Ryan Dempster reportedly signing with Red Sox for two years

Jamie Squire

All the dominoes are falling, and if someone's not careful they're going to be left without a chair when the music stops playing.

Mixed metaphors aside, it looks like the Boston Red Sox won't stand meekly aside in 2013; Thursday, ESPN Boston reports the Red Sox and free-agent starting pitcher Ryan Dempster have agreed on a two-year, $26.5 million contract ...

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.

--snip--

Two stints on the disabled list this past season cost Dempster a fifth straight season of 200 innings. He missed time early in the season with a strained right quadriceps, and in mid-June he was sidelined for 19 games with a strained lat muscle.

Dempster's been quite consistent since shifting back to rotation duties in 2008. He's far from a Cy Young candidate, but if the injuries last season were just a blip, he figures to give the Red Sox 30-odd starts and 200 innings, pitching at least somewhat better than league-average. Is that enough to make the Sox competitive? Not all by itself, no. Dempster probably slides into the No. 2 slot in the rotation, between Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz, both of whom were disappointing last season. Dempster obviously helps, but a lot of other things will have to go well if the Red Sox are to score 90-plus wins again.

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