BREAKING: Chicago Cubs Trade Ryan Dempster to Texas Rangers

Beyond that, we know nothing. But, obviously, the details will be forthcoming soon. This could be great. It could be meh. Dude, we just don’t know.

UPDATE: Sounds like the Cubs are getting a couple minor leaguers. Ken Rosenthal says they’re A-ball pitchers.

UPDATE 2: Rosenthal corrects, and says one is an A-ball pitcher, one is an A-ball positional player.

UPDATE 3: Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant says the players are third base prospect Christian Villanueva and pitching prospect Kyle Hendricks. Digging up the quick-reaction details now.

UPDATE 4: Obviously I’ll have a full write-up on ALL of the new Cubs prospects, but here’s your quick take on these two. Hendricks is a 22-year-old righty with superb numbers at High A this year, but was on the outside of the Rangers’ top 20ish prospects, thanks to the system’s depth. But he’s clearly legit. Villanueva is a very legit third base prospect (a fringe top 100 type before the season), who is playing good defense, and putting up good (not great) numbers at High A this year. He was blocked by Mike Olt (not to mention Adrian Beltre), so the Rangers could move him. This is a very good return for Dempster, if you can divorce your mind from what happened last week.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

263 responses to “BREAKING: Chicago Cubs Trade Ryan Dempster to Texas Rangers”

  1. Austin

    Anyone who thinks Villanueva is a better prospect than Vitters read this

    Yes his D is better but his O is no where close to Vitters.

    1. Kyle

      I think it’s very, very close and either way is defensible. But I’m not going to read anything Kaplan has to say, because he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

      Vitters is more polished and has a better hit tool, Villanueva is a much better defender.

      I like having multiple good prospects at one position, and at 2-3 years apart, I don’t really feel the need to compare them too much.

      1. Austin

        Yea I agree it is always good to have more than one prospect that is good at the same positions, this was just for the people that are overvaluing Villanueva. He is still a really good prospect that with his tool sets would be better suited for 2B.

        1. Flashfire

          The bigger point, for me, is that the plan was to use Dempster and Garza to get some pitching in the upper levels of the minors so we could compete in 2014 or 2015. That didn’t happen, and Garza’s value will be much lower in December (1 year/1 postseason instead of 1.5 years/2 postseasons). That plan, then, is dead in the water. They can find other ways (hopefully) to get their arms, but this really does hurt.

          1. gutshot5820

            I would prefer to extend Garza rather than trade him now. With him gone, the pictching staff is going to be worse than some AAA teams.

            1. nkniacc13

              I think you won’t see Garza traded in the winter until after the main FA’s sign and the Cubs have signed atleast 1 starter to replace him.

            2. Flashfire

              By design. The plan was to suck in order to build the minors. What does having Garza pitch great next year get us? Especially with the low minors tilt of the players we got? (And Vizcaino is out most of next with surgery.)

              1. nkniacc13

                Vizcaino had surgery in March shouldn’t he abount ready in May?

                1. Flashfire

                  Depends on how quickly they want to bring him back. Given how important he has become and his history of injuries, I’m going to guess he is babied in the extreme.

                2. chirogerg

                  could even be ready for spring training. TJ surgery rehab has a very broad timeframe.

  2. Kevin

    Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

    Ah, that would be the Nanny!

    1. Sandberg

      How are you so confident that it wasn’t Dempster? ;)

  3. gutshot5820

    The Rangers raped the Cubs. They got our top pitcher who is 2nd in ERA in all of baseball and our starting catcher who has been playing pretty good lately for one “meh” prospect. Oh well, you can;t win them all.

    1. nkniacc13

      Yeah but the Cubs were really trying to move Demp and all Tx had to do was offer more than the yanks which wouldn’t have been hard to do since there was no way the cubs were sending him to LA for junk

    2. ColoCubFan

      The Soto deal, yeah I think we could have gotten more. The Dempster deal, I think went fairly well. Two more months of Dempster vs. what we got in return looks pretty good. It isn’t like we needed him for the stretch drive, and FO probably wouldn’t have offered him a deal over the Winter for fear he’d take them up on it. Reed Johnson is no huge loss in the Cub’s situation, but I guess I would have liked to see Maholm extended myself. We’ll see if this kid is as good as projected considering his surgery/recovery. Just my 2 cents worth.

      1. nkniacc13

        The Soto deal was decent especially considering they got a prospect that has made some improvements. They may get a PTBN which likely won’t be great but who knows. If Soto would have be healthy and played decent all season then no they didn’t get enough but with the likely hood that the non tender him this offseason atleast they got something for him in thei case

        1. ColoCubFan

          Yeah, you’re probably right. I’ve been living in my little fantasy land where the old Soto shows up.

    3. Doug Dascenzo

      I don’t think the Cubs got fleeced in this trade. You have two prospects w/ upside in A-ball for a 35yr old pitcher who’s pitching well above his mean. If you think that he’s going to continue that trend; I think you would have been disappointed. And he certainly will not be putting up those kinds of numbers now that he’s in the AL. If we don’t factor in the Delgado debacle, this is probably the haul that Dempster would have netted the Cubs anyway.

  4. todd

    This was a good trade fir the cubs. They unloaded a rental and got a good 3rd base prospect and a add in. Dumpster was done here and I’m sure it was more than the dodgers offered

  5. Lazrus

    Come on the FO Trades one of the Hottest Pitcher in baseball for two no name players from Single A……………When are those that swallowed the Epstien Kool Aid gonna realise that he has sold ya all a lie…………….The cubs got raped,just like I told ya they would………..Epstien is not the genius you want him to be……………You all have just been losing to long and you will believe anyone and anything…….plus not to mention most of you on here are to young to know any better………..But I love it……..the cubs choke just like I told ya they would………..They will not win a series untill the FO spends money on Big name Free agents……….Never saw one team make so many mistakes………but you keep swallowing the kool aid…………

    1. Flashfire

      He made a deal for one of the best young pitchers in baseball and then Ryan Dempster sold us out, leaving the front office with literally no bargaining power.

    2. Tony

      You are an idiot

    3. Daniel

      You win….SMARTEST POSTER EVER!!!

      PS – this is so silly that I think you HAVE to be a troll. No one can really think like this

  6. Lazrus

    You are delusional Todd…you better go look up there stats neither are top prospects…………

    1. ColoCubFan

      If you’ve been around the Cubs as long as you claim, you can count on one hand (without using any fingers) how many World Series rings the Cubs accumulated by spending big on free agents. Go troll somewhere else.

      1. quintz

        He’s not just any troll, he’s one of the best trolls, be good to him.

        1. ColoCubFan

          Just trying to keep the noise down so Brett can sleep.

        2. Mike Foster

          He needs to go back to St. Louis…

      2. nkniacc13

        Exactly you spend in FA to shore up holes not to build an entire team you have to have talent from your farm system if you want chances to contend and when the Cubs have had talent they have been decent when they spend a bunch in the FA market they tend to do what they are looking at this year bad and a bunch of $ tied up in long term deals

      3. DocPeterWimsey

        Not to defend the guy who offers far more hanging ellipses than fact-based arguments, but the Cubs really have not been big on signing free agents historically. Yes, they did a bit of that recently: but they also had 3 straight 0.500+ seasons for the first time in decades while doing so and 2 straight post-season appearances. The 60 year “rebuild from within” program really was not working.

        However, the big difference now is that the current FO has a much better idea of what a good prospect is than have prior FOs. They demonstrated that in Boston. (Mr. Hanging Ellipse will be shocked to learn this, but Epstein’s Sox Farm was one of the most, if not the most, productive of the last decade.) Some of these kids look very promising, particularly Viscaino and Villaneuva. And, quite frankly, they got the Braves and Rangers to overpay.

  7. nkniacc13

    Well when u get a top 100 prospect at the begining of the year for a guy that at the begining of the year you wouldn’t think it would be likely they could get that not to mention a pitcher who could be a back of the rotation pitcher in a few years that doen’t walk batters. It was a good trade with the limited options that Demp provided the Cubs

  8. CityCub

    The cubs

    1. CityCub

      The cubs still got screwed in this deal for Dempster. The rangers withheld a key piece of info that could of benefitted the cubs. If I was theo id be pissed. It’s pretty coincidental that after the deal is done the rangers release the info about Feliz.

      1. nkniacc13

        that wouldn’t have mattered at all Texas still would have had Oswalt in the rotation they were able to make moves they could have move ogando into the rotation that Feliz had TJ didn’t effect anything the Cubs would have gotten

      2. Mdel78

        Help me understand why the Rangers owe the Cubs anything?

  9. Mdel78

    I’m amazed that people are upset. Our front office turned four guys (a good pitcher who won’t be here in 3 months, a #4 starter, a 4th outfield, and an ordinary starting catcher hitting .220), none of whom will be here in 2 years, into a potential #2 (best case) or closer, a fringe top 100 3b prospect, and a couple guys who have back end rotation potential and will be around in the coming years. All that, and we still have our biggest trade chip to dangle this summer.

    I think too many people have unrealistic expectations and overvalue the guys they are rooting for. Garza was the only guy that would bring back a top prospect, and even he probably won’t bring back a guy with ‘ace’ potential. Your best best is to build depth and hope you get a couple guys that get it and can turn into good professional players.

    1. atfinch

      Best post I’ve seen today. Can’t say it any better myself. The amount of people upset over losing Dempster really amazes me. Not as much here but on facebook, other sites.

      1. J R

        There are a lot of people upset about losing Dempster? I am upset because it took as long as it did to lose him.. If that is true people are really stupid.

    2. baldtaxguy

      Yes sir, well stated

  10. Picklenose

    I think the Cubs have quietly done something to really upgrade their pitching this year – they have really upgraded their defense. 3B was a black hole last year and until Stewart went down this year. Valbeuna hits about as well as Stewart, but his defense is quite good. Castro is making less errors and playing better. Barney has been terrific. Lahair was a bit of a drop off from Pena, but Rizzo has been a big positive (not too mention hitting well). Add in Soriano going from a black hole to a brown dwarf (types of stars), Dejesus is not spectacular but very solid, all of which has made our pitchers look much better. I am betting that is why Dempster’s ERA went down, and that if Samj and Garza would trust them a little more it would help them just as much. And as the prospects come up if we can add some more offense without weakening the defense we will be a force.

  11. ferrets_bueller

    Whoa, whats with the hate on the Dempster trade?

    You guys must not know much about Villanueva, then. Great prospect, and in all honesty, a guy I think I’d rather have in the long run than Delgado. Delgado is never going to be an all-star, he’s at best a 2-3 type guy, most likely a 3-4. Villanueva can be a GG’r who has very good offensive potential.
    At this point, he has a better offensive, and obviously, defensive, ceiling than Vitters. He is your 3B of the future.

    1. nkniacc13

      Yeah but the whole thing is some can’t look at the big picture. They wouldn’t have had Vizcino and who knows if Villanueva would have been in AA atleast if they didn’t have Olt blocking him. Also this tells me by getting him is that the front office thinks they can get something decent if they trade Vitters this offseason

      1. Turn Two

        First, I highly doubt this trade was made with the purpose of trading Vitters. The misconception in these posts is that it appears the belief is we are trading for minor leaguers with the express purpose of grooming them for a spot, we aren’t. We are collecting assets.
        Second, Delgado was without question a better asset to the Cubs than Villanueva. Does that mean the trade for Villanueva was bad? Of course not, solid move under the circumstances. The reason why Cub fans have a right to be a little disappointed is that we are pitching depleted and we very nearly got a young solid starting pitcher. In its place, we got a decent, very young, third base prospect.
        Finally, to immediately state we just signed a future gold glover winner is a bit premature. His defense from reports is better than Vitters, but to immediately categorize this as a trade for our future gold glove winning third baseman is a big optimistic. He is a piece, he will be developed and we will see what happens.

        1. J R

          Yeah I think you hit the nail on the head. Our minor league pitching obviously sucks big time. I was hoping that we would do better on the pitching front in deadline trades. But after Demp made his trade status a circus, we did as well as we could.

    2. baldtaxguy

      He’s just an asset. The future 3b is likely not in the system yet.

  12. morgan

    on it already has villanueva as the 6th best propect in the cubs farm system already. with vitters at 11, and hendricks like 17th or something. with vizcaino #3. Villanueva could turn out to be 3rd for future, said to be a great defender to which vitters is not. vitters not good enough hitter to overlook his d

    1. Jonski

      Its a list with out Almora,Solar,Pierce Johnson,Blackburn so I really don’t know how accurate it is.

      1. J R

        Brett Jackson is #1 on that list.. Not a very accurate list.

  13. steve

    We have gotten a good 3B prospect, a pretty good pitching prospect, a couple more pitching prospects, & rid of veteran guys with no future with this team. I think the haul we got is clearly raising the level of our system along with the other talent theo brought in as well. I really like this 3B prospect, who would clearly be further along the minors had he not been blocked by olt. I wonder how fast this kid will be moved along now that he’s not blocked by a great talent at his position. I’m of the opinion this kid will move along relatively quickly now.

    1. baldtaxguy

      I hope he spends the entirety of 2013 in AA and develops.

  14. steve

    I also like the pitchers we have gotten. Kendrick won’t blow u away, but he’s a solid prospect. Vizciano is a real solid prospect. The pitcher we got from the rangers for soto looks decent as well. I really like the other kid we got in the maholm deal. He’s clearly a power guy in the pen, he has a good chance to do something soon. We still likely will trade soriano, maybe this month, maybe this winter. Garza will be moved this winter too, hopefully marmol can go this month as well, lahair

  15. morgan

    think its time to bring b jackson up, this kid has reached his peak in AAA, think he can be like drew stubbs is with the reds

    1. baldtaxguy

      I hope not

  16. Brian8806

    The FO did the best they could possibly do with Dempster. I’m glad they got at least SOMETHING for him, even if it is two players who are seemingly a little old to be playing A-ball, but whatever. The whole 10-5 rights turned out to be the big ball-and-chain here.

    1. Carew

      That Hendricks fella looks to be comin into his own

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