Starter Ryan Dempster had a strong season with the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers in which he posted some of the best numbers in recent years. Dempster will hit the free agent market later this year with several teams looking to acquire him. Will the Milwaukee Brewers be one of the teams pursuing him?
Dempster began 2012 exercising his $14 million option to stay with the Cubs in hopes of having a good season that would put him in the middle of a bidding war during the winter meetings. The right-hander’s 12-8 record, 3.38 earned run average and 153 strikeouts certainly accomplished that. Even though the Rangers do not appear eager to bring him back, Dempster still has several teams that will be interested in him.
The 35-year-old will be looking to sign one last multi-year contract before he rides off into the sunset. The two-time All Star would also like to sign with a team that will give him the best chance to win a World Series. I believe the Brewers would be a perfect fit for the right price.
Milwaukee had the No. 1 offense in the National League this past season and a starting rotation that is one veteran arm short of being fantastic. The Brewers are certainly interested in a veteran starter to bolster the rotation and give ace Yovani Gallardo some support. The addition of Dempster would certainly accomplish this and then some.
Dempster has terrorized Milwaukee for years and Brewers fans would be thrilled to finally have him on their side. In 200 1/3 innings against the Brewers, Dempster is 16-6 with a 2.65 earned run average. No one is quite sure why he has been so successful against the organization, but Milwaukee has certainly seen enough to know how talented he is.
There are several reasons why the Brewers would be reluctant to sign Dempster, considering he will be turning 36 in May. The fact is Jeff Suppan and Randy Wolf did not pan out exactly how Milwaukee had imagined as both starters received big paychecks that did not match the productivity. However, the Brewers desperately need another veteran starter in their rotation and Dempster is as good as any.
Dempster still has solid command of all of his pitches and is capable of striking out batters with his fastball despite it clocking around 90 MPH. He has also struck out 8.4 batters per nine innings over the past three years. I believe the Brewers could lure him in with a three-year, $36 million deal.
Michael is a MLB and NBA Featured Writer for Rant Sports, but covers topics for various teams in baseball, basketball, and football. Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelTerrill and on Facebook.