Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Boston's starting rotation desperately needed at least one new face this winter, but Cherington took his time getting around to it.
When he did finally get around to his rotation, he signed Ryan Dempster. The veteran right-hander inked a two-year deal worth $26.5 million in December.
Dempster was a stud in 16 starts with the Chicago Cubs in 2012, posting a 2.25 ERA and limiting opponents to a .586 OPS.
However, his first foray into the American League midway through the season was an utter disaster. In 12 starts with the Texas Rangers, Dempster posted a 5.09 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. Hitters racked up an .807 OPS against him, including a .470 slugging percentage.
The Red Sox should be able to get innings out of Dempster, but he's not going to be able to duplicate his production with the Cubs from 2012. He wasn't fooling anyone in the AL with his stuff, and the AL East is going to be as deep as it's been in years in 2013.
The Red Sox would have been better off going with somebody cheaper and/or better than Dempster. To either end, they had options.
For example, Brandon McCarthy would have worked, and the Red Sox also could have taken a gamble on Dan Haren after the Angels declined to pick up his option. Either of them would have had more upside than Dempster, and neither would have required a nearly $27 million commitment.
Verdict: Bad move