Red Sox hurler Ryan Dempster will not throw a pitch in 2014. Dempster broke the news on Sunday to reporters down in Fort Myers, Florida. At this time he’s not calling it a career, leaving the door open for a return in 2015.
Dempster had originally signed a two-year contract worth $26.5 million back in December of 2012.
The 36-year-old cited nagging neck problems as the main contributing factor behind his decision. Dempster conveyed that he just didn’t feel like he was in good enough physical condition to carry out the duties expected of him on a daily basis.
With an already loaded starting pitching rotation, it was unclear as to where Dempster was going to fit in and what his role would be come April. As of right now Boston’s rotatin projects to include Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Jake Peavy, John Lackey and Felix Doubront.
The right-hander’s decision to take the year off provides the Red Sox with some added money to potentially use on a free agent signing. Dempster was on the books for $13.25 million in 2014.
Dempster, an MLB journeyman, posted an 8-9 record and 4.57 ERA in his inaugural campaign with the Red Sox. He was relegated to bullpen duties during Boston’s World Series run this past fall.
Winning the fall classic with the Red Sox marked the first championship of his respectable 16-year career.
Brandon Workman came on strong in 2013 and with Dempster now out of the picture, he figures to take one a more prominent role. It remains to be seen as to whether that be as a starter or a reliever.