Ryan Dempster had an impressive season while he was still with the Chicago Cubs in 2012. However, he struggled after being traded to the Texas Rangers. Yet, he is one of the hottest free agent pitchers on the market right now. And at 35 years old, he is still looking for a three-year contract. The crazy thing is, he might get it.
According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, there is plenty of interest and teams know Dempster is seeking a three-year contract.
Sources: #Brewers, #RedSox, #Angels among teams expressing interest in Dempster. Seeking three-year deal.The problem with Dempster is three-fold. He is 35 years old and has never been a truly dominant pitcher. Last season was kind of a breakout year until the wheels fell off in Texas. Dempster was injured in 2012. He suffered a lat strain that landed him on the disabled list, so his durability has to come into question. Finally, teams are basing their contract offers and negotiations on memories of what Dempster did in Chicago for 16 games this season.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 29, 2012
Dempster's age and injury should be primary concerns. However, his overall talent should be a factor in whether a team gives him a large contract or not. The Royals had offered him a $26 million deal that was rejected, so we know he is likely going to get more than that.
In his career, Dempster has pitched in 547 games and started 322 of them. He has pitched in the Majors for 15 seasons. In his big league career, Dempster has a 4.33 ERA. That's nothing to get excited about, but he posted a career-best ERA of 2.25 in Chicago this past season. Once he was dealt to Texas, Dempster posted a 5.09 ERA in 12 starts. He didn't end up helping the Rangers much and they fell watched as the Oakland Athletics overtook them for the division.
Dempster is a decent free agent target, but a long-term expensive deal doesn't seem to make sense. Nevertheless, he will get one. B.J. Upton just got $75 million after hitting .246 after all.