Cubs send Ryan Dempster to Rangers for two prospects
BY GORDON WITTENMYER Twitter: @GDubCub July 31, 2012 4:04PM
Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster was traded to the Rangers on Tuesday for two minor league prospects. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
Updated: July 31, 2012 5:37PM
The Cubs traded Ryan Dempster to the Texas Rangers for two Class A prospects, the team confirmed Tuesday.
That means the top two performing members of the Cubs’ rotation have been dealt in a 24-hour period, with lefty Paul Maholm already gone, with Reed Johnson, to the Braves for prospects Monday night.
Dempster had long been rumored to be dealt with the Dodgers being the most likely taker, but Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said the two teams were “not really close” to finalizing a trade. In fact, Hoyer said that if the Rangers hadn’t stepped up in the final minutes before the trading deadline, Dempster would still be on the North Side.
The Cubs received third-base prospect Christian Villanueva and right-hander Kyle Hendricks from the Rangers for Dempster.
Hendricks, 22, was selected by the Rangers in the eighth round of the 2011 Draft. The 6-3, 190-pound righthander is 5-8 with a 2.82 ERA in 20 starts for Single-A Myrtle Beach this season, earning Carolina League mid-season All-Star honors. He has struck out 112 and walked only 15 batters in 130.2 innings pitched, an average of just 1.0 walk per nine innings.
Villanueva, 21, is batting .285 with 19 doubles, one triple, 10 home runs and 59 RBI in 100 games with Single-A Myrtle Beach this season. He has a .356 on-base percentage and a .421 slugging percentage to contribute to a .777 OPS. A native of Guadalajara, Mexico, the 5-11, 160-pound Villanueva originally signed with the Rangers as a non-drafted free agent on August 17, 2008.
Despite final-day efforts to move Garza, he so far appears to have survived as a Cub through the deadline — meaning an off-season trade is likely unless he and the Cubs come to an agreement on a contract extension.
The Cubs talked to the Tigers about a possible Alfonso Soriano trade without getting a deal done. But an August waiver-wire deal could be coming, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.
Dempster, 35, went 5-5 with a 2.25 ERA (26 ER/104.0 IP) in 16 starts for the Cubs this season. The righthander wraps up nine seasons in the Cubs organization after originally signing with the club as a free agent prior to the 2004 campaign.