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Chicago Cubs MLB News - Cubs Baseball Blog » 2008 » November

The Chicago Cubs re-sign Ryan Dempster

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Wednesday 19 November 2008 at 10:22 pm

The Cubs have re-signed 31-year old righty starting pitcher Ryan Dempster to a new 4-year, $52 million dollar contract. Dempster was rewarded for having a stunning 2008 season for the Cubs in which he started 33 games and compiled a 2.96 ERA with a 1.21 WHIP. Dempster only allowed 174 hits in 206.2 innings last season and he whiffed 187 which showed that his stuff was good enough to handle a heavy workload as a starter after being a reliever for a few seasons. Dempster has now pitched 5 seasons with the Cubs covering 259 games (39 starts) in which he is 26-26 with 87 saves, a 3.59 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. Still, the Cubs are taking a risk with this contract as Dempster’s 2008 season came out of nowhere. He has pitched in 420 games (195 starts) in his major league career and he is 76-81 with 87 saves, a 4.55 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP.

The Chicago Cubs have work to do in free agency

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Sunday 16 November 2008 at 11:41 pm

The Cubs will be busy in free agency and it will all start with them trying to add a big bat to play a corner outfield position. Manny Ramirez is likely out of their price range but Adam Dunn, Raul Ibanez, Pat Burrell or Bobby Abreu would fit in fine in the Cubs’ lineup. The Cubs will also need a backup catcher and they might re-sign Henry Blanco. If he walks the Cubs will consider bringing in Paul LoDuca, David Ross, Eliezer Alfonzo, Gregg Zaun or Javier Valentin to backup Jason Kendall. The Cubs would like to re-sign Ryan Dempster but if he leaves look for the team to make a play for Ben Sheets, Derek Lowe or A.J. Burnett. Randy Johnson’s name has also surfaced and he really pitched well the second half of the 2008 season. The Cubs could also use a lefty reliever and they will target Joe Beimel, Jeremy Affeldt, Brian Shouse, Arthur Rhodes, Darren Oliver, Dennys Reyes or Alan Embree. A veteran righty reliever who could help out late in games also makes sense for the Cubs to bring in. Luis Ayala, Brandon Lyon, Russ Springer or Chad Cordero would each make sense for the Cubs.

The Chicago Cubs acquire Kevin Gregg from the Marlins

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Thursday 13 November 2008 at 10:33 pm

The Cubs have acquired 30-year old righty reliever Kevin Gregg from the Marlins for 21-year old righty Jose Ceda. Gregg pitched in 72 games (0 starts) for the Marlins last season and he was 7-8 with 29 saves, a 3.41 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. He has now pitched in 271 games (8 starts) in his major league career and he is 18-21 with 62 saves, a 4.00 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. With the Cubs not re-signing Kerry Wood, Gregg could be in line for some saves with the Cubs in 2009.

21-year old righty reliever Jose Ceda was the Cubs’ #4 rated prospect heading into the 2008 season according to Baseball America. He pitched in 37 games (12 starts) in A+AA ball last season and he was 4-3 with 9 saves, a 3.83 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. Ceda whiffed 95 batters in only 84.2 innings last season showing what kind of stuff he really has. This was a high price for the Cubs to pay but Gregg should help them in the very near future while Ceda might need some time to develop.

The Chicago Cubs acquire Ryan Buchtler from the Nationals

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures, Bloglockers, Front Page, General by chinmusic on Wednesday 5 November 2008 at 11:35 pm

The Cubs have acquired 21-year old lefty reliever Ryan Buchtler from the Nationals for 25-year old righty Matt Avery. Buchtler has a much higher upside than Avery and he’s left handed to boot. Buchtler pitched in 17 games (0 starts) in A+Rookie Ball last season and he was 4-2 with a 2.59 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. His WHIP was on the high side because he walked 14 batters in only 24.1 innings but he also whiffed 25 batters showing what kind of stuff he has. Matt Avery pitched in 37 games (1 start) in A+AA ball last season and he was 5-3 with 3 saves, a 4.12 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP. This will likely turn out to be a solid trade for the Cubs as they didn’t think Avery was much of a prospect.

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