Results tagged ‘ Ryan Dempster ’

8/3 Dempster’s message

Ryan Dempster said goodbye to the Cubs and Chicago area fans in a full page ad in the Chicago Tribune on Friday. Here’s his message:

Thank you Chicagoland!

Thank you for welcoming me, my family and the Dempster Family Foundation with open arms. Your support over the years means the world to us. We will always have fond memories of our years in Chicago.

A special thanks to the Ricketts family, the Chicago Cubs organization and my teammates — past and present — for their support over the years as a member of one of the greatest sports franchises in the world.

Although I will be playing baseball in another city, our Foundation remains committed to our mission here, and we look forward to being a part of this community for years to come.

Chicago has always been my kind of town.

Ryan Dempster

8/1 Follow up on Dempster trade

The Cubs would’ve preferred that Ryan Dempster had a dozen teams he wanted to be traded to but the right-hander made it clear the Dodgers were No. 1 on his list, and Theo Epstein said it isn’t fair to portray the pitcher as being selfish in his stance. On Tuesday, the Cubs dealt Dempster to the Rangers for two Minor League players after they were unable to complete a deal with the Dodgers. Los Angeles gave Epstein a list of untouchable players, and didn’t budge. Dempster had the final say because he has 10-and-5 rights.

Two or three days before news broke on July 23 that the Braves and Cubs had consumated a deal, Epstein told Dempster that Atlanta was very interested and to consider that team. The day before, Epstein told Dempster the Braves weren’t going to wait long for a decision. The Cubs and Braves then finalized the names.

“Ryan never got the opportunity for more than an hour to fully contemplate Atlanta with a deal actually in place,” Epstein said. “I feel for him. Instead of having time to contemplate it privately, he had everyone telling him what to do and asking questions about it. I think it’s hard to criticize him.”

Dempster never said he didn’t want to be traded to the Braves. He was holding out for a chance to go to the Dodgers.

“He didn’t say ‘no’ — he said, ‘not now,'” Epstein said. “He said, ‘No, I’m not going to go to Atlanta until I see about L.A.’ Atlanta very reasonably didn’t want to wait around and risk not getting a pitcher. He had a place he wanted to go, and a clear No. 1, which is his right, and he wanted to see that through and I don’t hold that against him.”

Any criticism directed at Dempster isn’t warranted, Epstein said.

“It’s not fair for anyone to criticize Ryan unless they’ve been in that spot,” Epstein said. “It’s a right he’s earned. Do we wish he would’ve had 12 places that were an ideal destination for him instead of one? Sure. That Atlanta deal that we had lined up, I felt was an outstanding deal for the organization. Would we have liked to have executed it? Absolutely.”

The Cubs were to get 22-year-old Randall Delgado in exchange for Dempster. Instead, they were able to still complete a deal with the Braves, sending Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson for two Minor League pitchers.

In the final hour before the Trade Deadline on Tuesday, Dempster was with Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer to listen to conversations with the Dodgers.

“Once he came into our office and actually heard the conversations we had with L.A., he came to realize, ‘OK, that’s not actually going to happen, let me consider a couple other places,’ and the deal got done with about three minutes left,” Epstein said.

Dempster, Epstein and Hoyer were able to joke about the talks prior to the Trade Deadline.

“I know it started to be characterized in the media as contentious, and it wasn’t at all,” Epstein said. “Had we made that trade with Atlanta, we don’t get [Arodys] Vizcaino for Maholm and Johnson. Everything worked out in the end.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/31 Clubs ask re: Soriano

Alfonso Soriano confirmed the Cubs front office did talk to him about accepting a possible deal on Tuesday. Soriano has a no trade clause, and can veto any move.

“I’m here, nothing happened,” Soriano said. “I try to come every day and do my job in the field.”

The 36-year-old outfielder didn’t want to leave the Cubs.

“I’m very happy to stay here,” he said. “It’s sad that a lot of people go, and for now the team looks a little different. We’ve got to come every day and be strong mentally and try to do the job.”

Theo Epstein talked to Soriano about his options.

“He appreciated what I did,” Soriano said. “They were open to a couple of things. They had a chance to get something for me. It didn’t happen, and I don’t know why, but I’m here. I get to keep doing what I like to do and that’s play baseball.”

The Cubs definitely have a youth movement underway following the trades of Paul Maholm, Ryan Dempster, Reed Johnson and Geovany Soto.

“It’s tough,” Soriano said. “We see a couple of key players leave. There’s two months, and we have to keep grinding and play hard. I know they want to build a new team and young guys and that’s good, but we have two months left in the season. It’s not over yet.”

Dempster had 10-and-5 rights, and had a say in where he was going. But he will be a free agent after this season. Soriano has two years remaining on his eight-year, $136 million contract.

“Dempster’s situation and mine is kind of the same,” Soriano said. “He’s a free agent next year and I have two years, and I think mine is a little more complicated. It depends on the team and what they want. I’m open to a couple of teams and we’ll see what happens in the future. We’ll see what happens in August and when the season is over.”

The Cubs could put Soriano through waivers. Now that the non-waiver trade deadline has passed, deals involving players on the 40-man roster cannot be made unless the players already have cleared waivers. In other words, the player must be offered to the other teams in reverse order of the standings, and if he is claimed by one of the teams, he cannot be traded. The club that placed the player on waivers can either withdraw the request and keep the player, or let the player go to the claiming team, which would then have the rights to the player.

– Carrie Muskat

7/31 Saying no to the Dodgers

Ryan Dempster had made it clear he wanted to play for the Dodgers but the Cubs couldn’t come up with a deal that worked for both sides.

“Two teams have to agree on a value to make a trade, and I guess we never got to that point,” GM Jed Hoyer said. “It’s no fault of theirs, it’s no fault of ours. That’s why trades are hard to make. You assume when you pick up the phone to call a team, most trades don’t work out because people value things differently. We could never get to the right place together. It wasn’t for lack of phone minutes, that’s for sure.”

When told the Cubs and Dodgers couldn’t agree, Dempster gave Hoyer the go-ahead to talk to other teams.

“Once the Dodgers were out, there were two teams that got in on it and the Rangers moved really fast,” Dempster said. “They obviously have a very good team and I’m going to go down there and hopefully be a small piece of what they have going there. They’re in first place and proven winners the last couple years. I’m going to go down there and hopefully sneak in the back door and try to blend in and do my job when asked to do my job.”

Said Dodgers GM Ned Colletti: “We made a game effort. We did the right thing. It doesn’t preclude us doing something later. They wanted not just one prime prospect, plus other people, too. We decided we’re going to pass on that and move on.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/31 How times change

There aren’t many players left who were featured on the cover of the Cubs Cookbook, created to raise money for Ryan Dempster’s foundation.

7/31 The new kids on the Cubs

The Cubs get third baseman Christian Villanueva and right-handed pitcher Kyle Hendricks from the Rangers in exchange for Ryan Dempster. Both were playing at Class A Myrtle Beach.

“One was a young third baseman signed out of Mexico not for a big signing bonus and the other was a late round draft pick out of a sma;ll northeast college,” Rangers GM Jon Daniels said of Villanueva and Hendricks, “and they brought back an All-Star big league pitcher. These are two guys in addition to being talented, they have tremendous makeup. They are going to get the most out of their ability. The Cubs got two good players.”

Hendricks, 22, was an eighth-round pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Dartmouth, and was 5-8 with a 2.82 ERA in 20 starts for Class A Myrtle Beach. He had 112 strikeouts and had walked 15 over 130 2/3 innings.

“He’s not a hard thrower, but not a soft tosser either,” Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said. “Our reports had him up to 93 [mph], and he mixes his pitches well. When you look at his performance, he’s done a nice job.”

Villanueva, 21, was batting .285 with 19 doubles, one triple, 10 home runs and 59 RBIs in 100 games with Myrtle Beach.

“Villanueva is a guy we’ve liked for a while,” Hoyer said. “He has a good approach a the plate, has some power.”

It’s not known where the two will be assigned in the Cubs Minor League system.

On Monday night, the Cubs acquired right-handed pitchers Arodys Vizcaino and Jaye Chapman from the Braves. Vizcaino, considered the top prospect in the deal, was recovering from Tommy John surgery, while Chapman was pitching at Triple-A Gwinnett this year.

“We’re getting there,” Hoyer said about the organization’s depth. “We have to have a lot more good drafts and make more good trades. I think the best teams are able to replenish the bullpen internally and able to bring up starters from the Minor Leagues whenever they need to and we’re not at that point yet. Since we got here, we’ve worked hard to build up that depth. I don’t think the job is complete.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/31 Dempster moves on

The Cubs’ deal with the Rangers for Ryan Dempster was finalized less than five minutes before the 3 p.m. Trade Deadline. Dempster wanted to go to the Dodgers but when no trade was possible, he gave Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer other teams, which opened the door for the Yankees and Rangers.

“Once the Dodgers were out, there were two teams that got in on it and the Rangers moved really fast,” Dempster said. “They obviously have a very good team and I’m going to go down there and hopefully be a small piece of what they have going there. They’re in first place and proven winners the last couple years. I’m going to go down there and hopefully sneak in the back door and try to blend in and do my job when asked to do my job.”

Now that the Trade Deadline has passed, Dempster said he felt relief.

“There’s definitely a lot of excitement to go to a first place team and a winner,” he said. “There’s some tough feelings and emotions. I played here for a long time and I pitched a lot of games on that mound. It’ll be weird not putting on that Cubs uniform.”

He had talked to Greg Maddux, now on the Rangers front office, in Spring Training, and the former Cubs pitcher raved about Texas manager Ron Washington.

Dempster sat in Hoyer’s office while the details were finalized.

“Within a matter of minutes, before the Trade Deadline, I was a Texas Ranger,” he said.

– Carrie Muskat

7/31 Dempster to Rangers

Ryan Dempster apparently said yes to the Rangers. The Cubs’ makeover continued Tuesday when they traded Dempster to the defending American League champions, finalizing the deal minutes before the 3 p.m. CT Trade Deadline. The Cubs get two Class A players in return.

The 35-year-old right-hander, who ranks among the National League leaders with a 2.25 ERA, had favored a deal to the Dodgers but apparently altered his wish list. The Yankees also were believed to be in talks with the Cubs. <p> The Cubs thought they had a deal last week which would’ve sent Dempster to the Braves but the right-hander exercised his 10-and-5 rights (10 years of service, five with the same team) and rejected that move. He had given Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, a list of teams he would prefer.

Dempster will be a pure rental. Players must be with a team for an entire season in order to qualify for draft-pick compensation. This is in the last year of his four-year contract with the Cubs, which was paying him $14 million this season. His career has come full circle. Dempster was selected by the Rangers in the third round of the 1995 First-Year Player Draft by the Rangers, then traded in ’96 to the Marlins.

– Carrie Muskat 

7/31 Dempster & the Dodgers

The Dodgers acquired outfielder Shane Victorino from the Phillies on Tuesday but FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal says Los Angeles is not done improving its roster. Rosenthal reports the Dodgers are focused on Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster and want him before today’s 3 p.m. CT Trade Deadline. Dempster was scheduled to start Tuesday night for the Cubs against the Pirates. However, the Cubs were expected to have pitcher Casey Coleman in Chicago as a contingency plan. Dempster has hinted he’d prefer to go to the Dodgers. As a player with 10-and-5 rights, he has veto power.

– Carrie Muskat

7/31 The Braves’ take on Cubs deal

Ryan Dempster’s decision to block a deal to the Braves may have benefitted Atlanta. One week ago, the Cubs and Braves had a deal in place which would’ve sent Dempster to Atlanta for 22-year-old pitcher Randall Delgado. But Dempster apparently exercised his 10-and-5 rights, and said no. Now, the Braves have a starting pitcher and an experience right-handed bat on the bench after Monday night’s deal which sent Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson to Atlanta for two Minor League pitchers. The Cubs are looking to the future. They get heralded right-handed pitching prospect Arodys Vizcaino and Minor League right-hander Jaye Chapman.

“It was a perfect fit for us,” Braves GM Frank Wren told reporters in Atlanta Monday night, including MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. “We got two real key pieces for us that we were looking for.   If we are done, if nothing else materializes for us [Tuesday], we’ll be very happy with where we are right now.”

Vizcaino, ranked as the Braves’ third-best prospect by MLB.com, is a hard-throwing right-hander who spent the final two months of the 2011 season in Atlanta’s bullpen.  He underwent Tommy John surgery in March. Once he is healthy, the 21- year-old hurler has the potential to be a dominant force at the back end of the bullpen or possibly a starting pitcher.

“He’s a good-looking young pitcher and we gave up a quality prospect,” Wren said. “But to not give up some of the guys that have been mentioned, that was a real plus for us.  The Cubs are in a different spot than we’re in.  They’re looking for  a long-range young pitcher that they can hold on to for a long time. We’re in a spot where we feel like we have a team that can win.”

When the Braves began their search for a starting pitcher, they put Zack Greinke at the top of their wish list. It appeared they had Dempster but once he rejected that deal, the Braves began looking at other options. Maholm is 5-0 with a 1.02 ERA in his last six starts.

“The thing that kept coming back from scouts is that he is not going to give in,” Wren said. “When I say that, he’s not going to throw a fastball just because he’s behind in the count.  He’s not going to throw you a fastball in fastball counts.  He’s going to pitch his game and he’s been very good at that.”

The Cubs also will send some cash to the Braves. Maholm isn’t just a rental; he has a $6.5 million option for the 2013 season.  His presence allows the Braves the choice to send Kris Medlen back to the bullpen after he makes his first start of the year on Tuesday.

Wren said he tried to acquire Johnson before last year’s Trade Deadline and has always liked the talented outfielder.  With some uncertainty surrounding Matt Diaz’s injured right thumb, the Braves had an even greater need to acquire Johnson this year. Johnson has batted .307 with three home runs and a .807 OPS in 166 at-bats with the Cubs this season.  The 35-year-old outfielder has batted .280 with a .743 OPS in 161 career pinch-hit at-bats.

“He gives you a professional at-bat and he plays the game the right way,” Johnson said. “It’s hard to find right-handed hitters who can play center field and left field as well.  With our club, that is so important. We need another right- handed hitter that you feel comfortable to put out there for a number of at-bats.”

– Carrie Muskat

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 277 other followers