After Ryan Dempster’s third consecutive dominant start, one that had many important eyes in attendance (and, no, I don’t just mean mine), you could expect that the weekend/Monday rumor mill would focus heavily on Dempster. Indeed it did, but there are a few other bits to share…
- I was told that there were scouts crawling all over Wrigley Field to watch Dempster’s Friday start, and Nick Cafardo hears the same thing. Cafardo seems to expect Dempster to be moved soon, with the Dodgers and Blue Jays the most likely suitors.
- Speaking of the Blue Jays, they seem to be getting desperate for a starting pitcher, though I’m not sure if they’re willing to pony up for a top-liner like Dempster. Instead, they appear to be focused on a backup plan like Jeremy Guthrie from the Rockies (he of the 7.02 ERA), for whom Ken Rosenthal says the Jays are in some stage of negotiations. The Blue Jays have lost Brandon Morrow, Kyle Drabek, and Drew Hutchison in the span of a week, so you can understand them wanting a starter. But targeting Guthrie sounds more like a because-we-have-to type of move, rather than a we’re-still-going-for-it type of move (which is what Dempster would be). Rosenthal does note that the Jays are exploring deals for other starting pitchers besides Guthrie.
- Jay Jaffe argues that the team Dempster faced on Friday – the Red Sox – actually make the most sense to land him. Eric Seidman agrees.
- Joel Sherman, who’s pretty much right about everything that has any connection to the Northeast, says the Yankees view Dempster as not a clear upgrade over any of their current starters (wha?), so they aren’t expecting to be interested. Then again, Gordon Wittenmyer says the Yankees are interested in Dempster. Then again-again, Dave Kaplan talked to a couple scouts who say the Yanks prefer Matt Garza to Dempster (wouldn’t most teams?). On the balance, I’d say the Yankees probably aren’t terribly interested in Dempster.
- Ken Rosenthal says the Cubs are willing to include a big chunk of cash with Dempster to improve the caliber of the prospects they receive in return (Buster Olney hears the same). Dempster makes $14 million this year, and is still owed around $8 million. Rosenthal also notes that the Orioles have been scouting both Dempster and Matt Garza.
- Cafardo also hears that the Cubs are “primed to move” Garza, who would be the perfect piece for an AL East team. As I’ve said before, whether or not you support the Cubs trading Garza, they could stand for him to string together some great starts – it could make the return on a trade nicer, or it could make the Cubs more confident in signing him to an extension.