Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) February 16, 2014
“I don’t feel like I am capable of performing to the ability and standard that I am accustomed to. 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."
Dempster will be placed on the Restricted List by the ballclub and the Red Sox will not pay him the $13.25 million he was due this year.
Coming over as a free agent from the Texas Rangers last offseason, Dempster started 29 games for Boston last year. In compiling an 8-9 won/loss record in 29 starts, with an ERA of 4.57, he moved from the starting rotation into a long relief role in the bullpen to end the season, eventually taking a mop-up role in the playoffs.
Dempster would have fought Felix Doubront, and possibly Brandon Workman, for the fifth spot in the Red Sox starting rotation. That job clearly favors Doubront now going forward.
With Boston off the hook for Dempster's salary, they could possibly use that money to sign another free agent starting pitcher such as Ubaldo Jimenez or Ervin Santana, bring back shortstop Stephen Drew or save the newly-found flexibility until this summer when they have a better sense as to the team's most urgent need.
Fighting his emotions as his teammates watched, Dempster was grateful for the opportunity he had in pitching for the Red Sox and earning his first World Series ring.
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