The Red Sox solidified their starting rotation for 2013-14 this afternoon by signing free agent Ryan Dempster to a two-year deal (2/26.5).
Dempster, a right-hander who will turn 36 next May, takes his place alongside Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Felix Doubront, and John Lackey. (Dempster is also seen as a good clubhouse dude.)
Dempster posted a 3.38 ERA in 173 innings last year with the Cubs and Rangers; his post-deadline, Texas-only ERA was 5.09 (though two gruesome starts in which he allowed eight runs each caused some inflation). It was the first time in five seasons that the durable Dempster did not pitch 200+ innings.
This deal is similar to the other contracts the Red Sox have offered this winter: short-term deals for reasonable money to above-average players. GM Ben Cherington continues to build a team that should be reasonably competitive, while not hampering the development of (or trading away) the team's top prospects.