Ryan Dempster Will Sit Out the 2014 Season

Boston Red Sox right-hander Ryan Dempster has announced that he will sit out the 2014 MLB season.  He stated that he will take the year off for “physical reasons and his desire to spend more time with his kids.”

“I don’t feel like I am capable of performing to the ability and standard that I am accustomed to,” Dempster told  FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. “I feel it’s in the best interest of both the club but most importantly myself to step away from playing baseball at this time. The time is right. I’m not saying retirement but I definitely won’t be playing this season.”

“I had an incredible run, a chance to play 16 years in the major leagues and be around a lot of great teammates, made a lot of good friendships, great friendships,” Dempster said one day before the first formal spring training workout for pitchers and catchers.

“I’m totally comfortable with it. I’m at peace with my decision.”

The 36-year-old signed a two-year, $26.5 million deal with Boston prior to last season.  He was a disappointing 8-9 with a 4.57 ERA and 1.45 WHIP in 171 1/3 innings for the Red Sox last season, but was still expected to hold down a spot in the Boston rotation this year.

The Red Sox are expected to place Dempster on the restricted list and will not have to pay him the $13.25 million he is owed in 2014.  The extra money could allow the Red Sox to re-sign free agent shortstop Stephen Drew, or to get in the hunt for another starter such as Ervin Santana or Ubaldo Jiminez.

Barring any other moves Boston’s rotation this season will likely be Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey, Jake Peavy, and Felix Doubront.

 

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