Boston Red Sox starter Ryan Dempster announced his retirement on Sunday – Kind of. Dempster told members of the media that he would not be pitching this season due to some physical issues and to spend more time with his family, but he didn’t rule out the possibility of pitching in the future.
Dempster may have done the Red Sox a favor as they seemingly had one too many starters for the upcoming season. Dempster may have seen the writing on the wall, with his limited time in the 2013 post season, that he would become an option in the bullpen. He also could be doing the team a favor and realizing he can’t pitch effectively at the moment.
Dempster’s retirement means one thing for the Red Sox and that is they won’t have to pay him $13 million of guaranteed money in 2014.
In his one season with Boston, Dempster pitched 171.1 innings with a 4.57 ERA, adding eight wins and nine losses. In May, Dempster turns 37 and his best years are clearly behind him. He would have been difficult to trade with his guaranteed salary and this means the Red Sox can bank that $13 million and make improvements to the team during the season.
In a strange way, Dempster’s retirement will also ensure Peavy stays in Boston because the Red Sox have lost that flexibility for the moment. Unless the Red Sox acquire another starter, or one of their young arms is ready to come up, Peavy will stay because they need him.