So the Texas Rangers got Ryan Dempster. Not Cole Hamels, not Zack Greinke, and not James Shields.
They also weren’t heavily interested (from what we’ve seen on Twitter) in guys like Matt Garza, Francisco Liriano or Cliff Lee.
The Rangers got 35-year-old Dempster from the Chicago Cubs for two prospects and of course, there is the question that accompanies all trades.
“Did they get a good deal?”
That’s why the world has sportswriters. We answer questions like that.
After taking a few minutes to read a couple scouting reports and check out Dempster’s stat lines, I have come to the conclusion about
both sides of the deal.
It is a victory for both sides in my opinion, but the Cubs have a better edge.
Dempster has a real chance to retire a champion with the Rangers if things go according to plan while the Cubs get some prospects in
third baseman Christian Villanueva and RHP Kyle Hendricks.
As for the Rangers, they needed Dempster for a variety of reasons.
Starting pitchers Colby Lewis and Neftali Feliz needed season-ending surgeries and they need starting pitching.
The Angels are catching up to the Rangers in the standings, so that means the Rangers need a good starting pitcher. Not a so-so guy, they
need a real guy who can be an ace either consistently or be good with ace-like starts occasionally.
Roy Oswalt has been awful in a few starts. Scott Feldman has been worse to the point where one of my best friends said, “We all know there
is no worse pitcher in baseball than Scott Feldman.”
The Rangers don’t want to thrust Martin Perez into a full-time starting role when he is still a prospect in the minors. Plus, the most
important factor could be Alexi Ogando. He could start for the Rangers, but they want him in the bullpen where he’s been lights-out at times.
The Rangers needed a pitcher and Dempster met criteria enough even though he was a rental.*
*A rental is a player with a year left on his contract, so you’re only guaranteed to have him that one year and he’s free to sign somewhere else.
The Rangers have a deep farm system already. They have the seventh best prospect in baseball in Jurickson Profar. They have an emerging
power hitter in Mike Olt. They have other prospects to use as well like Martin Perez. They felt that they could afford to deal two middle-range prospects to get a pitcher that can push them to the World Series again.
The reason I still give the edge to the Cubs is because I’m not even sure if Dempster will be great for the Rangers and his time in Texas
is going to be short while the Cubs will have these prospects for quite some time unless they decide to trade them.
Dempster has a 2.25 ERA which will get blown up now he’s in the American League and in the Rangers ball park. He’s going to face even
tougher hitters like Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Yoenis Cespedes and those are just in the AL West.
His age indicates the Rangers are probably not going to keep him long. This year and maybe next, but I don’t see Dempster getting let’s say
a three-year deal from the Rangers. Not unless he defies Father Time, which doesn’t happen often.
Dempster is having a career year now. Before 2012, he only had one year with an ERA below three in the National League.
In 2008, he went 17-6, made the All-Star team, had a 2.96 ERA with 187 strikeouts over 206.2 IP and was sixth in the Cy Young voting.
Dempster is a good pitcher, but I’m not sure if he hasn’t had a fluke year so far. He’s not been consistently great over his entire
Sometimes players have a great year that exceeds all of their previous success and then they never experience it again. Almost like a candle in the wind.
Here is to hoping Dempster doesn’t flicker out in Texas. For the Rangers’ sakes.
Dedicated to Brandon Land. Who said I’d write about baseball eventually. Just took me about seven months man.