While it may cost the team a pretty penny to acquire Dempster, it would no doubt represent the final blow to the rest of the contenders in the National League East.
With Dempster in a rotation already featuring Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Edwin Jackson and Jordan Zimmermann, the Nationals instantly go from playoff-hopefuls to playoff-favorites.
When Strasburg reaches his infamous innings limit—the exact number of which is still unknown—Dempster represents a solid replacement. In such a situation, either Ross Detwiler or Chien-Ming Wang would fill out the No. 5 spot in the rotation.
Dempster has been stellar thus far in 2012, though he’s fallen victim of a lack of run support. His 1.86 ERA leads all of baseball, however his 5-3 record is barely pedestrian.
While the Nationals’ offense doesn’t represent a huge upgrade over that of the Chicago Cubs‘, it goes without saying that Dempster would have a better chance at winning ball games in Washington.
In short, I guess what I’m trying to say is that general manager Mike Rizzo would be smart to call up Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer of the Cubs and start tossing some names out there.
Dempster may not represent much of a long-term option, so the Nationals may be able to acquire him for less prospects if they agree to eat most of his salary for the 2012 season.
Should that be the case, a couple of mid-level prospects would then be enough to facilitate a deal. Perhaps RHP Alex Meyer and speedy OF Eury Perez would be enough to entice the Cubs.
Meyer, 6′ 9″, has the potential to be a nice mid-rotation starter. Perez, a speed demon, lacks power but could be a solid contributor off the bench as soon as next season.
It’ll be interesting to see if this rumor gains any more credibility in the upcoming weeks.