Rather than obtaining a pitcher with a long-term contract [like John Danks], who could quickly go from great to garbage, the Sox might consider renting a Dempster. But, how much are the Sox willing to pay for ONE extra win?
Cubs GM “Thiefo” Epstein is intimately familiar with the value and talents of the Sox prospects and may be keen to deal with his former under-study, Ben, again.
The Cubs have baseball’s worst record (26-49) and are already in re-build mode and want to deal almost any player for prospects, hoping to become a young, competitive team before Bud Selig retires.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that Chicago is willing to pay part of Ryan Dempster‘s $14MM salary in a deal in order to receive better quality prospects in return. Their plan is to accumulate talent, not save money.
Although Dempster, 35, is currently on the DL with a lat strain he is expected back around the All-Star break.
Dempster played catch Friday and could throw off the mound Saturday or Sunday, but he will not be ready until sometime after the All-Star break.
Dempster, on the disabled list since June 16 with a sore right lat, said Friday he’s making progress.
“It won’t take me long once I get going,” Dempster said. “I haven’t said [I'm returning on] ‘This date’ because if I feel good, it could be sooner than that. I’m completely pain free. I just don’t know how I’m going to feel throwing.”
Dempster has pitched to a 2.11 ERA in a dozen starts this season and may be the best value starter on the market. And, Dempster is in the last year of his contract, which makes him a low-risk half-season rental.
If the Cubs were willing to eat half of Dempster’s remaining contract [$7 million], about $3.5 million, and the Sox were willing to deal 1-3 prospects, there is a deal to be made.
Ben may even be willing to part with Jose Iglesias in a 1-for-1 swap, since the Sox have a seven shortstop stockpile from Low-A to Fenway.
The Sox signed #24 overall pick Deven Marrero to a $2.05 million deal.
“Coming into the season Marrero was widely considered a top-10 talent, but the Arizona State shortstop’s stock dropped as he struggled offensively.
Even with the inconsistent offensive production Baseball America ranked Marrero as the 14th-best player in the draft class and ESPN.com rated him 13th, so if the Red Sox believe in his bat they got excellent value near the end of the first round.” [Baseball America]
Theo, no doubt is aware that Marrero is off to a good offensive start in the minors; in his first four games: .375/.412/.563,3 K/1 BB.
Today, the Sox collected another SS:
“The Red Sox have added one of the top international amateur free agents available in advance of the July 2 signing period, getting 18-year-old shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin out of Taiwan for $2.05 million.
The deal was first reported in the Taiwanese press earlier this month and is now official. Lin will still have to complete an investigation from Major League Baseball, but that shouldn’t present a problem.
Though 5-foot-8, 155 pounds, Lin has drawn strong reviews from scouts for his lefthanded bat. Some scouts have projected him as an above-average hitter, capable of hitting better than .300, though he won’t offer much power…” [Baseball America, http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/international-affairs/2012/2613618.html]
With Aviles established for 2012 at SS and Punto and Lillibridge as backups, and 19 year-old SS Xander Bogaerts on the Salem Red Sox (A+) team, the Sox are loaded at SS.
Assuming that Theo would want a SS prospect, these other players could also be part of a 1-3 player package for Dempster:
Bryce Brentz, Rank: 1, Portland Sea Dogs (AA), ETA: 2013, Position: OF
Brandon Jacobs, Rank: 6, Salem Red Sox (A+), ETA: 2014, Position: OF
Kolbrin Vitek, Rank: 8, ETA: 2014, Position: 3B
Garin Cecchini, Rank: 9, Greenville Drive (A), ETA: 2014, Position: 3B
Blake Swihart, Rank: 11, Greenville Drive (A), ETA: 2015, Position: C
Oscar Tejeda, Rank: 13, Altoona Curve (AA), ETA: 2013, Position: 2B
The Pirates have claimed infielder/outfielder Oscar Tejeda off waivers from the Red Sox, the team announced. To make room for Tejeda, Pittsburgh has also designated left-hander Doug Slaten for assignment.
Tejeda, 22, was designated for assignment by Boston following their acquisition of Zach Stewart and Brent Lillibridge earlier this week. Tejeda split time between designated hitter and left field this season, hitting .262/.294/.396 in 51 Double-A games.
With the current paucity of pitching, it is unlikely that the Sox will be willing to part with:
Matt Barnes, Rank: 4, Salem Red Sox (A+), ETA: 2014, Position: RHP, Age: 22, Drafted: 2011, 1st (19) or
Anthony Ranaudo, Rank: 5, Portland Sea Dogs (AA), ETA: 2013, Position: RHP, Age: 22,Drafted: 2010, 1st (39)
(Unless Theo would be interested in Chris Carpenter?)
A deal for a half-season rental might get Theo one player in return, like Iglesias or Brentz, or the Sox #1 draft pick, Marrero. If Theo is thinking quantity, he might get a 2-1 deal with some of the other Sox prospects, listed above.
Consider that Dempster might get 12-15 starts and, with a career W% of .491, he might go 6-6 or even 8-7.
What is a break-even or plus ONE game starter worth to the Red Sox?
Jose Iglesias? Brad Brentz? Deven Marrero? Kobrin Vitek?
Or, Chris Carpernter?
Tags: Anthony Rendon Baseball America Baseball Reference Ben Cherington Blake Swihart Brandon Jacobs Brent Lillibridge Bryce Brentz CBSSports.com Chris Carpenter Deven Marrero Garin Cecchini Hunter Cervenka Jon Heyman Kolbrin Vitek LHP Marlon Byrd Matt Barnes Michael Bowden Mike Aviles Nick Punto Oscar Tejeda RHP Ryan Dempster Taiwanese Theo Epstein Tzu-Wei Lin Xander Bogaerts