Ryan Dempster and Boston Red Sox Reportedly Agree to 2-Year Deal

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2012

Veteran starting pitcher Ryan Dempster has agreed to a deal with the Boston Red Sox, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. It's reportedly a two-year deal worth $26.5 million.

Dempster and #RedSox are in agreement, pending physical.

— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 13, 2012

Sources: Dempster close with #RedSox on two-year, $26.5 million free-agent contract.

— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 13, 2012

Dempster was terrific for the Chicago Cubs last season. He had a 2.25 ERA over 16 starts before being traded to the Texas Rangers at the deadline. The right-hander struggled with the Rangers, however, posting a 5.09 ERA in 12 starts.

The two-time All-Star's struggles down the stretch affected his value as a free agent. He was on pace to become one of the most coveted starters on the market, but slid down the ladder after failing to make a positive impact in his first American League foray.

Now, he'll be out to prove his performance with the Rangers was not a sign of things to come.

While he's not an elite pitcher, he should be able to bring some much-needed stability to the middle of Boston's rotation. 

At 35 years of age, expectations should be kept within reason. Dempster is probably not going to match what he did with the Cubs over the course of an entire season. That said, he can still fill a valuable role without the team paying him an exorbitant amount of money.

Dempster has made at least 28 starts in each of the past five seasons and his ERA has been higher than 3.85 only once during that span—a combination that makes him the ideal pitcher to slide into the No. 3 rotation spot.

His veteran presence in the Red Sox clubhouse will also help. He has an infectious attitude, as illustrated when he does his hilarious Harry Caray impressions, and should be a positive influence on the team as a whole.

While that's certainly beneficial, the team brought him in to pitch first and foremost. Reasonable expectations are along the lines of a 3.60 ERA with about 12 wins but, as always, the win total is dependent on run support.

Even though it's not the type of signing that will lead to a major boost in enthusiasm with the fanbase, it was a necessary move to bolster the rotation before the talent pool became completely depleted. 

All told, it should be a great fit.