Cubs, Dempster, Closing in on a Four-Year Deal

Justin WilkieCorrespondent INovember 18, 2008

Acording to a baseball official that has knowledge of the negotiations between the Chicago Cubs and Ryan Dempster, the two sides are closing in on finalizing a four-year deal worth $52 million.

The official spoke Tuesday on the condition of anonymity with the AP saying that the two sides were close and that the fact the Cubs had not made any announcement yet.

Dempster was 17-6, with a 2.96 ERA last season with the Cubs.  He was the Cubs' closer from 2005-07, getting 87 saves in 102 chances.

Dempster returned as a starter in 2008, a role in which he had with the Florida Marlins and Cincinnati Reds from 1998 to 2003.

“We are still talking seriously about it,” Dempster’s agent, Craig Landis, said in an e-mail late Monday, adding Tuesday the sides had not yet reached an agreement.

Dempster was 14-3 last season at home. He pitched great during the regular season at home, but his worst outing at home, was during the opening round of the playoffs against the Dodgers.

Dempster went just 4 2/3 innings in Game One of the NLDS against the Dodgers. He threw 109 pitches, giving up four runs on four hits, and matching a career-high in walks with seven. He also gave up a grand-slam to James Loney.

On the first day of spring training last February, Dempster said he thought that the Cubs had a chance to win the World Series this year.