It’s over. Thank the good baseball lords above, it is finally over. The deadline and the bad-for-blood-pressure rumors that go with it is finished for now, and the Ryan Dempster saga, most importantly, has come to a close.
And he ended up with one of Three Up, Three Down’s favorite teams – though not exactly the one you might have expected. After flirting with Mapes’ Braves and having a steamy public relationship with my Dodgers, it’s Brian’s Texas Rangers that swooped in at the last minute to steal Dempster away.
Let’s break down the trade:
SP – Ryan Dempster
3B – Christian Villanueva (Single-A)
SP – Kyle Hendricks (Single-A)
Wait…that’s it? After all that back-and-forth between the Dodgers, the demands to only go to certain teams, the reportedly super-high asking price…and all it took was two high-potential Single-A prospects?
Theo Epstein must have really wanted to get rid of Dempster, who expanded his one-team list of acceptable teams to three (added the Yankees to the list as well) in the last half hour before the deadline. This doesn’t seem like much of a sacrifice for a Rangers team that is now absolutely loaded with starting pitching to go along with a ferocious offense.
That offense is one of the reasons a young, power-hitting corner infielder like Villanueva was expendable. And Hendricks has some good potential as well, but you never know with pitchers.
Never fear, Cubs fans. You didn’t strike out completely. First of all, Dempster had to go somewhere. He wasn’t going to re-sign long term after the season, and at least the Cubs reeled in two pretty good prospects for him now, instead of nothing later.
I think the winner of this trade is pretty obvious. The Rangers now have Dempster, to go along with fellow rental Roy Oswalt, Matt Harrison, Yu Darvish, and about 83 other above average starters in a rotation that was sorely lacking depth and experience in their previous two World Series runs.
If Texas returns to the Fall Classic for the third straight year, they are now in much better position to actually bring home the title. You have to think that facing a top three of Harrison, Dempster and Oswalt would be about as pleasant as hugging a porcupine for opposing offenses.
Stupid analogies aside, the Cubs strengthened an already-loaded farm system even further with these two guys. You have to like that Epstein is finally doing what previous front office regimes wouldn’t, and completely overhaul to rebuild for a few years down the road.
Fans of both of these teams have suffered long enough. The Rangers now look poised to head into the postseason as prohibitive title favorites (again, just stronger this time), and the Cubs might field a surprisingly competitive team by 2015.
All in all, a trade that had to happen, finally happened. The Rangers got the arm they needed, the Cubs unloaded Dempster and brought in more young talent. So how do you see the trade? Vote in the polls below and grade that trade!
– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)