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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Ryan Dempster was never going to have a big role on the 2014 Red Sox. He was the sixth pitcher in a five-man rotation and he has some physical and family concerns, which is why he announced Sunday that he will not pitch in 2014, forfeiting his $13.25 million salary.
He was depth, however. Veteran depth.
If one of the five starters went down, Dempster would have been there. Such depth became a huge factor in Boston winning the World Series last season because there was always a good replacement for an injured player.
Which is why general manager Ben Cherington, after debating for weeks whether he should trade a starter, decided against it.