Red Sox: Ryan Dempster Agrees to Two-year $26.5 Million Deal

Red Sox News

Dempster settles for two-year deal with Boston

The Boston Red Sox and free-agent right-hander Ryan Dempster reached agreement on a two-year deal worth $26.5 million.

Red Sox GM Ben Cherington has been looking to add a starter to the Red Sox rotation to join Jon LesterClay BuchholzFelix Doubront and John Lackey.

The Red Sox plan to stretch out hard-throwing left-hander Franklin Morales in spring training, but he will likely serve as a long reliever who makes spot starts.

Dempster was 12-8 with a 3.38 ERA in 173 innings in 2012 with the Cubs and Rangers, though he went 7-3 with a 5.09 ERA after Texas acquired him at the trade deadline.

Dempster allowed eight earned runs in two of his first three outings and then settled in to pitch more effectively.

However, Dempster struggled against some of the better lineups in the American League.

In three starts against the Angels, Dempster surrendered 22 hits in 17 runs.

The Yankees scored eight runs over six innings.

The Oakland A’s had six hits and five runs in three innings after the trade.

The Red Sox were reportedly working on a deal with Dempster, who had previously  turned down a two-year, $25 million offer from Boston.

Durability has been a hallmark of  Dempster’s career, until 2012. Dempster has a strong track record since moving from the bullpen to the rotation with the Cubs in 2008.

Over the last five years, he’s averaged 199 innings a year (2012, in fact, was the first time in that span during which he’d failed to log 200 innings) with a 65-49 record and 3.74 ERA.

Two stays on the disabled list this past season cost Dempster a fifth straight season of 200 innings.

Dempster also  missed time early in the 2012  season with a strained right quadriceps, and in mid-June he was sidelined for 19 games with a strained lat muscle.

Because he was traded mid-season, he will not cost the team that acquires him a draft pick — a significant consideration for the Red Sox.

More Red Sox News

The team officially announced the signing of  Shane Victorino.  

Victorino will play right field for the Red Sox had  reached an agreement with Boston last week which was finalized today.

Cherington wouldn’t elaborate the delay in announcing was expected to be Mike Napoli‘s three-year, $39 million deal.