Texas Rangers Get Ryan Dempster: Stealing Him from NY Yankees Was a Winning Move

Ely Sussman@@MrElyminatorCorrespondent IAugust 1, 2012

Gene J. Puskar/AP
Gene J. Puskar/AP

Mere seconds before the 2012 non-waiver trade deadline passed, the Texas Rangers bolstered their starting rotation with the acquisition of right-hander Ryan Dempster.

Most importantly, the New York Yankees didn't get him.

Both slumping juggernauts—New York had lost eight of 11; Texas was 4-7 since July 18—sought to add pitching depth before the clock struck 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday afternoon. Only the Rangers were successful.

ESPN's Keith Law (insider access required) points out that he'll surely regress down the stretch, but Dempster is nonetheless a considerable upgrade over fellow veteran Roy Oswalt.

With Neftali Feliz and Colby Lewis set for season-ending elbow surgeries, general manager Jon Daniels didn't have a whole lot of viable internal options. The prospects he gave up in this deal—Kyle Hendricks and Christian Villanueva—were only developing at the High-A level.

The Rangers and Bombers are neck-and-neck in the race for the American League's top record, aka home-field advantage in October's ALCS. They are currently on a collision course to meet in the best-of-seven series and battle for a World Series berth.

According to sources, these two teams were the only bidders for Dempster as time expired. The Los Angeles Dodgers, reluctant to relinquish any promising pitching prospects, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, pulled out in the early afternoon.

From there, the sought-after hurler said he would accept a trade to either division leader, according to ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine.

How did the Rangers prevail over the grandeur of pinstripes? By making a better offer. In fact, Marc Carig of The Star-Ledger claims (via Twitter) that the Yankees didn't even reach that stage of negotiations.

Come playoff time, New York will likely go with a starting foursome of CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, Hiroki Kuroda and Phil Hughes. That's imposing, but throwing Dempster into the equation would have really been problematic.

Instead, Texas can combine him with Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison and Derek Holland. That should give Ron Washington's boys a fighting chance.