Results tagged ‘ Ryan Dempster ’

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’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, 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

7/30 Dempster: I control what I can do

Ryan Dempster did the same pre-game prep work he normally does before a start except the right-hander isn’t quite sure he’ll be taking the mound Tuesday night for the Cubs. Dale Sveum said the team will have a contingency plan. Would Sveum be surprised if Dempster is still a Cub after the Traded Deadline?

“Yeah, I’d be surprised, I guess,” Sveum said. “There’s too many teams and he’s too good a pitcher for people to not want him these last two months.”

Dempster, 35, rumored to be dealt by Tuesday’s 3 p.m. CT Trade Deadline, said Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have kept him up to date when necessary. The Braves thought they had a deal last week but the Dodgers appear to have the most interest.

“If they have anything that comes to fruition, [I asked them to] just let me know and we’ll make a decision from there,” Dempster said. “Nothing’s been said in a little while.”

Dempster (5-5, 2.25 ERA) has control over where he would go because he has 10-and-5 rights (10 years in the big leagues, five with the same team). Even though he’ll make the final call, all the rumors have become a little tiring.

“I’m human, so it’s an emotional roller coaster sometimes,” he said, “but at the same time, I can control what I do, and I’m going to try to do the best job of that. I have a job to do [Tuesday] and that’s to go out there and pitch, and I”m trying to prepare for that.”

Asked if he had a gut feeling about what might happen, Dempster said, “I have all kind of gut feelings right now.”

In 1996, when Dempster was in the Rangers’ Minor League system, he was traded to the Marlins, and in 2002, he was dealt to the Reds. Getting traded isn’t a first, but it’s still been strange to hear his name mentioned so often on the clubhouse television.

“There’s tons of rumors and tons of speculation all the time,” Dempster said. “This is something I’ve tried to keep close to me so it can get handled the best it can. Sometimes there are rumors that are true, and sometimes there are rumors that aren’t. I can’t control that, I can just control what I can do and that’s go out there and prepare to do my job the best I can.”

What if the Cubs don’t make a deal?

“It’s a great place to play,” Dempster said of Chicago. “I’ve enjoyed every moment I’ve played here, and I’m super proud to be a Chicago Cub and I understand that’s always a possibility and if that’s the case, I’m going to give everything I have starting [Tuesday] night. Whatever ends up happening in 24 hours or 23 hours from now, we’ll find out then. It could be sooner, it could be wearing my uniform and going out and pitching [Tuesday].”

– Carrie Muskat

7/30 Countdown to Deadline

Will Ryan Dempster make his start Tuesday night for the Cubs? Or will he be in another uniform? Will a team take a chance on Matt Garza, who has not pitched in one week?

The Trade Deadline is a little more than 24 hours away, and the Cubs’ roster is still intact. Dempster has drawn interest from the Braves and Dodgers, and although the Braves have said they’ve moved on, the Cubs may come back to them if they can’t work out a deal with the Dodgers.’s Ken Rosenthal points out that under the new CBA, there is no longer a required 24-hour waiting period for 10-and-5 players to approve a trade. That would mean any deals can go right to the deadline as long as the player gives consent. That applies to Dempster, who has 10 years in the big leagues and five with the same team.

Garza is in a different situation in that he would be under team control through 2013. But Garza’s elbow cramp came at a bad time for the Cubs. He had to leave his July 21 start after three innings. An MRI confirmed the cramping, and a little fluid in the elbow, but it’s not serious. The Cubs have X-rays to prove it. He’s scheduled to throw a bullpen on Monday at Wrigley Field. Expect a few early bird scouts there to watch.

Paul Maholm may draw interest from teams, too. He’s 5-0 with a 1.02 ERA in his last six starts.

“As a manager, you’d be upset if anybody is gone as far as starting pitchers,” Dale Sveum said Sunday. “But that’s part of the game. Whatever happens, that’s part of what happens with organizations trying to do things different and trying to build for the future.”

The Cubs pitchers aren’t the only ones drawing interest. Teams looking for another bat for the bench are focusing on Reed Johnson, David DeJesus and Jeff Baker. Johnson and Baker are well suited to their roles as bench players; DeJesus has been a starter. The Pirates were believed to be keeping an eye on Johnson and DeJesus.

Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, and general manager Jed Hoyer have been working the phones rather than talking to the media in the last few days. The deadline is Tuesday at 3 p.m. CT.

– Carrie Muskat


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