Ryan Dempster was considered a great pitcher in the NL.
Spending 14.5 seasons between the (now) Miami Marlins, Cincinnati Reds and most notably the Chicago Cubs, Dempster was able to really get a feel for NL ballparks. Now, he’s in the AL, where he hasn’t really shown yet that he can make that transition for league to league. With that being said, does this make the Boston Red Sox signing of Dempster in the offseason a bad one?
Making the switch from the NL to the AL is always tough for pitchers. Don’t believe me? Just ask reigning NL Cy Young award winner and current struggling Toronto Blue Jays ‘ace’ R.A. Dickey — he’ll tell you.
Dempster was traded by the Cubs to the Texas Rangers during the 2012 season, were he only spent half a season. He still had high expectations as a Rangers, even if the transition is tough. As a Ranger, Dempster posted a 7-3 record, but his era was a brutally high 5.09 — a far cry from what you could call a reliable starter, let along someone who was supposed to be that final piece to push the team over the top.
Signing a two-year, $26.5 million contract in the 2012 offseason with the Red Sox, he’s being paid like a dominant starting pitcher. With a below .500 record at 5-8 along with a 4.24 ERA, Dempster isn’t really earning his money in Beantown. With little prior experience in the AL, the Red Sox took a big risk in signing him.
It hasn’t really paid off so far, but will Dempster prove doubters wrong?