Ryan Dempster was entering the fourth year of a $56 million contract he signed with the Cubs. The fourth year, 2012, gave him the option of returning to the Cubs for $14 million or become a free agent. In 2011 Dempster was 10-14 with a 4.80 ERA.
Do you think the free agent market will pay a 10-14 pitcher over $14 million? I don't think so. Dempster didn't either, and he exercised his option to remain with the Cubs.
I like Ryan Dempster. He seems like a really good guy. He's also invested himself in the community, living in Chicago year-round. He is also an innings eater, going over 200 innings each of the past four seasons.
But he's also on the downward side of his career, and is not worth $14 million. His contract is one of the lasting legacies left behind by Jim Hendry.
Since he is worth so much, I feel obligated to show all his cards from 2011