I don’t have much to say here except that I can’t believe all the talk I’m reading about Ryan Dempster. Sure, he’s a valuable major-league pitcher who had a good season in 2008. Are teams really thinking this guy is a legitimate front-of-the-rotation starter worth $13 million a season for the next four years?
I won’t attempt to value Dempster, because he spent 2006 and 2007 as a reliever—a reliever who couldn’t keep his K/BB > 2—so it’s difficult to predict his future from the recent past. He’ll be 32 in May, so it’s not like he’s finally getting his act together. 2008 screams “fluke!” While I believe he may be more valuable as a starter than as a reliever, I wouldn’t recommend devoting more than $10 million/year—if that—to a player with his track record. And before someone mentions “the supply of pitchers,” teams should not be willing to pay a player more than his marginal revenue product. They might pay him less, but not more.