Ryan Dempster retires a Chicago Cub, joins front office


After two long years away from the franchise, former starting pitcher Ryan Dempster is finally coming home where he spent most of his big league career.

It was reported by the team’s official Twitter handle that the two-time all-star (2000, 2008), and World Series champion (2013) would end his 16-year MLB career as a member of the Chicago Cubs organization. Dempster was signed by the Cubs on January 21, 2004 after a brief stint with the Cincinnati Reds from 2002-2003.

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Chicago’s newest reliever picked up his first career save against the Pittsburgh Pirates and would eventually be named the teams closer as he would replace LaTroy Hawkins in 2005. Things continued to work out for Dempster on the mound as he would record 33 saves in 35 opportunities.

As a reward for his work out of the bullpen, the front-office decided to keep him on board through the 2008 campaign with a $15.5 million contract extension.

Dempster’s career would take an interesting turn as he would later find himself in the starting rotation at the beginning of the 2008 season. This left former ace Kerry Wood with the closer role while Dempster helped anchor the starting five.

It was a no-brainer when the Cubs offered the veteran right-hander another long-term contract after the 2008 season – a contract that would extend four more years and would be worth about $52 million.

Dempster’s run with the Cubs would come to an end during the 2012 campaign after he was dealt to the Texas Rangers in exchange for both Christian Villanueva and Kyle Hendricks.

Just a year later, one of the most loved Cubs in franchise history (just like a couple former Cubs over the last couple decades) finally won a World Series championship.

Granted it wasn’t his greatest year to date as he recorded a 8-9 record and a 4.57 ERA in 29 starts with the Boston Red Sox. On the other hand, it was an amazing feeling to watch him win his first title against the St. Louis Cardinals – at the same time difficult considering it wasn’t with the Cubs.

Shortly after winning the World Series with the Red Sox, Dempster announced that he would not pitch in 2014 as he wanted to spend more quality time with his family.

Of course, nobody could blame the man for wanting to do so considering he spent 16 years of his life traveling from Spring to Fall. His career would come full circle in the beginning of October as Dempster announced that he was officially retiring from the game he loved.

Now that he has closed the curtain on what was a fantastic run in the big leagues, it’s time to see what he can do behind the scenes as he joins the Cubs front office.

With that being said, it’s only right to welcome Ryan Dempster back home with open arms.