I have mixed feelings about the possibility of Ryan Dempster rejoining the Cubs.
I didn’t particularly care for the way Dempster handled his July trade to Texas after saying he was willing to help the Cubs get the most for his services by trading him to a contender.
“Any one of us is susceptible to being traded. For me, it’s a little different because I have the right to say ‘no.’ … Obviously I want to do what’s best for this organization. They’ve done nothing but right by me.” –Dempster
Instead, the trade deadline felt more like Dempster was pinning the Cubs front office in a corner than upholding his word to help the organization gain the most back in a deal.
We don’t know if that was exactly the case. There’s plenty of miscommunication from both ends to go around. I’m just saying that’s the way it felt to me back in July.
On the flip side, Dempster’s return would improve the Cubs’ chances to be competitive in 2013–if the money is right.
The Cubs need at least two more starting pitchers and Dempster was exceptionally good with Chicago last season, and arguably is just as good, if not better, than most of the mid-level free-agent starters the Cubs are targeting this offseason. That’s pretty good incentive for Chicago.
Meanwhile, Dempster’s incentive to resign with Chicago would be two-fold. First, it would provide an opportunity to heal the damage done to his once glowing reputation in Chicago before the trade debacle. Two, he would likely be given another chance to join a contender next July via trade.
My guess is Dempster is well aware he lost in the court of public opinion among Cubs fans last summer, which I believe would be of concern to a guy who was so heavily involved in the community with his Dempster Family Foundation.
‘‘I built a home here [Chicago]. I’ve been here almost nine years. The thought of leaving, no matter where it is, is a tough thing.’’ –Dempster
It could be just the sort of thing that trumps what are sure to be better financial offers for Dempster to pitch elsewhere next season, not to mention his preference playing for a team that holds spring training in Arizona where he keeps an offseason home.
Ultimately, however, I think TheoJed will do whatever is in the best interest of the Cubs organization. If that means reuniting with Dempster–assuming trade scenarios are agreed upon far in advance of July 31–so be it.
Otherwise I’m just fine watching Dempster play somewhere else and letting his career with the Cubs pass as water under the bridge.