Dempster can be free agent after season

March, 1, 2011
3/01/11
5:41
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
Chicago Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster, who is in the third year of a four-year, $44 million contract, can opt out of his fourth year. Dempster has an option to become a free agent for a brief period of time in October before free agency begins.

Dempster will make $14 million in 2012 if he decides to return to the Cubs.

The veteran right-hander, who will start Opening Day, deferred $3 million in 2010 so the Cubs could use that money to sign free-agent outfielder Marlon Byrd. According to an MLB source, the Cubs decided to pay Dempster back the entire amount during the winter, even though they had a number of years to pay off the deferment.

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Jason Hammel
WINS ERA SO IP
8 2.98 104 108
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Rizzo .285
HRA. Rizzo 25
RBIA. Rizzo 55
RA. Rizzo 68
OPSA. Rizzo .927
ERAJ. Samardzija 2.83
SOJ. Hammel 104