Sources: Red Sox, Dempster have deal

December 12, 2012

The Boston Red Sox, seeking to bolster their starting rotation, have reached agreement with free-agent right-hander Ryan Dempster on a two-year, $26.5 million contract, according to major-league sources.

Dempster, 35, had been seeking a three-year contract and reportedly turned down a two-year, $26 million deal from the Red Sox earlier this offseason.

The Boston rotation already includes left-handers Jon Lester and Felix Doubront and righties Clay Buchholz and John Lackey, the latter of whom is coming off Tommy John surgery.

Dempster had spent his entire career in the National League prior to getting traded from the Chicago Cubs to the Texas Rangers last July 31.


He went 7-3 with a 5.09 ERA in 12 starts for the Rangers. His career record in the NL is 117-121 with a 4.31 ERA.

Dempster had a streak of four straight 200-inning seasons before finishing with 173 in 2012 because of separate stints on the disabled list with lat and quad injuries.

Teams value him for his clubhouse presence, and the Red Sox have worked hard this offseason to change their culture, reaching free-agent agreements with catcher/first baseman Mike Napoli, center fielder Shane Victorino, designated hitter/left fielder Jonny Gomes and catcher David Ross.