UPDATE: Dave Kaplan of CSNChiago.com is reporting that Dempster has not yet approved the trade, as he must, as a 10-5 guy. Dempster himself tweeted from his own Twitter account that there is no trade, at least not yet. It’d be weird for this many reporters to report this much on such a deal from disparate sources if it wasn’t expected to happen, but stay tuned!
2:25 PM: All indications are that Randall Delgado is, in fact, the player going to Chicago.
2:10 PM: Mark Bowman of MLB.com confirms that Dempster is coming to Atlanta. The player(s) in return are not yet confirmed. Bowman suspects that the deal may involve Randall Delgado. Delgado is 4-9 with a 4.42 ERA on the year, though he is just 22 and is still considered an excellent prospect.
1:57 PM: Jon Heyman reports that the pitcher in question is Ryan Dempster. No word yet on who goes back to Chicago if that is, in fact, the deal.
Dempster gave up four runs over six innings the other night and saw his 33-inning scoreless streak come to an end. But he’s still been crazy-solid on the year. He’s 5-4 with a 2.11 ERA with 77 strikeouts and 27 walks in 98 innings and a WHIP of 1.051. And he’s been even better on the road than he has been in Wrigley.
1:56 PM: We don’t know who it is yet, but …
Whoever it is, it’s needed. The Braves have one of the worst rotations in the National League. Certainly the worst among contenders, and something needs to give.
Confirming a report from Tuesday, the Diamondbacks officially signed right-hander Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million contract on Friday. The 39-year-old stands to receive up to $4 million in incentives, per Jack MacGruder of FanRag Sports, with $250,000 kicking in when the veteran reaches 40, 50 and 60 appearances and $500,000 if he reaches 70.
Rodney came three games shy of the 70-appearance mark in 2016 during back-to-back stints with the Padres and Marlins. He put up a cumulative 3.44 ERA on the year, which effectively disguised the extreme split during his performances in San Diego and Miami. The Diamondbacks aren’t anywhere close to contending in 2017, but Rodney should stabilize the back end of their bullpen while providing Arizona GM Mike Hazen with a potential trade chip during next year’s deadline.
Hazen issued a statement following the signing:
With Fernando, we’re getting an established Major League closer and a veteran presence in the bullpen. It is helpful to have someone with his experience on the back end to slow the game down and get the final three outs.
The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.
The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.
For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.