St Louis Cardinals Emerge As A Front-Runner For Ryan Dempster


July 18, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Movie actor Will Ferrell eats a slice of pizza with Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Ryan Dempster (46) before throwing out the first pitch before the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Miami Marlins at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-US PRESSWIRE

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Ryan Dempster is scheduled to take the mound for the Chicago Cubs against the St Louis Cardinals on Friday. Though, if the Cubs get their wish, Dempster will not make the start for the team tomorrow.

The Cubs remain intent on trading Dempster before he takes the mound against the Cardinals on Friday. The reasons the Cubs want to trade Dempster before his start on Friday are rather simple. The first reason is that the with Dempster currently in the middle of a 33 inning scoreless streak, his trade value presumably will never be higher. The third reason is that the Cubs do not want risk Dempster injuring himself and thus miss out on the opportunity to receive a quality package of prospects for the veteran starting pitcher.

The Cubs have been exchanging names in deal this week with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves, the two teams that are considered to be the leaders in the clubhouse to land Dempster. Though, there has been some speculation that Braves have leapfrogged over the Dodgers and now are the front-runners to land Dempster. But like with most Major League Baseball rumors, a mystery team has emerged for Dempster.

The mystery team is the St Louis Cardinals. Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago reports that the Cardinals have emerged in the picture along with the Dodgers and Braves over the course of the past couple of days. As I expected, Cubs fans are not welcoming the news that the Dempster could wind up with the Cardinals. When I mentioned the report on twitter last night, there was an immediate negative reaction that followed by most of my followers.

To be honest, I have no issue with the idea of Dempster being traded to the Cardinals. It really does not matter what team Dempster is traded to as long as that is the team that gives the Cubs the best value of prospects. Believe it or not, the Cardinals could be that team. While the Dodgers do have pitching prospect Zach Lee, it likely would cost the Cubs more than Dempster to acquire Lee. Though, it is possible that the Cubs could add Bryan LaHair to a potential Dempster to the Dodgers trade in order to land Lee. The Braves have rigth handed pitcher Julio Teheran, who entered the 2012 season ranked #5 on Baseball America’s list of top 100 prospects. While there have been whispers that the Brave could include Teheran in a package for Dempster, it seems more likely that it would require the Cubs to give up starting pitcher Matt Garza and not Dempster.

Then, you have the St Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals hold the #8 ranked prospect in all of baseball in the form of right handed starting pitcher Shelby Miller. Unlike the Dodgers with Lee, the Braves with Teheran and the Detroit Tigers with Jacob Turner, it seems likely that Cardinals would be willing to include Miller in a deal for Dempster. 2o12 is Miller’s first season at the triple A level and the pitcher has struggled this season. Miller has a record of 4 and 9 to go along with an ERA of 5.79 this season with the Cardinals’ triple A affiliate. Even Miller has struggled this season, I would not be too concerned. I almost think it is better for a starting pitcher to go through a stretch where he struggles in the Minor League system and then see how the pitcher makes the adjustment. With the exception of Teheran, Miller would be the best pitching prospect that the Cubs could acquire.

For that reason, Cubs fans may want to welcome a Dempster trade to Cardinals and look past the rivalry between the two organizations.