My buddy Earl is on sabbatical. This one’s for him.
After “come here, come here, come here, go away, go away, go away” the Boston Red Sox and Ryan Dempster finally agreed to a two-year, $26.5 million deal just days after Dempster rejected a $25 million deal that the Red Sox had offered. Really? At that kind of money is $1.5 million really a deal breaker? It’s more likely that both Dempster and Boston’s options were running out so a match made in heaven was struck. Now let’s explore just how heavenly the deal is.
On the downside, Dempster is 35-years old and has very likely crested. He has spent a 16-year career in the National League as a Marlin, Red and Cub. Last year he came to the AL after a trade to the Rangers and got hammered. As a Cub he posted a 2.25 ERA. Once he went to Texas he had a 5.09 mark. Now he’s heading to the AL Beast. Have a good time with that.
On the plus side Dempster possesses what Boston’s pitching staff has sorely lacked – durability. Last year he threw 173 innings between Texas and the Cubs and in the four previous seasons he reached 200 innings.
Talking to mlb.com’s Evan Drelich, Sox GM Ben Cherington said, “We struggled in that area for different reasons,” Cherington. One of the things we’ve been lacking has just been the reliability and someone who can be a reliable, durable part of the rotation. So that is something we’ve focused on this offseason. … I think we feel like need to go into 2013 with more starting pitching depth than we have right now. There are different ways to do that.”
Now that the winter meetings are over and many of the big names including Zack Greinke and Josh Hamilton have been taken off the board, the pace is quickening as the dominos fall and the race to spring training is on. In light of the circumstances Boston’s move is a smart one. Stocking up on more known quantities in what has become Major League Baseball’s pitching war of attrition is a not to be second guessed move – yet. FYI, I reserve the right to reverse myself and thrash bow to stern if Dempster doesn’t work out, which I’ll peg at a 50/50 proposition – until he blows out an elbow in spring training.
Old man look at my life,
I’m a lot like you were.
- Old Man, Neil Young