|Rangers to benefit from Dempster’s decision||| Print |||Send|
Written by Jim Mancari (Contact & Archive) on August 14, 2012
The past two seasons, Texas had an abundance of strong pitching, which resulted in back-to-back World Series appearances. This season, however, the Rangers have dealt with a multitude of injuries to the starting rotation. If the team plans of making another World Series run, it will need a few saviors to provide hefty contributions.
Enter veteran righty Ryan Dempster, who basically became a forgotten entity pitching for the lowly Chicago Cubs. The Rangers acquired the 35-year-old hurler at the trade deadline, hoping he can fill the void vacated by the other starters.
Photo by Joselito Tagarao, used under creative commons license.
Dempster had a no-trade clause built into his contract, and actually his first choice was to be traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers were very active at the trade deadline and could have used Dempster to further solidify the rotation.
But in the waning hours before the deadline, Dempster added the Rangers and the New York Yankees to the list of the teams to which he would accept a trade.
The Cubs were only willing to pull the trigger with the Dodgers if the latter would have included top pitching prospect Allen Webster in the deal. The Dodgers were reluctant, so Dempster wound up in Texas.
While Dempster would have rather been in Los Angeles, the Rangers are grateful for his decision to include them on his list. Texas parted ways with minor leaguers Christian Villanueva and Kyle Hendricks in the deal.
Looking at what the Rangers are left with in their rotation, the Dempster trade -- if it pays off -- will be looked at a one of the most impactful deals of a busy trade deadline.
Neftali Feliz and Colby Lewis are both out for the season. Roy Oswalt, who the Rangers took a chance on midseason thinking he could provide quality innings, has been a bust. In six starts, Oswalt has a 6.49 ERA and has given up 11 hits in half those starts. The Dempster trade relegates Oswalt to the bullpen.
Derek Holland recently returned from a stint on the disabled, and he’s looked good since coming back. All-Stars Matt Harrison and Yu Darvish have been relatively consistent all year, but both lack Dempster’s experience.
Down the stretch, Harrison and Darvish can be pushed from Dempster’s influence. Additionally, if Dempster can pitch like he did with the Cubs (2.75 ERA), he should rack up the wins for the hard-hitting Rangers.
While Dempster has had success in his career, he’s never been to the World Series. At age 35, this may be his last chance to reach the Fall Classic.
Let’s see if his decision to go to Texas pays off. The Rangers are surely hoping it does.