Chicago (43-58) had a deal in place last week to send Dempster to Atlanta, but the right-hander didn’t approve the trade, his right as a player who’s spent 10 years in the majors and five with the same club.
Dempster stated a preference to join the Los Angeles Dodgers, but in the end reportedly expanded his list to include the New York Yankees and Texas. It was the Rangers who wound up getting him, sending minor league right-hander Kyle Hendricks and infielder Christian Villanueva to the Cubs.
That move came on the heels of two more during Monday’s 14-4 rout of the Pirates (58-44). Chicago sent catcher Geovany Soto to Texas and also shipped pitcher Paul Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson to Atlanta.
“It isn’t comfortable to go down there and make moves,” general manager Jed Hoyer said. “I’m glad in this case it didn’t impact the actual game.”
The Pirates, meanwhile, acquired outfielder Travis Snider from Toronto for reliever Brad Lincoln after Monday’s loss and were busy again Tuesday. Pittsburgh sent outfielder Gorkys Hernandez to Miami as part of a deal for first baseman Gaby Sanchez, then shipped Casey McGehee to the Yankees for reliever Chad Qualls.
Snider is set to debut Tuesday in right field and bat second, but the Pirates’ biggest concern after the series opener has to be slowing down the Cubs’ lineup. Darwin Barney finished a double shy of the cycle while Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro also went deep as Chicago posted a season high in runs.
“You’re going to take beatings from time to time,” Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. “Things just got away from us a little bit.”
Things haven’t gotten away from A.J. Burnett (12-3, 3.52 ERA) very often. He held Houston to a pair of solo homers and two singles over 7 1-3 innings Thursday in a 5-3 win, his 11th in his last 13 starts.
Burnett will look for a sixth victory in as many matchups with the Cubs. He tossed 5 1-3 innings in outdueling Dempster in a 1-0 victory at PNC on May 25.
Burnett will try to win 13 games for the first time since 2009, when he was with the New York Yankees, and help the Pirates avoid their first three-game skid since June 24-26. He earned a career-high 18 victories in 2008 with Toronto.
The Cubs will turn to Coleman (0-1, 7.32) for the right-hander’s first major league start since Sept. 26. He had a 4.50 ERA in his first 15 appearances this season in Chicago before allowing seven runs over 1 2-3 innings June 27 against the Mets and earning a ticket back to Triple-A Iowa.
He wasn’t any better in the minors, going 0-1 with an 8.10 ERA in four appearances - three starts.
Coleman held the Pirates to two runs - one earned - over six innings on Sept. 3 in a game the Pirates rallied to win 7-5.
Blog Coverage from SB Nation
- Mobile key to growth, Sorrell tells IOC
- Tigers-Orioles Preview
- Giants-Rangers Preview
- Clayton Kershaw extends scoreless streak to 37 innings in Dodgers win
- Wade Davis allows first homer since 2013, a streak covering 125 2/3 innings
- Sydney Seau will get chance to speak for father at Hall of Fame induction
- Hall of Fame profile: Vikings C Mick Tingelhoff
- C.J. Wilson likely done for season with elbow impingement, surgery required
- WADA to investigate new doping allegations in athletics
- Diamondbacks-Astros Preview
- Indians-Athletics Preview
- Ronda Rousey KOs Bethe Correia in 34 seconds at UFC 190 title bout
- Report: Larry Lucchino stepping down as Red Sox president and CEO
- Ronda Rousey dedicates UFC 190 fight to late wrestling legend 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper
- New Cowboy Greg Hardy donates $300 to help troll the Eagles
- Shutdown Countdown: Cowboys need a new formula without DeMarco Murray