Ryan Dempster exercises 2012 player option to stay with Cubs

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According to Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com, Ryan Dempster has exercised his 2012 player option to stay with the Cubs. It was an expected move, as he has $14 million coming his way next season.

Dempster, 34, went 10-14 with a 4.80 ERA and 191/82 K/BB ratio over 34 starts this season. He logged 202 1/3 innings en route to surpassing the 200-inning mark for the fourth consecutive season.

It was a disappointing year on the surface for Dempster, even though his peripherals were very much in line with last season. The major difference was a career-low swinging strike rate combined with a high line-drive rate, which resulted in a bloated batting average on balls in play. While the veteran right-hander posted a 3.83 ERA at the “Friendly Confines,” he had an ugly 6.08 ERA on the road.

Giants tab Madison Bumgarner to start Opening Day

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Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports that the Giants, to the shock of absolutely no one, have tabbed Madison Bumgarner to start on Opening Day, March 29 in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. He’ll pitch opposite Clayton Kershaw.

This will be the fifth consecutive season in which Bumgarner has started on Opening Day for the Giants. His five total Opening Day starts is still way behind the club record held by Juan Marichal, who started 10 Opening Days, including six consecutively from 1964-69.

Bumgarner, 28, missed nearly two months in the first half last season due to a dirt bike accident. He still managed to have a great season, compiling a 3.32 ERA with a 101/20 K/BB ratio in 111 innings.