I guess this means the Ryan Dempster trade speculation can be put on hold for a bit.
Dempster has been placed on the disabled list due to a strained right lat muscle, with the Cubs telling Carrie Muskat of MLB.com that the injury is “not considered serious.”
The injury comes with Dempster in the midst of a 22-inning scoreless streak that includes three straight starts with zero runs allowed against the Red Sox, Twins, and Brewers.
Dempster’s public sit-down with team president Theo Epstein last week created headlines and has everyone believing it’s only a matter of time before the Cubs trade the 35-year-old impending free agent, but reports about a deal possibly being done by the end of this month are now moot.
He’ll have plenty of time to come back and prove he’s healthy again before the trade deadline, but if the Cubs are going to move Dempster it’ll be in July.
The Mariners are in the midst of reconstructing their roster, a process which most recently resulted in the trade of first baseman/DH Edwin Encarnación to the Yankees, per a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan. While the teams have yet to publicly confirm the deal, the Mariners are expected to receive pitching prospect Juan Then and will likely eat a significant portion of Encarnación’s salary as well.
Encarnación is a sizable get for the Yankees, who could benefit from the veteran’s power and consistency in their ongoing drive toward the postseason. The 36-year-old infielder missed some time with a bout of lower back tightness, dental issues, and soreness in his left hand, but has still maintained a decent .241/.356/.531 batting line with an AL-best 21 home runs, an .888 OPS, and 1.7 fWAR through his first 289 plate appearances of the year. Per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, Encarnación has another $11-12 million left on his contract in 2019, with a $20 million option for the 2020 season and a $5 million buyout.
Then, 19, was acquired by the Yankees in a three-person trade with the Mariners during the 2017 offseason. The right-hander currently ranks no. 27 in the Yankees’ system and made his last pro ball appearance for New York’s rookie-level affiliate in 2018, pitching to a 2.70 ERA, 2.0 BB/9, and 7.6 SO/9 across 50 innings. It’s not clear if any other players are involved in the trade, though USA Today’s Bob Nightengale notes that no other prospects are thought to be included in the package for Encarnación.