The Boston Red Sox have agreed to terms with right-hander Ryan Dempster on a two-year contract worth $26.5 million, two people familiar with the negotiations said Thursday.
Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington would not comment on Dempster at a news conference to announce the signing of outfielder Shane Victorino. ''We're engaged with a pitcher. That's all I can say at this point,'' Cherington said, without mentioning Dempster by name.
But a few hours later the sides completed the framework of a deal, the two people familiar with the talks said. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because the agreement was pending a physical.
Dempster would help a rotation led by Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz, promising young pitchers coming off subpar seasons. At the other end of the staff are Franklin Morales and Felix Doubront; pitchers the Red Sox hope can develop into dependable starters. John Lackey returns after missing last season due to elbow ligament-replacement surgery.