Is Ryan Dempster to Mets still possible?


Nov 2, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster walks along Boylston Street during the World Series parade and celebration. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY SportsThe Red Sox appear to have a surplus in pitching – a rather unique occurrence in Boston. Only a few years ago the debate was what to do with Brad Penny and John Smoltz? Six man rotation? By September it was Paul Byrd. You never have enough pitching seems to have a eerie way of being true.

The New York Metropolitans recently restructured a loan at lower interest rates, thus allowing some fiscal flexibility. The Mets also need pitching. Everyone needs pitching – eventually.

The Mets are attempting to make themselves relevant in the New York market. A few choice signings such as Bartolo Colon, Curtis Granderson and Chris Young have been completed. The ever present drama surrounding Stephen Drew continues with the Mets being a reported suitor. .

Would they Mets be willing to take on the contract of Ryan Dempster? Dempster has a decent performance record in the NL at 117-121, ERA of 4.35 and a WHIP of 1.43. All that spells out lower rotation starter, spot starter or long relief.

What would the Sox require? I am reminded of the Henny Youngman line: “Now take my wife, please!.” In this case it would be take my salary, please. I’m sure the Sox would have to pony up some funds and the Mets would probably toss in a lower tier minor league player or the “To be named later.” But there is some potential on the Mets roster that could represent that “Player to be named later.”

The name Andrew Brown has surfaced before in regards to the Red Sox. Brown is a right-hand bat who is a prototypical corner outfielder. Brown has seen MLB service with the Cards, who originally drafted him, the Rockies and now the Mets. Brown is a .225 career hitter who is best defined at this stage as a journeyman.

Wilfredo Tovar made a brief appearance with the Mets in 2013. Tovar is a slick operator at short who has also seen considerable service time at second. Tovar’s problem is hitting. Similar to since departed Jose Iglesias. Tovar is a career .256 hitter in the minors with very limited power numbers (121XBH in 2,028 AB’s). Tovar, at age 22, still has a considerable upside and may be an excellent option for more seasoning.

Neither Brown nor Tovar would represent any significant addition to the Red Sox aside from adding some depth. Both will have the opportunity to continue their MLB career in New York with a reasonable showing in spring training.

Jake Peavy would be a more attractive option for the Mets since his performance credentials exceed that of Dempster. Jake had a remarkable stint in the NL – especially the early years where he captured a Cy Young Award. Peavy went 12-5 in 2013 with an ERA of 4.17 and a nice 1.15 WHIP. Peavy comes with a higher price tag in both salary and what the return would be to Boston. I doubt Ben Cherington would open up the wallet to help share the fiscal pain unless some higher end talent was tossed Boston’s way.

So this is now a deal or no deal for the Red Sox in regards to their current rotation. Dempster and Peavy have been the names most prominently displayed. As spring training progresses and the Sox evaluate their staff and other teams will be doing exactly the same with their own talent. Injuries and disappointments could get the panic button in operation in many locations and that could be beneficial to a seller. And the Sox are potentially prime sellers.