Red Sox in 'serious discussions' with Ryan Dempster

Rick Yeatts

The Red Sox could be close to signing free agent Ryan Dempster to help fill out their starting rotation.

The Boston Red Sox are in "serious discussions" with free agent hurler Ryan Dempster, according to Ken Rosenthal. No deal has been finalized and there is still a chance Dempster could sign elsewhere though.

The Red Sox finished last in the AL East in 2012 due, in part, to a shaky starting rotation. Clay Buchholz was arguably their best starter, and he finished the season with an uninspiring 4.56 ERA. With a projected rotation right now of Buchholz, Jon Lester, Felix Doubront, John Lackey and Franklin Morales, the Red Sox could be major players in the starting pitching market this winter.

Enter Dempster. The 35-year-old right-hander began last season with the Chicago Cubs, who sent him to the Texas Rangers at the July 31 trade deadline. He finished the season with a combined 3.38 ERA in 173 total innings. After struggling with injuries early in his career, he has remained healthy over the last eight seasons, serving as the Cubs' closer and later shifting to the rotation.

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