Oct 23, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Ryan Dempster (46) throws against the St. Louis Cardinals during the ninth inning of game one of the MLB baseball World Series at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Baseball: Red Sox Ryan Dempster won't pitch in 2014

Pitchers and catchers have been in training camps for less than a week and some quality arms that would go particularly high in drafts have been dropping like flies.

We’ve seen Cole HamelsHisashi Iwakuma and a couple others already go down with injuries and now you can add Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Ryan Dempster to the list.

Oct 30, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew celebrates after hitting a solo home run against the St. Louis Cardinals in the fourth inning during game six of the MLB baseball World Series at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Dempster announced Sunday that he won’t pitch for the Red Sox in 2014 due to physical reasons and a desire to spend more time with his kids.

That’s not a major fantasy hit as Dempster was coming off a miserable season in which he posted a 4.57 ERA in 171.1 innings last year, eventually being demoted to the Boston bullpen.

Dempster was still going in drafts with an ADP of 406, but you can get better arms than Dempster that late in the draft.

I know. That’s not earth shattering news for fantasy owners.

But keeping an eye on Stephen Drew could be big.

The Red Sox are are expected to place the veteran on the restricted list, meaning that Dempster will not receive his $13.25 million salary in 2014. Without Dempster, the Red Sox no longer have a surplus of starting pitching to potentially make a deal from to improve in other areas.

However they now have money to throw around on the open market.

That $13 million that would have gone to Dempster very well could go to Drew, who remains unsigned.

Drew hit .253 with a .777 OPS, clubbing 13 homers with 67 RBI last season. However if he returns to Boston, something I hear is a very strong possibility, it creates a crowded left side of the infield which already features Will Middlebrooks and Xander Bogaerts.

A Drew signing could really impact owners of Bogaerts, who the Red Sox say will strictly be a shortstop for now. Bogaerts has an ADP right now of 156 and is anywhere between the ninth and 13th shortstop off the board. Re-signing Drew could severely cut into the amount of at bats Bogaerts gets and lessens his short term fantasy value.

One thing is for sure though and that is as teams report to spring training and you prepare for your fantasy drafts, keep your eyes on the Red Sox as they aren’t done wheeling and dealing by any stretch of the imagination.


Tags: Boston Red Sox Fantasy Baseball Ryan Dempster Stephen Drew Xander Bogaerts

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