Free agent starting pitcher Ryan Dempster is seeking a three year contract this offseason, having already rejected two year deals from at lest three teams. One of those teams is the Boston Red Sox, although talks have once again heated up, with Dempster possibly reconsidering his stance at insisting on teams adding a third year to any deal.
Dempster will turn 36-years-old during the second month of the 2013 MLB season, but he is still a serviceable starter. After seeing what other pitchers have gotten on the market over the past few years, there is no doubt that he has every right to look for a three year deal.
Along with the Red Sox, Dempster has reportedly turned down two year deals from the Milwaukee Brewers and Kansas City Royals. They were all believed to be in the market of two years for approximately $25 million. Dempster is likely looking for a three year deal worth around $34-$36 million.
But while the Red Sox are unlikely to add a third year to any contract offer, they appear willing to up their offer of two years to Dempster. They would rather give him a bump in his annual salary for two years than to be on the hook for a third year, albeit at a lower annual salary.
Boston may be most hesitant to go for a third year due to the fact that Dempster did not pitch nearly as well in the American League last season as a member of the Texas Rangers as he had with the Chicago Cubs in the National League. In fact, before being traded to Texas during the middle of last season, Dempster had spent his entire career in the senior circuit, having also pitched for the Cincinnati Reds and Florida/Miami Marlins.
Dempster went 7-3 during his time with Texas in 2012, but that came with quite a caveat. His ERA was 5.09 with the Rangers. He got lit up against a few of the deeper lineups in the American League, and his Interleague record was less than impressive when he pitched against junior circuit teams during his time with the Marlins, Reds and Cubs.
If the Dempster experiment does not end up going as well as Boston had planned, they would rather it only go badly for two seasons instead of three. Then again, it would still cost them a lot just to find out the results, regardless for how long.
The post MLB Rumors: Can Boston Red Sox Sign Ryan Dempster For Two Years? appeared first on Hardball Chat Baseball Blog.