The Chicago Cubs have dealt 35-year old righty starting pitcher Ryan Dempster to the Texas Rangers for 21-year old righty swinging 3B Christian Villanueva and 22-year old righty starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks. Villanueva came into this season as the Rangers’ #8 prospect according to Baseball America. He played in 100 games in A-ball for the Rangers this year and he was 107 of 375 (.285 avg, .777 OPS) with 45 runs scored, 10 homers, 59 RBIs and 9 stolen bases. Villanueva has now played in 285 games in his first four years in the minors and he is 301 of 1,054 (.286 avg, .789 OPS) with 155 runs scored, 29 homers, 181 RBIs and 48 stolen bases. Kyle Hendricks wasn’t considered a top prospect before this season began, but he has looked good in the minors this year. He pitched in 20 games (all starts) in A-ball for the Rangers this year and he was 5-8 with a 2.82 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. He only has given up 123 hits and 15 walks this year while whiffing 112 batters in 130 2/3 innings, which is pretty impressive. Hendricks has pitched in 41 games (21 starts) in his first two years in the minors and he is 7-10 with 3 saves, a 2.65 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP.
Ryan Dempster pitched in 16 games (all starts) for the Cubs this year and he was 5-5 with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. He pitched in 374 games (154 starts) in his nine years with the Cubs and he was 67-66 with 87 saves, a 3.74 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. Dempster is #7 in Cubs’ history in games pitched (374) and he is also #5 in saves (87).
This was a deal the Cubs had to make as Villanueva and Hendricks will hopefully help the team rebuild down the road.