Ryan Dempster to sit out 2014 season

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

Ryan Dempster will sit out the 2014 season.
Ryan Dempster will sit out the 2014 season. (USATSI)

MORE: FA tracker: position players | FA tracker: pitchers

Red Sox starting pitcher Ryan Dempster isn't necessarily calling it a career -- he wouldn't rule out a return in 2015 -- but he'll sit out the entire 2014 season, he told reporters Sunday. Here's the scene:

Dempster cited neck issues as the primary reason, telling reporters that he just doesn't physically feel like he can do the job he's paid to do. He was set to make $13.25 million this season, so that frees up the money for the Red Sox to potentially add someone without adding to the planned payroll, should they see fit -- that is, of course, assuming the Red Sox place him on the restricted list.

Dempster, 36, was 8-9 with a 4.57 ERA, 1.45 WHIP and 157 strikeouts in 171 1/3 innings last season for the Red Sox. He also won the first World Series ring in his career.

In his 16-year career, Dempster is 132-133 with a 4.35 ERA (98 ERA+), 1.43 WHIP and 2,075 strikeouts in 2,387 innings pitched. He also has 87 saves from his stint as Cubs closer.

If the Red Sox don't add anyone, the rotation now appears to be Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey, Jake Peavy and Felix Doubront. Brandon Workman is also a viable option.

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