Last season, a change in venue at the trade deadline made Ryan Dempster an American Leaguer for the first time in his 15 seasons in the Major Leagues. Signing a $26.5 Million contract with the Boston Red Sox on Thursday ensured that he will remain one for two more years.
Dempster, 35, had previously turned down a $26 Million dollar, two year offer from the Red Sox and a similar offer from the Kansas City Royals, reportedly because he was seeking a third year – but ended up settling for the two years with Boston.
A long tenured Chicago Cub, he had carried a 2.25 ERA in 16 starts with them last season before being traded to Texas. In addition to his nine years with the Cubs, he had previous stints with the Florida Marlins and the Cincinnati Reds.
The injury bug got Dempster twice last season, missing games early with a strained right quadriceps, and in mid-June he was sidelined for 19 games with a strained lat muscle.
The change in leagues was tough on Dempster at first, and appeared to be growing into a late season funk, but then broke out and went 5-0 with a 1.91 ERA in his next five starts, striking out 36 in 33 innings.
He wound up with 70 strikeouts in 69 innings for the Rangers, and now brings that power prowess to the Red Sox. Dempster will be formally introduced after taking and passing his physical.