According to Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago, the Dodgers have made a trade proposal to the Chicago Cubs for
Ryan Dempster. Levine says the talks are fluid, but the Cubs are making moves that would accommodate the loss of Dempster by this weekend.
The Cubs acquired journeyman pitcher Justin Germano from the Boston Red Sox for cash considerations. Chicago also appears ready to have replacements ready for their upcoming series against the Cardinals in St. Louis if a deal for Dempster is completed.
It’s not clear who the Dodgers offered for the Dempster, but Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have been clear in their plans for the Cubs’ future. They want young talent, preferably pitchers to start. The Dodgers have Zach Lee in their farm system. He was rated the number 62 prospect in baseball by Baseball America prior to this season. Lee is just 20 years old and currently pitching at the Double-A level.
The Dodgers are 2.5 games behind the Giants for first place in the National League West. Their offense – outside of Matt Kemp – has been relatively futile. They took a run at Carlos Lee, but it seems Los Angeles may have turned its focus to pitching.
Ryan Dempster has a 1.86 ERA this season. His FIP and xFIP are higher at 3.13 and 3.71 respectively, but those numbers aren’t indicative of a potential total crash. Dempster does seem like he is in a position to fall off slightly. Even if he does, his contributions to the Dodgers staff could be meaningful.
The Dodgers have the second best ERA in the league. They have the reigning National League Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw. They have a rejuvenated Chris Capuano. With Dempster, Los Angeles could give the Nationals a run for their money for best ERA in the league.
Dempster won’t come cheap though. Even if the Dodgers aren’t willing to part with Lee, they will have to give up quite a few pieces of their farm. The Cubs may not be looking for Major League-ready players, but they want young talent on the verge of readiness.
For more on the Dodgers, be sure to check out Lasorda’s Lair.