What to expect: The Red Sox agreed to a two-year, $25 million deal with the veteran pitcher to add depth to their rotation. Dempster projects as a solid fourth starter, and while the money is substantial, the length of the contract is favorable. The Sox needed pitching depth and Dempster will help. Among the concerns, Dempster’s ERA was more than twice as high in the AL in 2012 (5.09) as it was in the NL (2.25). There’s also the age issue: Dempster will be 36 in May.
Who he replaces: Josh Beckett made 21 starts for the Red Sox last season, posting a 5-11 record and a 5.23 ERA. Dempster isn’t replacing Beckett directly, but he’s part of a deeper rotation that should help turn things around.