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updated: 10/29/2011 3:27 PM

Dempster exercises option to return to Cubs

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  • Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Ryan Dempster told the Cubs Saturday that he'll exercise his $14 million option to play next season for the club. Dempster is 62-61 in his career with the Cubs and was 10-14 last season.

      Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Ryan Dempster told the Cubs Saturday that he'll exercise his $14 million option to play next season for the club. Dempster is 62-61 in his career with the Cubs and was 10-14 last season.
    Associated Press

 
 

As expected, Cubs starting pitcher Ryan Dempster has exercised the $14 million player option on his contract for 2012.

The Cubs said Dempster informed them of the decision Saturday.

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By kicking in the option, Dempster will complete a four-year, $52 million contract he signed in November 2008.

The 34-year-old Dempster has been a Cub since the 2004 season. As a Cub, he is 62-61 with a 3.88 ERA. He also saved 87 games between 2004 and 2007.

Even though Dempster was noncommittal about picking up the option when asked about it late in the season, there appeared to be little chance he wouldn't exercise it.

The Cubs' opening-day starter, Dempster was 10-14 with a 4.80 ERA in 34 starts. He reached the 200-innings mark for the fourth straight season, working 202.1.

However, his ERA has increased steadily from 2008, when he went back into the starting rotation after serving as the Cubs' closer.

In '08, Dempster was 17-6 with a 2.96 ERA. In the next three seasons, his ERA rose to 3.65, 3.85 and 4.80 respectively.

Dempster ended the 2011 season with a six-game losing streak. He was not immediately available for comment Saturday.

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