Ryan Dempster's Return to Chicago Is No Sure Thing

I was talking to a friend of mine last week about baseball, and we were both spouting off our ideas of what the city of Chicago's two teams should be doing this offseason. Since my buddy is a Cubs fan, he presented his plan for Jim Hendry, and in it he was adamant about the Cubs getting Jake Peavy from the Padres. "Imagine a rotation of Carlos Zambrano, Jake Peavy, Rich Harden, Ted Lilly, and Ryan Dempster. They'd win 110 games!"

It was at that point I said they would win 110 games, but unfortunately none would come in the playoffs. Of course, neither of us thought twice about the fact that Ryan Dempster would be back with the Cubs next season. Sure, he's a free agent, but considering the success he's had in Chicago, his return is a given. Well, according to Ken Rosenthal, it's not such a sure thing after all.

Dempster, 31, plans to test the open market, major-league sources say. He filed for free agency on Friday, and does not intend to sign with the Cubs before their exclusive negotiating period with him expires on Nov. 13.

While the Cubs remain interested in retaining Dempster, an 11-year veteran, the pitcher first will entertain bids from other clubs. He conceivably could receive four-year offers on the open market, an important consideration if the Cubs only are willing to give him three.

While I understand Ryan's decision to flirt with other teams, I still think he'll be back in Chicago as a Cub. I think Dempster is only going to talk to other teams in hopes of driving up his price, and that in the end, four-year deal or not he's going to be back at Wrigley next season. Still, you never really know who is going to swoop in and blow somebody away with an offer. After all, it's not like there's a shortage of teams looking for starting pitching.

Ryan Dempster's Return to Chicago Is No Sure Thing originally appeared on MLB FanHouse on Mon, 03 Nov 2008 11:01:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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