Update: Monday, July 23 at 4:30 p.m. ET
Hold on just a second, Braves fans. Just because the Braves and Cubs agreed to a deal doesn't mean Dempster is headed to Atlanta.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweeted on Monday:
braves & cubs had agreed on dempster deal. his twitter comment suggests his 10-and-5 veto rights could be in play tho— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 23, 2012
MLB.com tweeted on Monday:
Keith Law of ESPN added:
Filed to ESPN - if the Dempster trade is completed, Randall Delgado is in it, as well as something to balance the money— keithlaw (@keithlaw) July 23, 2012
The Braves, historically a strong pitching team, have seen their starters struggle to the tune of a 4.34 ERA this season, the third-worst mark in the National League.
While veteran Tim Hudson has been solid, youngsters Tommy Hanson, Mike Minor, Randall Delgado and Jair Jurrjens have all disappointed, and third-year pro Brandon Beachy is out for the season after right elbow surgery.
Dempster, who has been in Chicago for nine seasons, has pitched to a 2.11 ERA and 1.05 WHIP this season, with batters hitting just .209 against him. Despite all of this, he only has five wins in 15 starts for the lowly Cubs.
Of course, Dempster finished with a 4.80 ERA and 1.45 WHIP in 34 starts last season, so there is risk involved here.
But the Braves are frankly desperate for some sort of a dependable presence on the mound beyond Hudson, and Dempster is a veteran who has been around. Perhaps simply adding another clubhouse veteran will help out the young arms in the Braves' rotation.
Atlanta is currently 52-43, three games behind the NL East-leading Washington Nationals and 0.5 games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the second Wild Card spot in the league. Given they have scored the third-most runs in the NL so far, a quality starting pitcher could go a long way.
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