Unlike Derek Jeter’s announcement that 2014 will be his last MLB season, Ryan Dempster‘s announcement that he’ll skip 2014 really was a surprise.
Dempster stepped aside this weekend, though didn’t quite retire, saying, “I don’t feel like I can compete or produce the way I’m accustomed to.” Dempster pitched through groin and neck issues last season. He has a bone spur in his neck but he also has been open about wanting to spend more time with his three kids.Losing Dempster will have an impact on the Red Sox. Last season he provided useful flexibility over 171.1 innings pitched in 32 games (29 starts). Perhaps as important, he was, by all accounts, a significant part of the Red Sox new-look clubhouse culture. If Dempster does, indeed, hang it up he’ll finish 16 MLB seasons with a 132-133 record overall and a 4.35 career ERA.
Here’s a roundup of stories covering the Dempster surprise:
- ESPN’s Gordon Edes has the reaction from GM Cherington and Manager Farrell.
- Sports Illustrated remembers the last time a player walked away from a salary comparable to Dempster’s (it was Gil Meche).
- Boston Herald’s John Tomase points out that Dempster has earned nearly $90 million over his career, so money really isn’t an issue for him. He also gets some player reaction to the announcement.
- MassLive.com praises Dempster’s integrity, calling him “a man who never wanted a dollar he did not think he was earning.”
- The blogs weigh in: Over the Monster comes up with five things the club can do with their unexpected $13.25 million savings. Bosox Injection says the Red Sox should avoid the temptation to use it on Stephen Drew.