Just prior to the start of Spring Training, Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster announced he would not be pitching in 2014. He voluntarily pulled himself out of the game and therefore, forfeited the $13.25 million he was to be paid under his current two-year contract. I admire Dempster for this move—unlike a lot of other major leaguers who would've started the season with the club and quickly claimed injury so, you know, they got paid.
So the Red Sox signed the perfect replacement—basically the same pitcher (except he's a lefty) that they just lost (if you look at their career stats.) West Springfield, Massachusetts native Chris Capuano passed his physical and has joined the Sox in Fort Meyers. But they got this guy for a fraction of what they would've paid Dempster, signing him to just a one-year deal worth $2.25 million.
Capuano spent his entire nine-year, major league career to this point in the National League having pitched for Arizona, Milwaukee, New York Mets and the LA Dodgers. Capuano is 73-83 in his career with an average ERA of 4.27. Maybe the whole not having to worry about hitting will improve his numbers just a little bit.
He spent his childhood rooting on the Boston Red Sox and even pitched at Fenway Park as a high school senior as part of a Massachusetts All-Star team. I imagine his head is about ready to explode right now. I always love when the hometown kids end up playing for the team they loved as boys.
"I was 8 years old in '86 when they lost to the Mets. I can remember being devastated as a kid," Capuano said. "I grew up watching the Sox and really following them. When I was out in the backyard playing Wiffle Ball with my friends, we'd always imagine ourselves on the mound at Fenway, so it's kind of cool to come back and maybe have a chance to be there."Now he finally gets his chance... to pitch on the mound at Fenway... for real. And maybe, just maybe, he can help the team win the World Series again! Welcome, Chris Capuano, and good luck!