Los Angeles Dodgers Stepping Up Pursuit Of Ryan Dempster


Jun 16, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Ryan Dempster (right) talks with actor Vince Vaughn (left) prior to a game against the Boston Red Sox at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE

I’m no investigative reporter, but Ryan Dempster’s start on Friday against the Boston Red Sox at Wrigley Field did not require Shawn Spencer from “Psych” to determine the clues about Dempster’s future.

Lets recap the events.

On Wednesday of last week, Dempster was seen in very public meeting with Cubs’ president Theo Epstein. The subject of discussion between Epstein and Dempster was potential trades. Dempster is willing to waive his no trade clause, and will only do so if the trade is in the best interest of the Cubs. Meaning Dempster wants to ensure that the Cubs receive proper value in terms of prospect in any trade that he is involved in.

The only actual change to come from Dempster’s meeting with Epstein on Wednesday was the fact that Cubs manager Dale Sveum opted to move Dempster’s start up to Friday, and push Jeff Samardzija back one day.

Then came Friday. Not only did Dempster shut the Red Sox out for seven innings, the veteran starting pitcher also became $500 richer as he won a bet with outfielder Tony Campana for being the first Cubs’ player to hit a triple this season. But the real pieces of evidence did not come until after Dempster’s time on the mound. As Dempster was walking off the field after his seven shutout innings, the veteran starting pitcher tipped his cap to the crowd. Now this gesture could have been meaningless as Dempster could have simply been recognizing the crowd for appreciating his efforts. However, after the game concluded and the press conferences were done, Dempster–in street clothes–took the Wrigley Field one last time on Friday to enjoy a cold beverage with some of his close friends.

When you put all of those events together, there is reason to believe that Dempster has made his last start at Wrigley Field as a member of the Chicago Cubs’ organization.

This is why it should come as no surprise to hear this weekend that the Los Angeles Dodgers are stepping up their efforts to land Dempster, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe suggest that the Dodgers could pull the trigger on a Dempster trade soon. The Dodgers, along with the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles, and Detroit Tigers are all believed to have an interest in Dempster. Though, the Dodgers appear to be the clear favorites to land the Cubs’ starting pitcher.

Not only is Dempster currently in a stretch that has seen him pitch at the highest level of his career, the veteran starting pitcher may be in the middle of the best season of his career. While Dempster is only 3-3 on the season, the pitcher has an ERA of 2.11 to go along with a WHIP of 1.012 in addition to 66 strikeouts and 22 base on balls.

Cubs fans love Ryan Dempster. The city of Chicago loves Ryan Dempster. But one of the benefits of bringing a regime that is led by Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer is that the new regime does not have any personal connections with any of the players on the roster. Meaning the regime is running the Cubs’ baseball department the way that it should be run. Meaning the 35 year old Dempster, despite what he means to the Cubs and the city of Chicago, is not a fit for the direction that the Cubs are headed in. With Dempster being among the top starting pitchers in the National League, the Cubs now stand in a position that would allow them to receive a great package of prospects in a trade of Dempster.

Dempster’s next start is on Wednesday, and with the Dodgers reportedly being close to pulling the trigger on a trade for Dempster, there is a chance that Dempster has made his last start with the Cubs.