do not know much about Chisenhall, but he is only 23. Any thoughts and comments from John, Tom, and contributors?

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Chisenhall is a great pure hitter with a chance to have above average power, so-so defense but you'll take it if he hits. I'd be happy getting him in a deal.

    Also not sure why Schoenfield obsessing over moving Castro to 3B, no such plans for that right now.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I would guess that he either A) remembers what Olney floated a few weeks back and thinks that as gospel; B) hasn't been paying attention and/or actually seen Castro play; or C) both A and B.

    I'll take C..

  • There might be reasons to keep Garza, but not Dempesy.
    Trade him, and others, for the best young pitching prospects
    we can get.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:


  • Don't make this trade. Salary is not an issue for the Cubs and as much as we want to tout prospects you still need to present a respectable team to the fans and the league for that matter. If Demp were blocking someone in our system then trade him, but he's not. Ed Lynch traded Garland for Karchner- unless you get some kind of deal like that, forget it. You need a very-close-to sure-bet minor league player for him.

  • In reply to Cuyler:

    I'm pretty sure this won't be a salary dump. Cubs need talent, and like you say, they have money.

  • John another great article! I like Webster, Reed, and Withrow. Be careful with the Dodgers after the Lilly deal. John first time commentor. I read you and Tom every day with pleasure. This Gary
    from AZ.

  • In reply to Cubs26:

    Thanks Gary, glad you could chime in. I like those names as well, lots of upside with each of them.

  • If I'm the Dodgers, I'd try to swoop in before there's a bidding war for Dempster. I think that's what's happening here.

    From the Cubs view, Dempster's value can't get much higher -- because it's not likely he'll continue pitching at a clip comparable to Strasburg. The strategy for them is to get the bidding war going now, as opposed to late July, when Dempster's numbers will likely have fallen off.

    I like what the FO is doing here, although I'm not sure it's possible to get elite prospects back from any trading partner.

  • In reply to Taft:

    I agree, if we were 1 year away I would say keep them. Since
    we are 2-3 years away, I think it is best to trade as many
    veterans as we can. The key is hoping our scouting dept.
    can indentity which prospects to ask for. I deal like trading
    a Carter for a Sutcliffe.

  • In reply to Taft:

    The Cubs need to get something of value for Dempster. He's not part of the long term plan and the Cubs won't offer him arb, so they won't get a draft pick if he leaves.

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    The Cubs have fired hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo.,0,2670982.story

  • In reply to Just Win:

    Thanks Just Win. Just got home. We'll have a piece up shortly.

  • Just off the press the Cubs fired Hitting coach. Rudy can't spell his last name.

  • In reply to Cubs26:

    Thanks! Just put up an article!

  • The Dodgers and the Hendry era Cubs also matched up on the Greg Maddux - Cesar Izturis trade. Another flop.

  • In reply to Ratmoss:

    Good point...or should I say "bad" one? :)

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    Just remember, this is a team rebuilding. As a fan, I love some of these guys. But as a baseball guy, don't fall in love with any of them.

    I think it is a wise move to trade anyone on the roster if the move makes the Team better.

    Before the Cubs are contenders, Demp' will be too old to enjoy it. So for him and the team, if it makes sense, pull the trigger now while he's hot.

  • In reply to Henry Wilfong:

    Good point Henry. Most of these guys are likely gone. There will probably be just a few players left from this current roster 3-4 years from now, and we all have a pretty good guess as to who those guys might be, but for guys like Dempster, it's best for both he and the team to move on.

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    Anthony Rizzo left Iowa's game today with a leg injury. My brother is at the game and reported that Rizzo slid into the dugout after chasing a foul ball pop-up. There was a minor delay. He left the field on his own accord

  • In reply to Chris Trengove:

    Thanks for that, Chris. Hopefully he's fine and it's just precautionary. The Cubs plan on bringing him up soon, so they want him as healthy as possible.

  • First of all, congratulations to Theo for having the courage to sign Jorge Soler. Concerning trading Dempster, unless we can get a young prospect(s) with a lot of potential from the Dodgers or whomever, forget it, ditto the rest of our veterans. I'm tired of the Cubs getting fleeced. Let's wait till the trade deadline if we have to. The trade of Lilly and Theriot was a complete disaster. And do you know the member of the Cubs that was highly reccommending this trade to Jim Hendry? None other than future hall of famer Greg Maddux, our pitching coach in 2010, who was extremely high on DeWitt, the same Greg Maddux who left us for the Braves in 1993 at the peak of his perfection and came back to us when he was washed up. Had to chuckle when I heard about the "expert" Ed Lynch talking about playing daylight games at Wrigley. Toronto is doing very well with their development of players and Eddie surely must have a minor role up there, very minor.

  • In reply to shalin:

    DeWitt looked the part I guess, nice swing and at times he showed a good approach. One of those guys who couldn't put it together. Not one of Maddux's more shining moments, I guess.

    I'm more disappointed that the pitchers didn't pan out.

  • May be good timing with Webster struggling this year for us to sneak in there and grab him for Demp.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Agreed. Sounds like a guy the Cubs would like.

  • I go back a long way, way before the Larry Himes, Eddie Lynch, and Andy McFail era, that trifecta of Gm's, real "gems", but still have nightmares about them, even with attempting to block out that period

  • In reply to shalin:

    Don't forget Jim Frey, good manager. Bad, bad GM.

  • I think a trade like this pretty much has to be done.. Demp won't be with the team next year and we won't be able to get a compensatory pick like Ramirez. So this is a prime chance for the team to acquire some impact talent. I trust this FO, I have faith that they won't be robbed like Hendry was with the whole Lilly/Theriot deal.

    For me I think I'd go after Eovaldi + 1. With Eovaldi he might be able to slot in right now. He seems like a Cashner type has good stuff but health could be a problem. At the very least he can be a closer if not a SP. Not sure if that's asking for too much though or maybe too little lol..

  • In reply to furiousjeff:

    Always hard to tell. It depends on so many factors. How badly the team wants to win now, the market (which is good right now), how teams internally view their prospects...tough to say.

    I think the Cashner comparison is a valid one. Could be there way of recouping a top arm who could start, but probably relieves.

  • I was deadset against trading Dempster before the season because I really felt like the team could use his leadership and that the Cubs wouldn't get much for him. Now, as Just Win points out, this team is at the beginning of a rebuild and the veteran leadership we need can be bought cheaper. And Dempster's trade value will never be higher. Since he's gone after the year, the Cubs should trade him even if it isn't the right market. But it is and the Cubs will probably be overpaid when the deal goes down.

    Have to wonder how much credit Bosio deserves in Dempster's amazing year.

  • In reply to Break The Curse:

    Good point. I think last year's pitching coach, Riggins, really messed with a lot of Cubs, Dempster among them. To his credit, he did change Garza's approach for the better, but Demp and maybe Wells were two guys who took big steps backwards.

  • This so fits what I was saying. The Dodgers are known for being kind of stingy with prospects, which is why they will avoid getting involved getting in the Matt Garza sweepstakes. If the Dodgers make a offer with guys like Webster, the Cubs should take it.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    Agreed, they won't (and maybe can't) pay the price for Garza, but for Demp, maybe some good arms here, lots of raw stuff to work with, but they'll need development

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    I think there are other organizations I would rather trade Dempster to than the Dodgers. They have some interesting arms, but not as interesting as what others have to offer. In any event, Dempster will not be given away like Lilly was. In fact, it won't surprise me if the Cubs pay the remainder of Dempster's salary in order get better prospects, since that is the whole purpose of trading him.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I'm not as optimistic as to what we can get for Dempster. A few of the arms on this list would be mighty interesting to me.

  • Texas has four pitchers down. I like this solution

    Ryan Dempster
    Matt Garza
    Brian Lahair

    to Texas for:

    x Jurickson Profar ss
    x Matt West P
    x Ogando P
    and, or either -
    Mike Olt 3b
    Jordan Akins of

    1. Profar ss
    2. Almora cf
    3. Castro 2b
    4. Rizzo 1b
    5. Soler rf
    6. Brett Jackson lf
    7. Baez/Mike Olt 3b
    8. Castillo c

    if Mike Olt wins 3b, turn Baez into LFer competing with Jackson or 5th infielder. Profar is better defensively than Castro, and a patient and good hitter. ss=upgrade, 2b=upgrade, 3b=upgrade, cf=upgrade, rf= potential upgrade, 1b= potential upgrade, lf= potential upgrade

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    In reply to Quasimodo:

    Wow, I love it.

  • In reply to Quasimodo:

    Wow! Nobody will ever accuse you of not thinking big :) That's quite a deal there. Profar and Olt are two of my favorite prospects in all of baseball.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    i love the deal, and im not saying that its unfair deal, but texas wont give up profar. they wont discuss him, its just not happening. we keep talking about how theo and jed want to be blown away for garza, well texas would have to be BLOWN AWAY to trade profar. they absolutely love him and would probably want a package of machado, bundy and a bullpen arm to get him (which would be an awful idea for baltimore)

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    I don't think they'll actually give up Profar and I'm skeptical on Olt as well. Doesn't seem like their style to give up their farm.

  • i like webster or reed, i think we could also squeeze out a loA guy with some upside, but im a bit of an optimist when it comes to theo and co. making trades.

    im curious to know why no one ever suggests that we should go after catching prospects. i know teams value their catching prospects, but teams are usually willing to part with them for the right price. also teams that have catching depth in the minors usually see one as their catcher of the future and are willing to unload the others. the cubs have clevenger whos seen as a backup, castillo who can be a starter, but its just as likely that hes a bust and then some guys in A ball. itd be nice to get a guy like aj jiminez (toronto) whos in AA. if we do end up trading garza or dempster to toronto or another team that has catching depth, i think a catcher should be discussed.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    I'm sure a catcher will be discussed if that's where they can get talent. Jiminez would be a possibility and If the Cubs talk with the Yankees, for example, you'd have to think Gary Sanchez is in play.

  • Keith Law is way off base on teams giving up prospects. The extra wild card is a much bigger factor, it is a total sellers market this year. Have you looked at the 5th starter on a lot of teams, even the 4th starter? And if teams are not willing to give up legit young minor league prospects, then flat out don't trade. Let management explain to their season ticket holders paying 100 bucks a ticket why they didn't go out and get a player like Dempster when they had the chance, and we lost a chance for the playoffs by a game or two. Patience Theo, the offers will start coming in.

  • I hope he's wrong. The Cubs need to keep adding top talent.

  • I didn't catch KLaw's comments in teams giving up prospects in deadline deals. What was the gist?

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    He basically said that teams will no longer give up legit prospects for free agents to be like Dempster, because they no longer will get supplemental picks the following years draft if they don't resign the player. To me, while it sounds like the prudent strategy to have, fans of teams have much less long term view of things, especially in the heat of pennant races. They want to see their club add players that can make a difference that year. Look what the Cardinals did last year, they don't even make the playoffs if they don't go out and get Dotel, Jackson and Scrabble from the Blue Jays. And they gave up their starting center fielder in Rasmus(which they are starting to regret not having) to get them.

  • I think that will have a small impact, but that can be countered by a big market for his services. I don't think the impact will be as big as he thinks it is, but maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part.

  • Of the guys on this list, I prefer Chris Reed, simply b/c he is the only one who will not need protection on the 40-man this winter, unless I have made an error in determining who is eligible for Rule 5 status.

  • John, if the Cubs could get Travis Snider for Dempster straight up I would jump all over it. He has the pedigree and is still young. I would love that deal.

  • In reply to JR Cubbies:

    I don't think the Cubs would do it. I think they like Snider, but they'd like a bit more in return. Maybe Dempster and a player for Snider and a couple of young pitching prospects.

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