BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Red Sox officially announced their two-year agreement with pitcher Ryan Dempster, introducing the newest addition to their starting rotation at Fenway Park on Wednesday.
Dempster said the Red Sox made the strongest push for his services this winter, and is happy he’ll be calling Boston home over the next two years.
“Going into the off-season was an exciting time for me and the Red Sox were extremely gracious. I had the feeling they wanted me more than anybody out there,” the right-hander said shortly after donning his #46 jersey for the first time. “I’m excited for the chance to come here and play for such an exciting and historic organization.”
“As everyone knows, we went into the off-season wanting to add a proven starter to the rotation, someone with a history of success, reliability and someone we thought would embrace coming to Boston,” said Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington. “We think Ryan is the perfect fit for that. We’re excited to add a guy of this caliber to our rotation and clubhouse.”
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Dempster, an All-Star with the Florida Marlins in 2000 and again with the Cubs in 2008, spent the first 14 1/2 seasons of his career in the National League before being acquired by the Texas Rangers at last year’s trade deadline.With Texas, he went 7-3 in 12 starts down the stretch, striking out 70 over 69 innings of work.
But while most of his success has come in the National League, Dempster isn’t not too concerned about joining a stacked American League East.
“I’m well aware the AL East is a very tough division. But at the same time, every team in baseball is a tough team to pitch against,” he said. “If you go out there and make your pitches and execute, it doesn’t matter where you’re pitching or who you’re pitching against, you’re going to have success.”
And despite the lack of success for the Red Sox over the last couple of years, Dempster is confident his new team will be in the mix in 2013.
“The money and things like that in baseball are great, but I came here because I believe this team has as good a chance of winning as much as anybody else,” he said. “Every team’s going to win 50 games and every team is going to lose 50 games. It’s what you do with the other 62 that matter. That’s why we play. That’s why I play, and it’s what we want to do as a team.”
The most appealing numbers on Dempster’s resume are the amount of innings he eats in a given season. He has thrown at least 200 innings while making 30 or more starts seven times in his career, all since 2000.
“That’s your responsibly as a starting pitcher in the big leagues,” Dempster said of his work-horse numbers. “I’m a guy who wants to go out there. I work extremely hard in the off-season and during the season so I can get out there and take that workload.”
To make room for Dempster on the 40-man roster, right-handed reliever Pedro Beato was designated for assignment. The Red Sox currently have 40 players on their 40-man roster.