I was in Chicago on the weekend for our annual baseball road trip (another post to follow on that) and was lucky enough to see Dempster pitch and get the ‘W’ on Saturday vs. the Dbacks. Needless to say, he was impressive and continued his scoreless innings streak and according to some, is the best pitcher to be had before the July 31st trade deadline. Given the year he’s had, it’s hard for me to disagree with that. Plus, in speaking to Cubs fans there at the game, they think he’s guaranteed to go. So I’m thinking, what the heck – LET’S GO JAYS – GET RYAN DEMPSTER!
After reading MLBTR, it kinda irks me a bit to hear that as many as ten teams are interested in Dempster which are the Dodgers, Tigers, Yankees, Braves, Indians, and White Sox. No where in the post does it mention Toronto, but I’m sure the Jays are amongst those ten (including the Orioles, Red Sox, Cardinals, and Angels). The fact that it’s so quiet between the Cubs and Jays in no way implies there’s nothing going on since we all know Anthopoulos loves to work quietly and has the silent hand.
So as a free-agent to be pitcher, let’s look at what it would take to persuade the Cubs to make a deal with Toronto. But first as a gauge, let’s review the most recent deals for starting pitchers traded mid-season.
1) July 2011 – Ubaldo Jimenez (with 3 years of control including options) traded from Rockies to Indians for Drew Pomeranz, Alex White, Matt McBride, and Joe Gardner. To my knowledge, only Pomeranz & White have pitched so far in the Majors.
2) July 2011 – Doug Fister (with 4 years of control) along with David Pauley traded from M’s to Tigers for Charlie Furbush, Casper Wells, Francisco Martinez and Chance Ruffin.
3) July 2011 – Erik Bedard (about to be a free agent) traded from Mariners to Red Sox for Trayvon Robinson and Chih-Hsien Chiang.
4) July 2010 – Cliff Lee (about to be a free agent) with Mark Lowe traded from Mariners to Rangers for Justin Smoak, Blake Beavan, Matt Lawson (since retired), and Jost Lueke (since traded to Rays for John Jaso).
5) July 2010 – Edwin Jackson (with 1 year of control) traded from Dbacks to White Sox for Daniel Hudson and David Holmberg.
6) July 2010 – Dan Haren (with 3 years of control including options) traded from Dbacks to Angels for Joe Saunders, Pat Corbin, Rafael Rodriguez and Tyler Skaggs.
7) July 2010 – Roy Oswalt (with 1 year of control) traded from Astros to Phillies for J.A. Happ, Anthony Gose, and Jonathan Villar. Gose, of course, is currently with the Jays thanks to Anthopoulos!!
8) July 2009 – Cliff Lee (with one year of control) traded with Ben Francisco from Indians to Phils for Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald, Lou Marson and Jason Knapp. Lee was traded later that year to Seattle during the off-season.
9) July 2009 – Jake Peavy (with 4 years of control including options) traded from Padres to White Sox for Aaron Poreda, Clayton Richard, Dexter Carter, and Adam Russell.
Did you notice something? A lot of these pitchers had years of control available to the receiving team and Dempster doesn’t. But the Rangers deal to get Cliff Lee stands out due to the number of players sent to the Mariners for a free agent to be pitcher. Mind you, Lee was also playoff tested and the Rangers made a play for a proven player and former Cy Young winner. The quality of those players Seattle received is up for discussion, but I think it’s safe to say that the Rangers have won that deal considering Lee helped them get to the World Series. Regardless, Ryan Dempster is not Cliff Lee and the only legitimate star player the Mariners received in that deal is Smoak, and the jury is still out on him.
So, what can Toronto offer? The player that immediately comes to mind is Anthony Gose because he’s very close to being Major League ready and the poor Cubs could use additional speed and offense in their outfield in 2013. However the Cubs also have Brett Jackson ticketed for CF, so maybe they want some thing else? MLBTR mentioned young pitching and/or a highly regarded third base prospect. Toronto doesn’t have any up and coming corner infielder that might entice Chicago in that area, but Toronto does have other assets in the form of young pitching.
So I propose the following deals:
1) Much like the Beltran for Zack Wheeler deal, a straight up, one-for-one trade for Anthony Gose who can help them immediately next year in their outfield, or
2) Pitchers Aaron Sanchez & Asher Wojciechowski who are currently lights-out at Low-A and High-A respectively. Sure they are a couple years away, but they are certainly going to be sure-fire major leaguers. It’s just a matter of how good they’ll be.
Take your pick Cubs. Young pitching or immediate offensive help?