Results tagged ‘ cubs ’
Ryan Dempster is still on the Cubs roster and prepping for Friday’s start in St. Louis. But he’s also a hot topic regarding trade rumors as the deadline approaches. Dempster has talked to the Cubs brass about potential moves but says no deal is imminent. As a player with 10 years of Major League service and the last five with the same team, Dempster can veto any trade.
“It’s just kind of like, ‘Hey, there’s teams interested,’ and that’s great. Nothing imminent, not that I know of,” Dempster told reporters at Wrigley Field, including MLB.com’s Cash Kruth. “I’m sure if they have something, they’ll come to me. But right now I’m just trying to get ready for tomorrow’s game.”
Dempster’s stock is at an all-time high, as the right-hander — who is 5-3 with a 1.86 ERA on the season — has tossed 33 consecutive scoreless innings. Dempster said he’s conscious of the streak, and said he “[wants] to shatter” Orel Hershiser’s all-time mark of 59 consecutive scoreless innings, set in 1988.
“I know I haven’t given up a run in five starts. I’m not naive,” Dempster said. “Like I said when I had a no-hitter going before, I know when I have a no-hitter going. I know that I have it, so I’m just going to try to keep it going, for sure. When you don’t give up any runs, you win games, so I like that.”
Between the scoreless-inning streak and preparing for his next start, Dempster said he doesn’t spend much time keeping up with the rumor mill. Although he said it’s flattering so many teams are reportedly interested in him, he’s still focused on his next start, which will take place in a Cubs uniform. On Thursday, Dempster played catch with his son Brady at Wrigley.
“I just think that there’s a lot of things between pitching and on-the-field stuff and then stuff about trades, and it’s a lot of information to try to process, so for me, I try to limit what I read and my focus is just going out there and pitching,” Dempster said. “Probably my biggest focus right now is just going out there and be ready every fifth day. I still have a job to do, and I take a lot of pride in that, so if I’m not putting my attention, my sole focus into that, I’m doing the team a little bit of a disservice.”
– Carrie Muskat
The New York Post reports the Dodgers as the favorite to land Ryan Dempster before the Trade Deadline with the Tigers seen as “strong pursuers” and the Red Sox as long shots. FOX Sports reports the Cubs are exchanging names with teams interested in Dempster. The Red Sox are also interested in Matt Garza.
The Chicago Tribune noted on Wednesday that Stephen Fife, who made his ML debut, is a former Red Sox prospect who could be included in a Dempster-to-Dodgers deal. Fife, 25, filled in for injured Chad Billingsley, and gave up one run over six innings Tuesday night. The Dodgers acquired him from the Red Sox last summer in the Trayvon Robinson deal. A sinkerball pitcher, he’d be a good fit at Wrigley. Dempster has a 1.86 ERA, tops in the Majors.
CBSSports.com reported the Royals have inquired about Garza. They have had a scout at this week’s Cubs games. Dempster is in the last year of his $14 million contract, and, essentially a rental player for the final months of this year. Garza is under team control for 2013.
– Carrie Muskat
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports the Red Sox are aggressively pursuing Ryan Dempster. As a player with 10 years in the Majors, and five with one team, Dempster has the power to veto a trade. He’s drawing a lot of interest from teams looking to fortify their rotation, including the Dodgers and Yankees. The Cubs are looking for top prospects in return. We’ll have to wait and see if Theo Epstein can make a deal with his former assistant GM, Ben Cherington. This is the last year of Dempster’s contract with the Cubs, and he currently leads the Majors with a 1.86 ERA.
But WEEI.com in Boston reported Tuesday that Major League sources say Dempster isn’t on the Red Sox’s wish list. Dempster also is a pure rental, which could influence what teams are willing to give up in exchange for th right-hander. Players must be with a team for an entire season in order to qualify for draft-pick compensation, so if Dempster is traded, the team that acquires him won’t get Draft picks if he leaves after this season.
FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports the Cubs are exchanging names with teams interested in Dempster, and lists the Dodgers, Tigers, Braves and Red Sox as teams in the hunt. Rosenthal also reports the Red Sox are interested in Matt Garza, although the price for him will be high. Garza is under club control through next season. He has a career 23-15 record, 3.34 ERA vs. AL East teams.
– Carrie Muskat
The Angels want to add a starter. It’s more likely that they don’t have the chips to acquire a premium one, but they’re doing their due diligence anyway.
This week could be a big one with regards to that pursuit.
This is the week when the erratic Ervin Santana will make two tough starts (against the Tigers on Monday and against the Rangers on Saturday), this is the week more will be known about the health of Dan Haren (he’ll make a rehab outing today, and if all goes well, he could start against Texas on Sunday), and this may be the week that dictates how aggressive Jerry Dipoto is in his pursuit of another rotation arm.
We’re now 15 days away from the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. And the more time passes, the less likely it seems that the Angels can acquire a guy like Zack Greinke or Cole Hamels.
First, there’s the fact each of their teams would like to resign them. The Phillies, Paul Hagen writes, are entering a critical stage with Hamels. The Brewers, according to Adam McCalvy, pushed back the struggling Greinke to give him a blow (making him less appealing on the trade market and more likely to be retained, perhaps?).
Second, there’s the whole “assets” thing. The Angels don’t have a lot of that to give up. As one executive said, if they’re going up against the Rangers for a starter (T.R. Sullivan says Roy Oswalt’s effectiveness could determine how aggressive they get) it would be “like taking a butter knife to a gunfight.” The only heavy artillery the Angels carry is Peter Bourjos, the high-upside center fielder who’s without an everyday role but is a big part of their long-term plans. Dipoto has continued to stress that the Angels will not trade Bourjos, but things can certainly change. The only way I see them giving him up is if it’s for a starting pitcher they can resign — not one who’s going to walk away in two months and leave them with nothing.
And that brings me to the third reason — the new CBA. The extra Wild Card has put more teams in the race for the playoffs, making less of them sellers in July. But a bigger reason for a possibly slow market could be that the only players who bring back Draft pick compensation upon signing with another club are those who spent the previous full season with the same team. For example, if a team trades for Hamels and he signs elsewhere, that team gets no additional Draft picks in 2013. If he stays with the Phillies and he signs elsewhere, the Phils do get the compensation. One scout said the trade market so far is “extra quiet” and “not much is happening” yet. No surprise there.
Of course, there are other, more-attainable starters out there (Wandy Rodriguez and Ryan Dempster come to mind). Will the Angels go outside of themselves to add another front-line guy?
It may depend on how this week goes.
– Alden Gonzalez
The Trade Deadline is July 31 and there are plenty of rumors regarding the Cubs. FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi reports the Dodgers and Tigers are among the teams most interested in Ryan Dempster. Dempster, 35, currently leads the Major Leagues with a 1.86 ERA, and has thrown 11 scoreless innings since coming off the disabled list. Morosi also is reporting the Blue Jays had two scouts at Sunday’s Cubs game to watch Matt Garza, 28, who threw seven shutout innings against the Diamondbacks. The Dodgers, Tigers, Rangers and Angels also are believed to be interested. Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said he’s been getting more phone calls, but the team isn’t going to move the pitchers unless they receive young talent in return that can have an impact.
– Carrie Muskat
Actor and comedian Bill Murray was to throw the ceremonial first pitch before the Cubs season opener against the Nationals but first, the 62-year-old scampered around the bases before sliding home. Then, he took the mound and bounced the first pitch to Kerry Wood. Murray also will sing the seventh inning stretch at Wrigley Field. (Getty pics)
– Carrie Muskat
Theo Epstein is well aware he’s been the focus this offseason. On Opening Day, he said, it should shift to the Cubs.
“That’s nice and a complement but I’m realistic to know if that’s the case, it’s because I’m a symbol,” said Epstein, the Cubs president of baseball operations, who took over the team last October. “It’s not me. There are dozens and dozens and dozens of people — the players first and foremost — who working extremely hard trying to push the organization forward.”
He included the Cubs ownership, manager Dale Sveum and the rest of the baseball operations staff.
“I’m one small person in a very big machine,” Epstein said. “Not only have I not done anything yet but I’m a small part of it.”
Opening Day is the perfect start.
“It’s a special day, one of the best days of the year and the feeling of renewal is amplified every time you’re with a new team,” Epstein said.
“Opening Day is the one day of the year that doesn’t feel like any other days,” Epstein said. “I really cherish the second day of the year because that’s when the baseball rhythms kick in, you see the people at the park who will be with you the whole year and you get into your routine. That’s when it feels like baseball. Opening Day feels like a holiday. That second day of the year is when it all kicks in.”
There are some who feel Epstein is powerful enough to have made the ivy on the outfield walls bloom in time for the season opener between the Cubs and Nationals. Actually, it’s because of the early summer-like weather in Chicago in March.
“I was telling someone last night, I hope that’s a good omen,” Epstein said of the ivy. “We’ll take it as a sign of good things to come.”
The red, white and blue bunting may be on the ballpark and optimism is high but there’s still work to do.
“Maybe this completes the transition phase for me personally coming to new surroundings,” said Epstein, who was with the Red Sox from November 2002 until he joined the Cubs. “But it’s just another day. Nothing stops on Opening Day as far as we’re concerned. We need to do something every day to better the organization.
“The best time for reflection is the morning after sipping champagne when you win a World Series,” he said. “Until then, you keep plodding forward and try not to look back too much.”
– Carrie Muskat
The Cubs have been keeping tabs on 19-year-old Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler. However, reports from the Dominican Republic that they have an agreement in place to offer him a $27.5 million deal may be premature. Soler is waiting for clearance from Major League Baseball before he can be declared a free agent. There were reports that the Cubs signed 19-year-old Cuban pitcher Gerardo Concepcion, but the team has not confirmed that. On Monday, Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes agreed to a four-year, $36 million deal with the Athletics. The Cubs did scout Cespedes as well.
– Carrie Muskat
Alfonso Soriano has been mentioned in trade rumors this offseason but he was expected to be back in left field at the start of the 2012 season for the Cubs. GM Jed Hoyer said it was “unlikely” that Soriano would be dealt by Opening Day.
“I know Sori’s been working really hard this offseason … our hope is obviously you want him to get on base a little more,” Hoyer said during an interview on ESPN 1000 on Thursday. “The power was there last year, the RBIs were there. Obviously, it really comes down to defense and we’re hoping with some better conditioning and some better health that he can be a little better out there. We don’t want to do anything to hurt our pitchers but we do believe there’s something left in Sori.”
Soriano, who turned 36 in January, hit 26 homers and drove in 88 runs last season but batted .244.
– Carrie Muskat
The Cubs have signed Rodrigo Lopez to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training. A Mexican baseball magazine first reported the signing. Last January, Lopez, 36, signed with the Braves but did not make the roster out of Spring Training. He was traded to the Cubs in May, and pitched in long relief and made 16 starts. He was 6-6 with a 4.42 ERA in 26 games. In a four-game stretch June 28-July 18, Lopez was 2-1 with a 1.85 ERA, posting three quality starts.
The Cubs are expected to announce all the non-roster invitees next week.
– Carrie Muskat