Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Ryan Dempster thrilled to be a Ranger
By Clint Foster
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers went right up to the trade deadline before acquiring 35-year-old starter Ryan Dempster in a three-player deal with the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday.
But in the end they got just what they needed, a veteran starting pitcher who will provide a huge boost to a rotation that has had to deal with a rash of injuries.
The newest Ranger beamed about joining his new team during a conference call from Chicago.
"They have team speed, power, defense, a tremendous bullpen, one of the best coaching staffs around the league, just a first class organization,” Dempster said. “I’m happy to be a part of it and looking forward to going out there and putting that Rangers uniform on.
"I'm excited to go to a team that's a really great team. Hopefully I can go up there and help them win a World Series."
Dempster was 5-5 with a 2.25 ERA in 104 innings over 16 starts with the Cubs this season. He has never pitched for an American League team, but said he welcomes the challenge.
"There’s a lot of elements that go into it," he said. “You have to learn some new hitters. But with today’s technology and video and things like that, you can do your homework. That’s what I’m planning on doing the next couple of days to get ready for my start. You have to lean on your pitching coach and the other guys on the staff. It works the other way, too. Those guys in the AL, a lot of them haven’t seen me, and hopefully that works in my favor. At the end of the day, I just need to go out and make quality pitches. If you put the ball where you want to put it, ultimately you can get the outs you want to get.”
It was originally rumored that Dempster did not want to be traded to a team outside the National League and that the Los Angeles Dodgers were his first choice. But Dempster said he didn’t rule out the Rangers, he just didn’t know they were a possibility.
"I actually asked long ago if there was interest, and at the time there wasn’t any dialogue," he said. "I went with the only team that I thought was on the radar. It’s exciting for me to go somewhere that’s got a real good chance of going to a World Series for the third straight year. Hopefully that can happen. It wasn’t that I didn’t approve anything, I just never was asked about the Rangers before. I just took the approach of wait ‘til something hit my plate to make a decision as to whether I would or wouldn’t go there.”
Adding to Dempster's excitement was the prospect of staying with one of his Cubs teammates. The Rangers also made a deal with the Cubs to bring catcher Geovany Soto to Texas.
"That’s crazy how that worked out," Dempster said. "It wasn’t planned that way by any means. But that’s nice knowing when you go to a team. Just having him there and having that comfort level of a catcher who’s caught you so many years, it’s definitely something that can play to our benefit.”
Dempster will be throwing to Soto again when he makes his Rangers debut Thursday against the Los Angeles Angels and former Ranger C.J. Wilson.