Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Ryan Dempster is off to a ridiculously hot start. However, the Cubs themselves have been a different story. This reason coupled with the fact that Dempster is in the final year of his current contract has him as a favorite to be traded this summer. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com believes that the Boston Red Sox should target the Cubs veteran right-hander.
Over his first five starts for the Cubs, Dempster has maintained a league-low ERA of 1.02. During his span of 35 1/3 innings pitched, Dempster has surrendered only four earned runs on 20 hits and 10 walks, resulting in the major’s fourth best WHIP among starting pitchers, 0.85.
Dempster’s strikeout rate is up and his propensity to allow a free pass is down. More telling of the Cubs season than Dempster’s, the 35-year-old has yet to win his first game of the season. Still, all of Dempster’s starts have been more than quality, and the right-hander has gone at least 7 innings while surrendering one or fewer runs in three of his five appearances.
Despite all of these wonderful statistics, it would still be a questionable move for the Red Sox to bring in Dempster, who’s track record shows this hot start is likely unsustainable. Heyman believes Dempster would “thrive” in Boston, but his career ERA and WHIP of 4.36 and 1.440 don’t look much better than what the Red Sox rotation is already producing on a daily basis.
While the Cubs are keeping their fingers crossed that Dempster can keep up this ridiculous pace until trade deadline time, he’s going to come back down to earth eventually. Plus, if Dempster were to go to the Red Sox, he’d be facing the Blue Jays, Yankees, Rays and Orioles on a consistent basis.
The Atlanta Braves are the only team Dempster’s faced this season that’s in the top 10 in the majors in runs scored this season. All four of Dempster’s potential American League East foes find themselves inside that same top 10.
For these reasons, Dempster doesn’t seem to be the obvious choice for the Red Sox that Heyman is making him out to be. It will be interesting to see if Dempster can continue to thrive with the Cubs this season, much less with the Red Sox.