The Boston Red Sox have officially signed starter Ryan Dempster to a two-year, $26.5 million contract days after he rejected Boston’s two-year, $25 million deal. Will the Red Sox regret signing the 35-year-old starting pitcher?
Boston has been in contact with Dempster the last few days and put on the full court press recently to ensure the right-hander signs with them. Dempster’s agent stated that the long-time Chicago Cubs pitcher would not settle for anything less than a three-year deal. In fact, Dempster turned down a reported two-year deal with the Kansas City Royals that was worth $25 million.
Another team that seemed very interested in Dempster was the Milwaukee Brewers, but general manager Doug Melvin refused to make the same mistake again by signing a possible over-the-hill starter to a three-year deal. However, Dempster appears content with a two-year contract with the Red Sox because Boston appears to be putting together the pieces to become an up and coming team.
What Milwaukee and Kansas City may not realize is that they dodged a bullet by not signing the 15-year veteran. Dempster may have put up some of the best numbers of his career in 16 starts with the Cubs in 2012, but those numbers faded quickly when he was traded to the Texas Rangers. The 5-5 record and 2.25 ERA turned into a 7-3 record and 5.09 ERA in 12 starts with the Rangers.
The 7-3 record may sound nice but if it were not for the high-powered offense behind him those numbers would be a lot worse. Dempster surrendered 39 earned runs in 69 innings and posted a 0.3 wins above replacement.
Boston was tricked into believing Dempster is aging gracefully on the mound but that simply is not the case. Dempster will get rocked in the hitter’s park known as Fenway, especially if he struggles with his command similar to what happened in Texas. The only hope the team has is that Dempster will repeat his success of being a ground-ball pitcher, but that is asking a lot in the American League East.
The truth is Dempster is known to eat up innings as he has gone at least 200 in four of the past five years. However, in the toughest division in baseball that will simply not be good enough to get the job done.
Michael is a MLB and NBA Featured Writer for Rant Sports, but covers topics for various teams in baseball, basketball, and football. Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelTerrill and on Facebook.