Red Sox open training camp with surprising news
Sunday, February 16, 2014
It didn't take long for the defending World Series champs to make some news as Spring Training began this weekend.
Several news outlets are reporting Ryan Dempster, who played a key role as both a starter and relief pitcher in his only season in Boston, has decided not to play in 2014.
2015, however, may still be an option.
Dempster, 36, told ESPNBoston.com that "the past few years have been tougher and tougher. As you get older, going through some things, some issues I have with my neck that have made it harder and harder to throw a baseball and throw it like I'm accustomed to throw it."
Dempster finished with an 8-9 record and 4.57 ERA in his only Red Sox season, and he didn't get a start in the post-season on the way to a World Series title. His final appearance, at least as it now stands, came in Game One of the World Series in relief with a strikeout of St. Louis' Matt Adams. He leaves behind a salary of $13.25 million he would have been paid for this season, which now comes off of the Boston books and could be used elsewhere.
With Dempster's departure, the Red Sox no longer have six pitchers to somehow fit into a five-man starting rotation for 2014. Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey, Jake Peavy and Felix Doubront comprise the current rotation as training camp opens in Fort Myers, FL.
His career entailed 16 seasons with the Florida Marlins, Cincinnati Reds, Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox. Dempster's career record is 132-133 with a 4.35 ERA, and he made the All-Star team in 2008 when he went 17-6 with a 2.96 ERA for the Cubs.