Cubs general manager Jim Hendry has stated in this offseason that one of his top priorities would be to retain Ryan Dempster. Apparently, four years and $50 million are going to do that trick, and the Cubs are expected to announce the deal today. In fact, radio reports are surfacing in Chicago that the deal is finalized and will be announced any minute.
This is really a mutually beneficial signing. Dempster is coming off a career year in which he reinvented himself as a starting pitcher, and he's right in the middle of his prime. Personally, Dempster loves being in Chicago:
"I remember telling Hendry 3-4 years ago I wanted to play for the Cubs. It was one of those things -- they were interested and I'd made up my mind this where I wanted to come."
He lives in Wrigleyville and walks to work. Like I said, this is a mutual partnership.
For Hendry, the chore now turns to finding a left-hander hitter to play right field (Bobby Abreu, please) and possibly selling the farm for Jake Peavy. While acquiring Peavy is far from a sure thing, Cubs fans can only dream of this rotation:
Now, if only they could win a playoff game ...