15 Dec 2012
The Red Sox are rumored to have agreed to a 2-year, $26.5mm deal with Ryan Dempster pending a physical. Normally the physical would be a formality, but given the fact Mike Napoli has yet to ink his deal, you never know.
By all accounts, Dempster is a great clubhouse guy and can also pitch. But, let’s not get carried away, the lifetime 124-124 pitcher has a career 4.33 ERA having pitched almost entirely in the National League. I think the best thing about Dempster is that he has been a workhorse over the past 5 seasons. I like this deal and expect something like 12-14 wins with a 4.50 ERA, assuming he can stay healthy.
Of course there is the Harry Caray impression, that is never a bad thing.
Dempster offers depth and allows the Red Sox to put Franklin Morales into the bullpen at the ready to start if need be.
The rotation looks like this:
Having decent starting depth in the bullpen is a great thing as opposed to having AAAA starters in Pawtucket making those emergency starts.
Dempster’s signing is again an attempt by the Red Sox to compete in 2013 and 2014 but he isn’t a game changer. None of their new players are game changers. The Red Sox are trying to buy enough time to allow their minor leaguers to blossom complemented by a better free agent class in a year or two.
2015 projected line-up (guess work):
c – Lavarnway
1b – Bogaerts
2b – Pedroia
3b – Middlebrooks
ss – Iglesias
lf – Bentz
cf – Bradley Jr.
rf – Victorino
dh – Napoli
The Red Sox also signed Koji Uehara. At $4.25mm, he ain’t cheap, but for the pitcher with the best career K/BB ratio in MLB history, you have to ante up (I get it, a very small sample size). Great signing, if he stays healthy, he is an absolutely dominating pitching to add to the back of the bullpen.
I still maintain this is an 82 to 88 win team but if John Farrell can get Lester and Daniel Bard back to their old ways and if Middlebrooks can do again what he did in 2012 (minus the broker wrist part), Ellsbury has a 2011-like year, Ortiz doesn’t regress, and Napoli and Victorino earn their contracts, then they could nudge their way into a wild-card spot, but that’s a lot of “ifs.”