Today, the Chicago Cubs announced that they signed Ryan Dempster, who then retired as a Cub, and will now join the front office as a special assistant to Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer.
I wonder if there’s going to be any pageantry associated with this, because, I have to admit, I really don’t hate these things. If Dempster wants to retire as a Chicago Cub, and if he’s joining the organization anyway, then, cool. Sign a deal, retire a Cub. I like it.
As for Dempster joining the organization, I don’t think you could be all that surprised if you’ve been paying attention over the past few months. It was clear that Dempster’s relationship with the front office and the Cubs organization as a whole remained strong, and he’s a baseball lifer. Why not bring him in?
Among Dempster’s duties, he will be involved with Spring Training, will visit the Cubs’ minor league affiliates during the season, will evaluate amateur players leading up to the draft, and will perform professional scouting assignments.
I know that Dempster rankles some, but I always appreciated his impressive performance with the Cubs – as a closer and a starter – and wasn’t all that bothered by the way his trade saga went down (and, ultimately, the Cubs did better in the Rangers trade than they would have with Randall Delgado).
With Kerry Wood and Ted Lilly already special assistants, the Cubs are building quite a stable of pitchers in the front office.