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  #1  
Old Nov 18th 2008, 4:58 pm
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ryno4ever ryno4ever is offline
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Talking Dempster is here for 4 more years

From Cubs.com:

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Ryan Dempster can ride his bike to work for the next four years.
The All-Star right-hander agreed to a four-year, $52 million deal on Tuesday to remain with the Cubs, including a $14 million player option for the 2012 season. He gets a $4 million signing bonus.

"I've become attached not just to the guys on the team but also to the city of Chicago," said Dempster, who resides in Wrigleyville. "Ultimately, it comes down to what our chances are to win a world championship. Getting to the postseason the last two years, I thought this is where I wanted to be."

Dempster, 31, went 17-6 with a 2.96 ERA for the Cubs last season after returning to the rotation on a full-time basis for the first time since 2002, and after saving 85 games for the club from 2005-07. He finished in the top seven in the National League in wins, ERA and strikeouts and made the All-Star team for the first time since 2000.

Dempster filed for free agency and spent four days on the market for anybody to pitch offers, but it was always thought that he would likely re-sign with the Cubs. He also received interest from several teams, including the Yankees, Mets, Braves, Dodgers and Blue Jays, but no firm offers.

"I just thought this is where I wanted to be," Dempster said. "Was more money out in the open market? I'm sure there probably was. Who knows, maybe there were five-year [offers potentially], you never know. That's a question that I will never be able to answer. Truthfully, I don't really even care to know. I'm happy with what I have, more money than I can ever dream of getting."

Barring any more moves, the Cubs go into 2009 with the same strong rotation they finished 2008 with: Carlos Zambrano, Dempster, Rich Harden, Ted Lilly and Jason Marquis. The Cubs received a discount to keep that staff intact.


"It was imperative that we kept [Dempster] in house," general manager Jim Hendry said. "He made no secret that he really wanted to be here. There was no doubt in any of our minds that Ryan would have exceeded this deal on the streets three or four weeks from now given the market with starting pitching."

Skeptics can argue that Dempster earned a long-term deal by performing well for just one season as a starter, and a contract year at that. Don't forget, some called for his removal from the closer's role before his successful conversion back to the rotation. Is it worth the gamble?

"He's still got five or six good years in him, no doubt in our mind," Hendry said. "You win a lot of baseball games with this guy on your ballclub. He's had a tremendous influence on a lot of guys in that clubhouse."

The pain of recent playoff losses also played a role in Dempster's decision. Like several of his teammates, he finished the 2008 season with a disappointing performance in the National League Division Series against Los Angeles.

"Maybe we underestimated how prepared you have to be," he said. "In a way we were so good at home, I was so good at home (10-0 to start the year), it almost felt like it was going to be a given that we would win Games 1 and 2."

Getting the nod in the opener, Dempster tied a career high by issuing seven walks in 4 2/3 innings. He gave up a crowd-silencing grand slam to James Loney, which propelled the Dodgers to a 7-2 victory, the first step to a series sweep. Despite winning a league-best 97 games, the Cubs went three and out of the playoffs for the second straight year.

"We've got unfinished business," said Dempster, who memorably predicted on the first day of Spring Training that the club would win the World Series for the first time since 1908. "I want to go back out there and have a better year than I had this past season."
Dempster is 76-81 with 87 saves and a 4.55 ERA in parts of 11 Major League seasons. Since joining Chicago prior to the 2004 season, he is 26-26 with 87 saves and a 3.59 ERA. He was an NL All-Star while with the Marlins in 2000.

The Cubs have addressed their two biggest offseason needs -- re-signing Dempster and solidifying the back end of the bullpen by trading for Kevin Gregg. Offensively, the club is still looking for a left-handed bat, perhaps a right fielder.

What does this mean for the interest in Jake Peavy and Randy Johnson? Well, Hendry isn't ruling anything out. He and other Cubs brass will meet Wednesday to map out their interests.

"We're not opposed to continuing to get better," Hendry said. "If it does mean more pitching, then at the right time, if we have a chance to do that, we will."
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Old Nov 18th 2008, 4:59 pm
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I like, too, that they are not ruling still trying to get Peavy!
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Old Nov 18th 2008, 5:19 pm
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I was actually thinking this morning, "I wish Dempster would sign today." I don't know what made me think that, but I did... and he did... I was like, Wow!
I know that Demp isn't popular with everybody... but I personally am really glad we got him back.

Getting Peavy would make for one sick, sick, sick rotation... but I'd be fairly surprised if that happened.
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Old Nov 18th 2008, 11:10 pm
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I know that Demp isn't popular with everybody... but I personally am really glad we got him back.
Actually I think the majority of Cubs fans wanted him back.
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Old Nov 19th 2008, 5:49 am
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Originally Posted by ryno4ever View Post
I like, too, that they are not ruling still trying to get Peavy!
I don't know if we really want to go that much for Peavy. Outside of his $22 million next year and the fact he only pitched 25 games last year, he will cost us a ton in young talent. I think if we are going to trade off our young guns we have to get bats . We could go with a rookie lefty but , we would also need a vetran lefty too.
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Old Nov 19th 2008, 6:41 am
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The newspapers are saying that there may still be a push for Peavy... but CSN (tv) said the focus now shifts to getting the left handed bat in the lineup, a right fielder, and perhaps even a leadoff man (yes, the "Brian Roberts" was brought up again...as was Bobby Abreu's name)...

I won't be upset if they don't sign Peavy, for the exact reasons you listed, LeeElia's Rant, but it would make for one helluva rotation! I guess I'm just happy that after they make one large deal, it doesn't shut down the possibilities of any more big moves to improve the team.
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Old Nov 19th 2008, 7:07 am
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The only thing that concerns me about the Dempster deal is he is I belive 31 years old, so come the end of his deal, he is going to be making $14 million dollars, and at age 35, that's way beyond most pitchers' primes. Has anyone heard if there is one of Hendry's infamous "no trade clauses" in the contract?
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Old Nov 19th 2008, 7:43 am
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The only thing that concerns me about the Dempster deal is he is I belive 31 years old, so come the end of his deal, he is going to be making $14 million dollars, and at age 35, that's way beyond most pitchers' primes. Has anyone heard if there is one of Hendry's infamous "no trade clauses" in the contract?
It won't be a problem if he keeps with his current training program. That is a big IF . If he keeps it great if he goes with the Big Z workout not good

If it was me drawing up a contract for any player I would put in " fitness incentives " . In order for them to maintain their contract level they must keep certain physical fitness parameters.
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Old Nov 19th 2008, 10:37 am
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there should have been a claus in his contract to make Z train with him. Z needs to get in and stay in shape.
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Old Nov 19th 2008, 4:06 pm
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FYI, During a radio interview Dempster said Rich Harden will accompany him this off-season in his rigurous work-out. Therefore, it's very possible Harden could have the break-out, career year everybody knew is possible with him. Hopefully, this workout will help Rich get over his injury problems.
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