Ryan Dempster is in the middle of the best season of his career. Heck, he's in the middle of one of the best seasons of anyone's career, as the 35-year-old right-hander has a league-leading 2.11 ERA in 15 starts this year. The Atlanta Braves, dealing with injury and general malfeasance in their rotation, acquired Dempster from the Cubs. No word on the exact deal yet, but Mark Bowman of MLB.com suggests Randall Delgado could be in the deal.
The Braves looked like they were entering the season with enviable depth in the starting rotation, but Brandon Beachy and Arodys Vizcaino underwent Tommy John surgery, Mike Minor and Jair Jurrjens have been awful, Delgado and Tommy Hanson have been inconsistent, and Julio Teheran has been ineffective in the minors.
That's how quickly depth can vanish, and Dempster will join a rotation with Tim Hudson, Ben Sheets, Hanson, and the winner of the steel-cage match between Minor and Jurrjens, assuming that Delgado is involved in the deal. Hudson has been pitching well, and Sheets hasn't allowed a run over his first two starts.
Of course, Randall Delgado is something of a prized young pitcher, and the Braves were unwilling to include him in the Michael Bourn deal last summer. There is also a Dimasther Delgado in the Braves' system, so Braves fans shouldn't panic or exult just yet.
Edit: The rumor-mongering world is quite convinced this is a done deal, but it looks like nothing has been finalized just yet:
Just spoke with great source. No deal has been agreed upon. Talks ongoing. Nothing done yet.— David Kaplan (@thekapman) July 23, 2012