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Ryan Dempster to the Atlanta Braves

Ryan Dempster has reportedly been dealt to the Atlanta Braves.  The Cubs have reportedly received 22 year old righty Randall Delgado in the deal.  Dempster has been seen as the premier “rental” pitcher on this year’s market, and the Braves have been in search of veteran leadership to stabilize the rotation.  The move represents a commitment to a postseason run on the part of the Atlanta front office.

Ryan Dempster, ever undervalued, has pitched like an ace this year.  He leads the majors in ERA (2.11) and all the peripheral sabermetrics (3.0 WAR) back up what the traditional stats say: he’s been extremely good.  In his 8 starts away from Wrigley field this year, Dempster sports a 1.52 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and has given up just one home run.

From a Braves perspective, they have definitely inmproved in the short term, but I really do not like seeing this young guy go.  Delgado hasn’t been as dominant as some of the young hurlers in the game this year, but shows flashes of above average stuff (94 mph fastball and a really good change).  He has a bright future in front of him for many years to come, perhaps as a very good number 3 starter on a championship caliber team.  He’ll have a good career before all is said and done.  He’s just 22 years old and appears to be a excellent building block for the Cubs.

With the new CBA in place, and draft pick compensation now out the window for these “rental” type players, I have to believe that there are some other players involved in the deal that might explain why the Braves were so willing to give up such a good young pitcher for two months of Ryan Dempster (remember that’s only about 12 regular season starts).  I’ll wait to pass final judgement until all the specifics are laid out, but even right now it seems to make a lot of sense for both sides.  The Braves have traded from a position of extraordinary strength (they’re stocked with young starters on the cusp) to fill a position at which they badly needed to improve.  As for the Cubs, the equation is inverted but equally logical.

….More to follow as details come to light

-Sean Morash

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