Bats: Trade Talks Heat Up as Cubs Shop Dempster
The sweepstakes to land coveted Chicago Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster appears to be heating up, with 10 teams, including the Yankees, Tigers and Braves making inquiries, according to ESPN.com. The trade deadline is July 31, with prospective teams racing to be final destination for Dempster.
Theo Epstein, the Cubs’ is willing to part with Dempster, who leads the Majors with a 1.86 ERA, for two reasons. First, Dempster will be a free agent after this season, and could be lured away by a bigger contract. He is making $14 million in 2012, the last season in his 4-year, $52 million deal.
Epstein has a chance to get something for Dempster now, playing off the trade offers from playoff-contending teams. Epstein is trying to turn around the struggling Cubs (36-52), and Dempster’s high trade value could land his team some valuable pieces for the future.
Dempster, 35, is riding a 33-inning scoreless streak over his past five starts, the best for the Cubs since 1969 and the current longest in the Majors. His next start is scheduled for July 20 against the Cardinals.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen, but you can’t let it bother you, because I can’t really control it,” Dempster told USA Today about the swirling trade talks. “…As long as I’m here, I’m going to try to do my best job for this organization. They haven’t really told me much, but I don’t need to know until they come up with a deal they like. I understand it’s a business.”
According to ESPN.com, Epstein and Dempster met in June to discuss the possibility of a trade, and to figure out where he’d like to pitch in the future. Dempster agreed to waive his no-trade rights, helping Epstein get the best deal possible for the Cubs.