Early Sunday, news broke that Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster would be walking away from the game – at least for 2014. The Red Sox will place Dempster on the restricted list, in turn freeing up $13.25 million dollars.
Dempster cited health issues and a desire to spend more time with his family as reasons for not pitching this season, but attention immediately turned to what (if anything) the Red Sox would do with the extra money they now have.
Many began speculating that the found money would make the Red Sox more aggressive in their pursuit of free agent shortstop Stephen Drew. However, there are two problems with surmising that.
The first, is that Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington was told by Dempster 11 days ago that he would be sitting out the 2014 campaign. The Red Sox have known for almost two weeks that they’d have an extra $13.25 million to play with, but nothing has changed on the Drew front.
The second, is the fact that Dempster walking away and extra money becoming available does nothing to change the fact that the Red Sox simply don’t need Drew.
According to reports, the Red Sox have offered Drew a one year deal and would be open to him returning in a super-utility capacity. If Drew accepts one year and a diminished role (that would include learning a new position or two), he may end up back in Boston. Why would he accept that, though?
The Mets remain interested in Drew, and perhaps other teams will emerge as a suitors as well.
For now, Drew is having his own spring training at agent Scott Boras’ complex in Florida.