Trade rumors have been circulating now for what seems like weeks in regards to a Dodgers/Cubs deal for pitcher Ryan Dempster. After the possible trade began to be talked about, Ryan Dempster landed on the 15-day DL with right lat muscle tightness putting the rumors to rest for a bit. This was Dempster’s second DL stint after he missed two starts back in April with a quad injury. Ted Lilly had been sidelined since May with shoulder inflammation, and more recently Chad Billingsley has become disabled with elbow inflammation. Nathan Eovaldi has pitched admirably as a fill-in for Lilly, but the Dodgers would like to add a veteran arm to their rotation who could lend experience to the team if they should happen to make the playoffs. The Dodgers have always prided themselves as having excellent pitching, and this year the pitching has been superb. The addition of Ryan Dempster would add extra flexibility to both the rotation and bullpen in light of this season’s injuries.
Ryan Dempster has been courted by quite a few teams according to the trade gossip, and while the Cubs are eager to deal him, they still will be looking for decent prospects in return. It was reportedly a couple of Dodger pitching prospects which were offered up in exchange for the 35-year old right-hander. I’m fine with that as long as we’re not leveraging our future too much for a few month’s worth of Dempster. The real question that beckons to be asked is how much is Dempster going to turn this team around? The answer is not a whole bunch. The Dodgers’ most problematic area is the offense and in particular the corner infield offense.
The Dodgers just don’t have a lot to offer out of their farm system for any of the sought after infielders. Chase Headley would be the ideal choice, but the Padres are surely asking for the likes of Zach Lee plus more for the young third baseman. The Dodgers have also been looking at Aramis Ramirez, Corey Hart, Shane Victorino, Jimmy Rollins, and others. Don’t get me started on why I could never stomach Shane Victorino wearing Blue. Yet the issue doesn’t lie with the personality factor or the cost, because the Dodgers have the cash to flash now. But these other teams, no matter how far back they are in the standings, are not going to be handing over their best players for marginal prospects in return. For a interdivision trade, especially with the Padres, the price we would have to pay would be steep.
Getting back to Ryan Dempster, and if we do acquire him, who will be moved out of the rotation? It’s been
speculated that the struggling Chad Billingsley may be moved into the bullpen, or it could be Nathan Eovaldi which would save some innings on his arm. No doubt, Dempster would bolster our rotation and give us another solid starter for our hopeful playoff berth. So far in 2012, Dempster is 5-3 with a 1.86 ERA (the lowest in the Majors). In 92 innings of work, he has struck out 75 and walked 25 for 7.3 SO/9. Dempster has not allowed a run in 33 consecutive innings which spans five starts. Dempster must approve the trade, but it has been reported that the Dodgers top his list of desirable landing spots. He would be reunited with former teammate Ted Lilly. He is making $14 million during this his last year of his four-year contract with Chicago.
If Dempster moves on from his almost 9 years in the windy city, we will welcome him of course. Tomorrow Dempster is scheduled to start against the St. Louis Cardinals, but it is doubtful he will be returning to Wrigley Field again. The Cubs have made a few roster moves most likely in case Dempster is moved soon. The Cubs acquired reliever Justin Germano on Thursday from the Red Sox for cash considerations and designated reliever Jairo Asencio for assignment. Germano could start for the Cubs if needed. The Dodgers reportedly have a trade offer in place, and we may find out soon if Dempster will become a Dodger. If so, the Dodgers must then put all their focus on obtaining a bat if they truly want to make a run for the postseason.