The Ryan Dempster Era Will Continue

UPDATE: Here are the contract terms according to $8 Million in 2008 with a $4M bonus ($12M total). $12.5M in 2010, $13.5 M in 2011 and a 2012 $14M player option which is almost a guarantee to be picked up. And as I mentioned earlier, I'm about 90% certain he's earned 10/5 no-trade rights.

It's being picked up by multiple news sources that the Ryan Dempster Experience will call Chicago home for the next four years. It sounds like it might be for a total of $52M a year or $13M on average. That's a pretty good deal if he pitches like he did last year, not so much if he pitches like 2001-2003. For what was out there though and for how much the Cubs and Dempster seem to like each other, it sounds like the right deal. He really did have a fantastic 2008 season. His 152 ERA+ was good for third best in the NL.

When you consider he pitched in the NL Central and Wrigley Field, a real hitter's paradise in 2008, his numbers compare quite favorably to that one Padre pitcher the Cubs have been pursuing, who pitches at the baseball equivelant of Yellowstone National Park.

OPS against
Dempster 1.21 8.14 3.31 2.46  .61  .641 152
Peavy 1.18 8.60 3.06 2.81  .88  .642 137

Plus Dempster had a .288 BABIP, which may rise a bit, but it's not too far off what is normally expected (around the .300 range).

That's not to say that Dempster is as good as Peavy, it's to say that he was last year. Peavy is still younger, has a longer track record of success and better "stuff", but Dempster isn't going to cost the Cubs their entire arsenal of prospects. And for all we know the Cubs could still acquire Peavy as well.

We'll see what the contract specifics end up being as I expect a good number of incentive bonuses in there. I believe with Dempster resigning, he automatically gets 10/5 rights so a no-trade clause should kick in.


I think it is obvious that if Dempster pitches like he did this year, he is every bit as good, if not better, than Peavy. Which would make a 4/50 (or so) deal well worth it.

The big question is whether or not Dempster's season was fluky. His peripherals were very good, and don't appear to be a matter of great luck.

Of course, as many have pointed out, someone like Peavy presents as many risks as Dempster does. Dempster has the risk of being a fluke, as well as a past with injury issues. Peavy also had injury issues and is said to require almost Harden-like babying.

And of course, I would love to see Peavy join this rotation, and have, far and away, the best rotation in baseball:

I would also be pretty interested in Randy Johnson over Peavy. Lower risk, but, imo, just as high of an upside.

But this is just the beginning of what could be a pretty interesting off-season.

I hate to say it, but it's time to take another look at Mark Prior. He's about where Dempster was in his career when Hendry signed him, but with a more serious upside and more persistent injuries. His price is right and our expectations are probably finally realistic about his future.

My expectation for his future is as a high school baseball coach.

Ryan Dempster was/is not a douche.

mark prior=wade miller

really want Milton Bradley

that turf can't possibly be good for his legs

The old astroturf was terrible for knees/ankles, but the new stuff is actually better cushioned than grass.

hmm....Vernon Wells disagrees...

just kidding, I still thought the new turfgrass stuff wasn't that kind...could be wrong.

I play on a rec soccer team on that new turfgrass stuff here in Rome and it's really not bad. It hurts a bit to fall on, but it feels the same as grass cutting and running.

Hey Andrew:

If you mean Rome, Italy, does anyone follow baseball? Or is it still:

sitting for long periods
car racing?


That's pretty much it, assuming by football you mean "calcio." There's really no sport that compares to that.

Considering what Peavy would cost, my vote is that this is the right move. Cubs retain control of Marshall to spell for unavoidable downtime to one of the top five - Z, Demp, Lilly, Marquis and whoever Hendry gets, hopefully a one-year flyer for medium dollars on a Randy Johnson or a Jon Garland type.

NO thanks to Garland and is Johnson really necessary now? Unless you trade Marquis (which we all hope for), you've got the same starting 5 as last year. I'd rather trade Marquis and keep pushing for Peavy. We have more leverage now as we don't need him and so Vitters should be off the table.

I hope the new owner has deep pockets or else we're going to have to really shed payroll come 2010.

On one hand you're saying get a pitcher with a four-year contract and then on the other hand you're saying you're worried about the payroll after 2009. Marquis and Johnson won't have payroll implications after 2009.

I know. But I think, when it comes to Peavy at least, that's a problem you deal with a year from now. Needless to say I hope the new owner has few payroll constrictions.

I'd like to see the Cubs do a one-year deal for a #4ish starter. I figure RanJo is the best options who might accept and the backup plan would be Garland. I don't like him lots, but one year and about 6M with incentives up to 9 or 10 seems acceptable risk v reward. I figure he's good for 200 innings and can probably shave about half a point off his ERA with a league switch.

Looking for pitchers going into the final year of their contract, I can't see any better (and also obtainable) options than Duchscherer, and we'd probably have to give up a lot of the same pieces we would for Peavy.

Considering the total picture, I'd take one stopgap year of Garland rather than five years of Peavy. It's too early in the tournament for Hendry to go all-in with his chips, and I have a hunch he'll want those chips later for something besides starters.

I don't see Garland taking the one year deal you mentioned. He's essentially Marquis with a slightly better record. Expect a three or four year deal for $30 to $40 million.

It's quite possible you're right.

Yeah, I assumed a multi-year contract for Garland also.

I'm certainly skeptical that Dempster will be worth keeping around for 4 years. I'd like to think that 08 wasn't a fluke, but I also have some serious doubts when a player has a career season (by a wide margin) at age 31.

Oh, and if this contract is actually for $52M a year, then we're really got a problem....

Harden would have to go to Pads or Third team in trade with Peavy.

I would still prefer a left handed bat if we are looking to mortgage the farm.

Pedroia wins AL MVP, first AL 2B to win since Nellie Fox in 1959

full voting
Morneau finishes 2nd, Mauer 4th...proving it's more important who hits in front of you, not behind you.

Morneau had more runners on when he came up than anyone in baseball and more men on in scoring position.
Some asshole gave Jason Bartlett a 5th place vote.

I'm of mixed opinion a bit on this deal. Certainly, I like Dempster as a player and as a team leader, and I was pleased to hear that Rothschild called him one of the smartest pitchers he'd been around at utilizing scout reports. I still think though he's a decent injury risk and am afraid that this is a bit of a high price to pay for one year and I wouldn't have minded the draft picks that we would have gotten. I hope that this doesn't end the Peavy negotiations -- he's still one of the top 5 pitchers in baseball and although we no longer really need him, he'd still give us a hell of a rotation, unrivaled in the NL. If I were Hendry, I'd try to trade Marquis and some prospects for a bat. Still, I'm glad that this won't leave us in the lurch with a rotation of Z, Harden, Lilly going into the year, which although good would have been less good than last year.

Andrew: "...I still think though he's a decent injury risk ."

I brought this up last thread.

Isn't nearly every pitcher a decent injury risk?

CC and Greg Maddux are the real exceptions.

It is "normal", even, I'd surmise that a high percentage of starters will need some kind of surgery. Its like putting in new engine components. Demp had his replaced already and last year was the result in Hendry's mind.

As CUBSTER would say, getting surgeries on elbows or shoulders gives no guarantee to future performance, on the other side of the coin either.

I get the hesitancy of some to buy into Dempster's long-term success, but is his injury "risk" really that relevant? He's been healthy since he came back in '04. Granted, different role last year and coming up, but still...

I agree with Andrew and Bleeding Blue as much as Dempster may be a swell guy. His stats for the six years prior to 2008 was mediocre at best. We may be getting suckered into a Pavano or Jose Guzman type deal...I would have rather spent it on Peavy and take my chances or spend it on a legit leadoff man (even 12 mil for one year of furcal..only one year). We'll see...i hope to god Dempster isn't an abberation...I would love to pedal off Marquis and put Marshall in the rotation. Interested to see what we do about this L handed bat...because all the left handed RF's have two left hands in the field!

even 12 mil for one year of furcal..only one year

Heh... there is absolutely no way that Furcal is signing a one-year deal this year.

And I don't need a crystal ball to predict that one.

One thing I don't understand from Rosenthal's article is this:

The return of Dempster would not necessarily make the Cubs less likely to trade for Padres right-hander Jake Peavy, sign free-agent lefty Randy Johnson or pursue any other player.

Their next steps likely would depend upon the wishes of the team's new ownership group, which is expected to be selected before Christmas, sources said.

I thought this was going to drag on until spring at the earliest? The ownership group will be picked in the next four weeks? Even if that's true, the Cubs and Hendry are just supposed to sit on their hands until it happens?

Rumors were that Zell still wants it done by Christmas, but I think Rosenthal is trying to pin that bit of info onto the Cubs plans for the offseason. It's unlikely they're connected.

It's also unlikely a deal gets done by then.

Levine said the same thing with Ricketts family as the buyers.

ANDREW - see above...

WMVP saying that the Dempster deal is 4/$48 + a $1 million per year bonus. Expected to be officially announced within the hour.

WMVP saying that the Dempster deal is 4/$48 + a $1 million per year bonus.

What's the point of the bonus? Why not just 4/52?

Or is it really 16, 12, 12, 12?

added this to the post..

His 152 ERA+ was good for third best in the NL.

and a column to the table comparing ERA+, Dempster 152, Peavy 137

doesn't lay out the financial terms though...

WMVP also saying that Hendry is focused on M.Bradley for RF, not that high on Ibanez, and also you can expect another spike in ticket prices across the board. Stunner

My master plan is coming to fruition.

Has anyone heard any dollar values on Bradley yet? crunch and I had greatly varying opinions in our prestidigitonotations.


Although I think you mean to use here prognostications

I googled prestidigitonotations to see if it was even remotely a word or just an awesome made up word that I might start using, and the only thing that came up, in the entire internets, was this TCR post.

A+ to both of you, for winning at scrabble AND the internets

if you sign bradley to play OF what happens when he cant?

he doesn't belong anywhere near a NL team...especially one with a 1st baseman already...especially for a guy looking multi-year.

i just can't see how they can devote 12+m to the guy multiyear.

don't trade Pie?

Pie, Fukudome, DeRosa, Reed Johnson...I guess Hoffpauir maybe.

Fontenot can play 2nd for DeRosa.

the one thing I did agree with Neal about Bradley is that the Cubs can take on that risk. I still think he'll hover around a .900 OPS though. 

You're talking about the guy like he's David Ortiz. I know his last significant injury happened while running the bases - sort of. Do you (we) even know if fielding makes his problems worse? He played the outfield last year, less than a year off of ACL surgery. If we can carry a gimpy Jim Edmonds for five months, I think we can carry a 31 year old Milton Bradley for six.

Does anyone else see that 'don't pay for weightloss' add. I agree, if you're pregnant, just have your baby to lose 20 lbs.

"Does anyone else see that 'don't pay for weightloss' add. I agree, if you're pregnant, just have your baby to lose 20 lbs."

Do you know the hospital costs involved? That would be the most expensive weight loss program ever.

What about the bat shit crazy part?

milton's played 1 healthy season in the past 5 years. his OF he played last year was far from quality. the guy is looking 3+ years.

there is heavy risk involved in the guy. it's not just for 5 months and 300K.

if bradley was looking a 1 or 2 year deal i wouldn't have much of an opinion on the matter.

the guy has had arm and leg problems nearly non-stop since the early 00s.

there's a partial injury history (almost complete).

Here's some other DH's

Put him in right field, five days a week - he'll probably be fine. I think it's when the manager tries to play him everyday for three weeks in a row that leads to the muscle problems.

Let's see what his offers are before we decide that three years at $12 million is too much. I doubt he'll hit both those numbers, but he could.


interesting logic there.

You're logic was that he has nagging injuries, therefore he is a DH. I agree that it is interesting and extrapolated it.

He played the outfield last year, less than a year off of ACL surgery. If we can carry a gimpy Jim Edmonds for five months, I think we can carry a 31 year old Milton Bradley for six.

just for argument's sake, Bradley played 97 games at DH last year, 19 in RF and 1 in left and he still got injured.  

I certainly wouldn't be upset if they got him, but I would certainly worry about the length of the contract. 

Bradley would be a mistake. He is injury and total meltdown prone and when he is on the field he is just average for a corner OF outside of the BPIA. Id rather take a Vitters/Pie/Marshall package and go get a RF with it. With Demp back in the fold we dont need another top-tier SP.

Which right-fielder is this? A solid fielding, left handed hitting right fielder with 25 HR potential- I can't think of any.

Agreed, Neal. I'm not really of the mind that Bradley helps us, and although I like Dunn's bat, he's a mess in the OF, let alone RF.

Still, I don't know where these anonymous yet seemingly available RF's are coming from.

Huh? How would Bradley NOT help the Cubs?

bradley can help...but if he's around 120-130 games...

1- who plays for him while he rests his 12+m bones
2- where does he play while "easing back" into the game from his injuries

on an AL team his production can be the past 2 years, especially, in the DH role.

if you take the guy's past 3 seasons of field-work you get 1 full season.

1- who plays for him while he rests his 12+m bones

 didn't we cover this already? pick one...

Fukudome, Pie, Johnson, DeRosa...even Hoffpauir.  

yeah, i was just throwing out main "known" issues...i know that one's been fielded and who is most likely to fill in.

Yeah. It depends a lot on how long Bradley's contract is. It isn't so much that he wouldn't be beneficial in terms of numbers, but more how long he'd put those up, due to injuries and attitude.

Here is a list of said guys who could be had for this offseason because published reports have put them on the block:

Brad Hawpe
Rick Ankiel
Jeremy Hermaida
Kelly Johnson (you could move back to the OF or keep him at 2b and play Dero in the OF.)

Guys that might be able to persuade their current teams out of:

Nate Mclouth
Andre Either (the Dodgers have an influx of OF's and could sell high on Either)

BTW I doubt Milton Bradley would be a good defensive OF with his bum knees.

Brad Hawpe - allowed 23 more runs than an average right fielder according to BP last year, in an injury shortened season.
Rick Ankiel - he plays for the Cardinals, has been a pretty bad CF'r (though good in 22 games in RF) and is also an injury risk... and the HGH thing too.
Jeremy Hermida - three runs below average fielding last year, but most reports would call that generous. His percieved value is mostly based on some crazy good BABIP luck in 2007. I think he'll eventually be a pretty good hitter, but he had an OPS+ of 91 last year, may as well go with Pie and Fukudome.
Kelly Johnson - Not a bad player, but not much of a better hitter than the Fontenaught. He also has some reversish platoon splits, and some injuries in his history.

Nate McLouth - cannot figure out why the Pirates would trade him.
Ethier - Good fit for the Cubs, but who is going to push him out of a job with the Dodgers, particuarly if Manny is gone?

I agree that there are 'targets' but if you say 'who are left handed, good defensive players, will stay healthy and have some pop' the only guys are Ethier and McLouth (assuming McLouth's RF defense is much better than his bad CF defense, and in limited chances it hasn't been) and neither of those guys are available.

Just noticed the caption for the picture. Well played, Rob.

says Cuban's bid was too low

at least four other groups are still seen as serious, according to people familiar with the sales talks: a Michael Tokarz-led group; investors headed by Leo Hindery Jr. and Mark Utay; Chicago real estate magnate Hersch Klaff; and the Ricketts family, which started TD Ameritrade.

I'm a bit confused though since offers were suppose to be due around Thanksgiving, so I'm wondering if they're talking about the previous round before the big stock market crash.

Ameritrade must be raking it in with their 'sell, sell, sell, short, buy, sell' business.

are at the top of the post

$4 million bonus - nice corporate shenanigans that benefits both the player and the team with the expected upcoming tax changes. I imagine we'll see a whole lot of that with contracts that are finalized this year.

Just played on WSCR-

Dempster on 2008 Cubs-

"we underestimated how prepared you need to be for the playoffs."


that's not gonna win over any fans...

I would guess that the 'we' here is mostly Lou resting guys too much the last 8 days of the season.

that's a leap...

he seemed to play the starters every other day and that was enough to get DeRosa hurt. 

I can't recall exactly what he did with the rotation. 

I remember complaining because he pulled back Dempster with two starts left in the season.

I don't know if it's a leap, at all. What else is he saying? That they should have had two-a-days or drank a bunch of Red Bull (is that banned?) before the games?

or the players goofed off the last week and were treating the playoffs like every other game.

some of that goes on the manager certainly, a lot of it if that is the case, but there's enough vets in that clubhouse to know better.  

He was serious.

And that indicts Lou and the players who were on the team in 2007.


That's a pretty big leap.

Ah, Demp --- were you referring to 2007 or 2008?

Hopefully, this is his goofy humor coming out.

Who cares? Whether he says it or not, they clearly were under-prepared for both '07 and '08.

FWIW, Dempster's full conference call is up on

Six teams in nine seasons -- speaks volumes.

What would be the over/under on when he and Piniella go after each other in the dugout?

Just wait until he makes a throwing error with Zambrano losing it on the mound!

He seems to have mellowed a bit. There wasn't much out of San Diego or Texas about him... of course he was also knocking the crap out of the ball, so maybe that has something to do with it.

except the part where he almost killed the racist ump and tore up his knee...

Despite of everything else, what did you think of the play Mrs. Lincoln?

He almost killed him by swearing at him or giving him an really nasty look?

By crumpling in pain when he tore his ACL.

I can't find the video online, didn't he go right at him, held back by a couple of guys and tore his MCL?

As I recall he went to get in his face and the first base coach interceded. There wasn't any sign of violence or thrown punches or anything. Might as well accuse Lou of trying to kill people.

Here you go- I guess it was Bud Black. That pretty much eliminated him from Manager of the Year I guess.

You can see the first base coach actually goes after the umpire before Bradley. Did anyone ever hear the rest of the story on that? Obviously he should have been suspended and fined.

Bradley was not fined, because he made no contact, ump was suspended.

The original comment was that he "mellowed".

Except when he tried to go up to TV booth to "confront" Ryan Lefebvre about comments he made during a game last year.

This on top of-
Altercation with manager Eric Wedge on Cleveland
Throwing a water bottle into stands in L.A.
Accused Jeff Kent of being a racist(okay probably give him that)
Padres incident

So yeah I can see how this kind of mellow, levelheaded, injury proned vet could do nothing but help the Cubs.

He seems to be mellowing - not perfect, but he's not punching teammates in the face either.

Some of those things our very own Cubbies have done (and worse).

Just last year he had to be restrained from climbing 4 flights of stairs to confront an announcer during a game.

That's mellowing?

I thought the figure of speech was obvious in my statement....

but I think going berserk to the point that your manager throws you down and you tear up your knee is grounds for calling him crazy. When something like that happens to Lou, let me know....

as for the real story

pretty clear the ump was the instigator

Wow. It's funny, but watching that video makes me want to like the guy (Bradley) or at least empathize with him. This has nothing to do with whether I think the Cubs should try to sign him up or not.

In the video it's Black that does the stupid thing and hurts Bradley. How can you reasonably say what Bradley did there (after being called a piece of shit) is more crazy than the typical Piniela antics?

The only differnce is that no one is grabbing Piniela's shirt and trying to drag him down from behind.

Clearly Black thought that Bradley needed to be physically restrained, although he did that in a very awkward manner.

Then again, players are often restrained and managers are almost never restrained, so it may say more about what role a guy has on the team than the likelihood of the guy to sock an umpire.

Ah yes, our old friend the "player option." Much like with ARam a couple years ago, Dempster will exercise his player option only if his market value is under $14 million, and if it's higher than $14 million he'll become a free agent (or at least be paid like one by the Cubs when he renegotiates).

So if he's bad/mediocre after 2011 we'll get to overpay him in 2012, if he's great we'll lose him or -- best case -- pay him his higher market value salary.

I know that all negotiations have a give and take, but this provision really sucks. It's far less favorable than a simple straight 4 year deal with the 4th year set at $14 million.

probably the cost to get him to agree to an average $13M salary. Burnett and Lowe I think will get more.

I'm more worried about Bradley going into the stands if there's a particular heckler he doesn't care for at Wrigley. At least keep the BP folding chairs away from him while he's in RF.

Sweet. Glad to hear Demp will be back.

ROB G: Dempster becomes a "10/5" player on January 22, 2009.

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  • Thanks PHIL.

    Boy, that is a nifty K:BB ratio Hudson has going at almost 4:1!

    I hope he continues improving.

    The E-Man 3 hours 25 min ago view
  • And of course the Bucs won again playing AZ (not PHIL). They dont seem to have a problem yet with the bottom feeders.

    They picked up 3 games this last week.

    I'm looking forward to them coming to the Chi.

    The E-Man 3 hours 53 min ago view
  • Don't mess with the SI jinx. Since the Javy/Cubs cover came out, he is 2-for-20 with no walks.

    billybucks 4 hours 4 min ago view
  • BRADSBEARD: If all three are assigned to Eugene, the Cubs can play Galindo, Paredes, and Paniagua at the same time by moving Paredes between SS-3B-DH, Galindo between 3B-1B-DH, and Paniagua between 1B-LF-DH. 

    The Cubs like to have their players (including their minor leaguers) learn to play more than one position even if they eventually are projected to settle at one spot, and I suspect that will be reflected at Eugene, with just about everybody who will be assigned there able to play at least two positions. 

    Arizona Phil 4 hours 25 min ago view
  • Thanks - at least the scorer was consistent

    Eric S 4 hours 38 min ago view
  • I don't think the error call was completely out of the blue but the ball took a very bad hop and would have taken a very good play to get it. Same with one of the Stella throws where I think it could have easily been ruled a hit. Neither were cut and dry calls though imo.

    johann 5 hours 7 min ago view
  • chased a high fastball...

    I think his BABIP during his run has been around .950

    Rob G. 5 hours 23 min ago view
  • Great stuff CubbyBlue!!! I think it inspired today's six spot as well.

    Eric S 5 hours 27 min ago view
  • That's all fine and good, but I think it's short-changing the Arrieta-like affect of his beard

    Eric S 5 hours 31 min ago view
  • Was the error scored on Zobrist's third ab ruled correctly? Ron was saying that it was a pretty tough chance for the fielder

    Eric S 5 hours 40 min ago view
  • Did anybody see that Zobrist strikeout?

    That was extremely disappointing.

    Old and Blue 7 hours 16 min ago view
  • Strangest win of the year, and one of the sweetest. Twice I thought it was easily in the bag, then after the first 2 hitters in the 9th I thought all was lost. Big game for Grimm, Strop & Rondon. But, man, those Cards can hit for power.

    billybucks 7 hours 51 min ago view
  • Very satisfying, gut-check win today. The beers on the trip back to Chicago are going to taste fantastic.

    Eric S 8 hours 7 min ago view
  • It's still very early but this game felt very important to me and probably knocked 2 years off my life. Seemed like every inning was big.

    johann 8 hours 54 min ago view
  • Yes then they moved him two spot then not so much, back batting 7th

    jacos 8 hours 54 min ago view
  • This is the exact game that the Cubs would have lost in years past to the Cardinals.

    The E-Man 8 hours 55 min ago view