The Red Sox need a starter desperately so they appear to be going all out to get 35-year-old righthander Ryan Dempster, who pitched two splendid games against them last season allowing no earned runs over 13-2/3 innings.
Dempster turned down a two-year, $25-million deal from Boston last week and now his agent is back with the Red Sox trying to land a bigger deal.
Two general managers around the game feel the Red Sox may have a good shot at landing Dempster. As one said, “They’re overpaying for shorter term. The team that gives him three at market or close to market will get him, but the Red Sox may hike up the average annual value on two years and get it done that way.”
Is Dempster worth it?
The way he pitched with the Cubs, yes. The way he pitched for the Rangers, no.
He was 5-5 with a 2.25 ERA for the Cubs and was truly an ace. He was 7-3 with a 5.09 ERA for the Rangers in 12 starts.
He had trouble, however, against good American League lineups. The Angels ate him up in three starts. He allowed nine hits and eight runs in 4-2/3 innings in one start; six hits and five runs over 3-1/3 innings in another; and seven hits and our runs in 5-2/3 innings in a third.
The Yankees beat him up for nine hits and eight runs over six innings. The A’s got him for six hits and five runs over three innings.
The Rangers have not made a big effort to re-sign him.
Some scouts believe he’s a National League pitcher. His interleague record (and he’s only spent a half-season of his career in the AL) is 11-15 with a 4.63 ERA and a 1.465 WHIP.
Yet he’s a workhorse, who for four straight years pitched 200 or more innings for the Cubs. Previous to that, he threw 200-plus innings for the Marlins for three straight years.
He’ll be 36 May 3, which means he’ll pitch the majority of the season at that age. Pitchers can pitch with age. Hiroki Kuroda is doing swell at 38. Andy Pettitte is still good at 40.