Monday sources close to the situation reported to ESPNChicago.com’s Bruce Levine that the Braves and Cubs had agreed to terms on Atlanta acquiring right hander Ryan Dempster in exchange for Braves youngster Randall Delgado. The Braves, who are in desperate need of rotational help, and Cubs are awaiting approval of the trade by the players. Dempster, 35, is a 10-and-5 player, a clause in which a player who has 10 years in the league plus 5 years with the same team, have the right to approve or deny any trade that their team proposes for them. The non-waiver trade deadline is July 31st.
When asked about the rumors when he arrived at Wrigley Field yesterday, Dempster said he was not going to by into the “speculation” and posted on his Twitter account :”THERE IS NO TRADE don’t know where this info came from!” When asked for his comments on the trade, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said before their start vs. the Marlins, “I know what you know — maybe a little bit more; I’m not going to lie to you guys…We’re in a holding pattern.”
Dempster would be a welcomed addition to the Brave rotation, which has suffered through not enough run support, injuries to the soaring Brandon Beachy, and the wishy-washy play of Jair Jurrjens, Mike Minor and the oft-called up Randall Delgado. Delgado, the young right hander who was Baseball America’s third best prospect out of the Braves’ farm system this past spring. The Braves, who have had solid performances by ace Tim Hudson and Tommy Hansen, have seen the resurgence of former Brewers pitcher Ben Sheets, who has pitched scoreless innings in his two starts since returning to the mound since 2010. The Braves ERA, 4.43 as a rotation, leave them at 14th in ERA in the National League. A presence of the best ERA in the ML (Dempster’s 2.11) will supplant Beachy’s spot (when injured, Beachy held the ML’s best ERA). Jurrjens, whose woes continued as he struggled in the last game of a long weekend series @ the Nationals. Dempster, at 35, has had an up and down career. Drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 3rd round of the draft in 1995, he was traded to the Marlins in 1996, making his debut with the Marlins in 1998. He has played with the Marlins, Reds and signed with the Cubs in 2008 as a free agent. Dempster is in the last year of a 4 year, $52 million, and is a free agent at the end of the season. When the trade is completed, the Cubs are expected to pay a portion of the remaining contract, which totals to $5.5 million. He has a lifetime record of 117-120 with 87 saves and a 4.31 lifetime ERA in 534 games professionally. In 15 starts this season, he has a 2.11 ERA, a record of 5-4, 77 Ks and 27 walks.
Information and quotes used in this article from the Atlanta Journal Constitution, ESPN.COM, The Official Websites of the Atlanta Braves and the Chicago Cubs, Baseball-Reference.com. Photos from google.com