UPDATE: Ryan Dempster reached a two-year, $26.5 million agreement with the Red Sox on Thursday, according to a baseball source in an ESPN.com report. The deal is pending a physical.
The right-handed Dempster turned down a two-year, $25 million offer last week from the Red Sox and a two-year, $26 million deal from the Royals, according to the source. The 35-year-old Dempster was believed to be seeking a three-year deal but apparently decided to settle for a two-year agreement.
According to a tweet Thursday morning from Fox Sports senior baseball writer Ken Rosenthal, the two sides are reportedly close to a deal that would bring the Texas Rangers free agent to Beantown, but the deal will likely have to be better than the two-year, $25 million contract Dempster turned down from the Sox last week.
Two general managers are confident the Sox will make it a done deal and that the team will go the extra mile to include a third year in the contract, though, according to a report Thursday morning from Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe, it's not clear whether Dempster would want that third year guaranteed or if he would be fine with it simply being a team option:
One general manager said, “They’re overpaying for shorter term. The team that gives him three at market or close to market will get him, but the Red Sox may hike up the average annual value on two years and get it done that way.”
Dempster, 35, has pitched 200 or more innings for the Cubs for four consecutive years, and before that, he pitched 200 or more innings with the Miami Marlins for three straight years. He recorded a 2.25 ERA and a 5-5 record with the Cubs, and then a 7-3 record with a 5.09 ERA in 12 starts with the Rangers. As Cafardo indicates, the Rangers don't seem intent on re-signing him.