Could Ryan Dempster come back to the Cubs?

The Cubs are known to be looking to improve a rotation that lost Ryan Dempster, Paul Maholm, and Matt Garza (to injury) in July.  One of those replacements may be Dempster himself.

Earlier in the day, Carrie Muskat tweeted that the Cubs were in contact with Dempster's agent about returning for next year.  Doug Padilla writes that Jed Hoyer confirmed there was some preliminary interest.

"I don't want to comment specifically, but there has been contact with him certainly," Hoyer said Thursday of Dempster. "But in general, I don't want to characterize interest because next thing you know it's a story that the Cubs are all over Dempster. But Ryan does fit that (Maholm model) really well."

I'm assuming by "Maholm model", he means a veteran pitcher who can stabilize a young rotation in the short term, yet be converted to a long term piece at the deadline.

As a rebuilding team looking for short term deals, it may prove difficult convincing players to come to a losing situation in Chicago, but Dempster's ties here may help the Cubs

Dempster's home is still in Chicago and he was an active member in this community.  Fans know that he likes it here, so much so that he turned down a deal to go to potential World Series contender Atlanta.  That left a bad taste in the mouth of many as the Cubs appeared to have a deal done for Randall Delgado, one of the Braves' better pitching prospects.  Eventually the Cubs did deal Dempster to Texas and received a couple of good prospects in Christian Villanueva and Kyle Hendricks, both of whom should be in AA next year.

Things would certainly be different this time.  Dempster wouldn't have 10 and 5 rights and the the Cubs certainly wouldn't agree to any deal with a no trade clause, so should they get offers for him again at the deadline, they'll be free to trade him.

What do you think of the possible reunion?

Filed under: Uncategorized


Leave a comment
  • fb_avatar

    I don't understand the Dempster-hate out there. He gave 110% when he was here; he was the consummate teammate, kept himself in great shape, and took the ball every 5th day, period. Yes, the trade situation was a little messed-up, but I understand his perspective; several years in Chicago, and you find out about a trade via twitter? Not cool. Plus, it was his right to control his fate; he had earned it.

    I dont' have any problem with Demp; he gave us great effort when he was here, and was always more than gracious to fans and press. I'd take him back (for the right $ of course).

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I agree. I was frustrated as most people were when the Atlanta deal fell through, but that was a right he earned and at any rate it didn't erase the good things he did here for e.

  • The past is the past for me. I defended Dempster at the deadline, but had a bit of a sour taste in my mouth at the end of it, but what's done is done, and what should be the focus is the future.

    If Dempster is willing to come here on a short term deal, with no NTC, at the right price, I'm all for it. He should still be a solid 3, 3/4 starter that can chew innings in the NL. He would add some veteran leadership to the locker room.

  • In reply to toonsterwu:

    I think this pretty much sums it up for me as well.

  • More to the point is whether Dempster left here with a bad taste in his mouth? Didn't his wife move to Colorado or Arizona? Could that be the reason he preferred LA to Atlanta?

  • In reply to SFToby:

    A lot of rumors flying about why Dempster did what he did, but I'm going to steer clear of those right now. Whatever his reasons, it was his right, so not going to blame him for exercising that.

    I think Dempster would strongly consider coming back. Appears to be no hard feelings on both sides.

  • The only thing he did was excercise the right to turn down a trade, that he put 10 years of blood sweat and tears to earn. Much of for the Cubs. Jed and Theo dropped the ball on this, they should have gone to him and got approval before anything came out, even if it was the Braves that leaked. Dempster did nothing wrong.

  • Agreed. He earned that right, he'd always been a good soldier. The one thing maybe is that he overreacted a bit, but I don't think it would have made a difference. He didn't seem to want to go anywhere but LA for awhile.

  • fb_avatar

    Dempster knew about that deal before it was leaked....and it was leaked by the Braves...that being said, i'd take him back on the cheap and like you guys said without any NTC.....

  • In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    As long as it's a 2 year deal, no NTC, I'm good with it.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Agreed, but I doubt it happens

  • In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    I'm not really optimistic either. Seems like his best chance to go to LA, but then again, he likes it here, so maybe.

  • fb_avatar

    I really have no idea why either side would want to do business with the other at this point.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Like SFToby, I wonder more about Dempster. He likes it here in Chicago,but there's nothing to stop the Cubs from trading him again if he comes back.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    I think it's close to a certainty he's here for 3 months if he takes the deal. So, from that part I understand Jed and Theo's thinking: one of the better pitchers on the market they can sign and flip. As you say, Dempster already showed himself to not like that a year ago, so why he'd willingly put himself back in that situation is a little confusing.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    That is the big question. Unless he just wants to live at home for a few months, then take another 2 month end of year vacation somewhere else. Maybe now that he's been through it, maybe he's more amenable. I don't really know,but I have the same question myself.

  • fb_avatar

    I see the obvious pros to bringing Dempster back, probably a 1 year deal with a team option for a second year, but this also has the makings for a disaster, and this is the Cubs we're talking about. Dempster will be a year older. There is probably also a lot of bad karma left over out there from the deadline, namely because of how he handled things.There is, at least, the appearance of him saying one thing and doing another. If they resign him and he doesn't pitch well, it's going to be a boo-fest every time he takes the mound at Wrigley, and if he's not pitching well, there goes the biggest reason for resigning him: potential trade value.

    All I'm saying is that resigning Dempster has the potential to be that special kind of train wreck, and it won't matter that he resigned with the Cubs for a team friendly deal. The fans, in general, aren't as savy as the ones that read this page. They don't see what ownership and the FO are trying to do, and the mainstream press, though they might see it, won't care, because blood is what sells when you aren't winning.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    It could well wind up a disaster and in all honesty, I don't think the Cubs are all that serious. I have a different theory which I wrote in the new article.

  • A rich guy who would sell houses on contract, get 'em back and sell 'em again once told me there's no better way to make money than to sell the same thing more than once.

    If the Cubs sign Demp, have him do good and trade him its pretty much the same thing. Sign him up and trade him again!

  • I think Ryan Dempster coming back would be a good thing, but like people have said, I don't see it. Someone ( e.g. Dodgers) will offer more money and/or years and Dempster and his agent will accept it. I don's see Dempster taking that much of a discount to come back here, he might love it in Chicago but he also has to be smart .It would shock me if he does re-sign here , the Dodgers want to make a splash and he's made no secret of wanting to play there.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    Agreed Steve. That seems the more likely scenario.

  • Sorry, don't want any player his age

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    He's only be here until the trade deadline.
    Then he'd get shipped out for prospects... again.

  • fb_avatar

    Maybe the bigger story in that trade mess was the leak; rumor has it, the Braves did the leaking, which is shameful, and shows a lack of front-office discipline.

    You can bet when that happened, all 30 GMs took a few minutes to use that as Exhibit A why everyone needs to keep their mouth shut until trades are announced

  • In reply to Zonk:

    About 20 years ago 2 GM's agreed on a trade, but one of the
    owners said no. Owners should never get involved in this.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Could you be more specific?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to emartinezjr:

    Jim Bowden had a deal in place to send Hal Morris to the Yankees. Marge Schott killed it because she and Morris' wife were close friends.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    To add to that, Bowden claims that when Schott got wind of the deal, which was leaked by someone in the Reds organization, Schott called him into office, asked him if the rumors were true, and then said to him, "Megan isn't going anywhere."

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Nice recall there!

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Not really, Bowden tells that story a lot on MLBNR.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    One other thing about that story, Bowden always makes sure to tell people that it was the only time she interfered in his running of the team.

    I think she was from Cincinnati, and Schott knew her family.

  • i dont think the cubs should sign dempster, but it has nothing to do with what happened at this years deadline.

    hes gonna be 36 in may. he is an injury prone pitcher. yes he had a great year, but the odds of him repeating it are very slim and i think that the cubs just need to go in a different direction. the fans need to get excited about seeing new players and im pretty sure most cub fans have come to terms with the fact that demp is done in chicago.

    i think that if we whiff on all of the other guys we try and go after then hes worth a look, but i think it should be more of a last resort thing rather than trying to sign him now while everyone else is still available.

  • Dempster lost some of the good Cub legacy he had built and this will give him a chance to earn it back. He had personal(family) reasons so lets forgive and forget. I think it fits for Ryan and the Cubs. Next years team should not give up before it starts. Young talent coming of age and seasoned veterans may surprise.

  • John, two questions:

    - Why in fact WOULD a decent SP come here for short time and money knowing he'd be traded? Is it simply the allure of playing for the Cubs plus a low-pressure opportunity to prove yourself? (Now that I say it like that, it actually doesn't sound that bad...)

    - Do you see the Cubs getting creative with any contract structures? I feel like now wouldn't be a bad time to frontload some contracts so they're either A) more tradeable later, or B) more manageable to help with salary once the Cubs are good again and they need to spend.

  • In reply to mosconml:

    First question is a good one, mosconml. There are two reasons: money and opportunity. Even for a decent pitcher it's a big market with high visibility. If they get off to a good start -- which is entirely plausible considering the way Wrigley plays early on, then they set themselves up for the future. Worked out well for Maholm.

    I think the Cubs will get creative with contracts but finances aren't my thing. One thing I'd look for is incentive laden deals for pitchers recovering from injury.

  • fb_avatar

    John, Dallas Braden elected for free agency. Is he someone the Cubs might have an interest in?

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I think they'll look into it. He has to be healthy. A bit of an oddball but mostly harmless. Right now I think they can't afford to close any doors.

  • what players do you think the cubs should select in the rule v draft? What do you think of players like,Leury Garcia of the Rangers, Michael Crouse of the Blue Jays (he kind of reminds me of brett jackson) and Michael Ynoa of the Atheletics

  • In reply to Domnk S:

    Not as big on Crouse, but I like you're thinking. I think the other two would be interesting if available. Garcia is small like Torreyes but his ability to play a quality defensive SS is big. The Cubs don't have a backup to Castro now, so it's intriguing.

    Ynoa was a big IFA signing with a whole lot of hype but he's been injured and has precious little experience under his belt. It would be about wasting a spot on the 25 man roster and bullpen, as they did with Castillo and gambling on big time upside.

  • I'm down with a Dempster signing. In fact, I'd prefer a 2 year deal to a 1 year contract. That will make him more valuable as a trade piece.

  • Isn't Demp one of those super hard-working, family guys the Cubs want the kids to look up to? That's really what I'll always remember most about the guy -- especially when he suddenly came back in 2008 as a pretty great starter. Do it and flip him (assuming the entire situation would be discussed beforehand!).

    Anyway, I kinda like what I hear of Villanueva and Hendricks. A pitcher with control in the system?! Hallelujah!

  • In reply to Dan Bradley:

    I think overall he's a good guy and the Cubs like him. And yeah, they have to have an understanding before he signs!

  • Maybe Ferguson Jenkins is available too.

Leave a comment