Ryan Dempster won't pitch for the Red Sox in 2014 due to physical reasons and a desire to spend more time with his kids, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Red Sox are expected to place the veteran on the restricted list, meaning that Dempster will not receive his $13.25MM salary in 2014, according to Rosenthal (link).
“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," said the 36-year-old (via Twitter links). "The time is right. I’m not saying retirement but I definitely won’t be playing this season."
Dempster's decision could have quite the reverb effect for the Red Sox. If they place him on the restricted list as expected, the club will now have an additional $13.25MM of breathing room with regards to the luxury tax which would free them up to spend elsewhere. While many of this offseason's top free agent draws are off the board, this development could pave the way for Stephen Drew to return to Boston.
The news also means that the Red Sox no longer have a surplus of starting pitching to work with. There was some speculation that Boston would entertain the idea of dealing one of their starters for help in another area but that no longer appears to be a viable option.
In 2013, Dempster posted a 4.57 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in 29 starts and three relief appearances. For his career, Dempster owns a 4.35 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9.