Red Sox RHP Dempster won't pitch this season

Boston Red Sox right-hander Ryan Dempster told Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal on Sunday that he will not pitch this season because of "physical reasons and his desire to spend more time with his kids."

Dempster was a disappointing 8-9 with a 4.57 ERA in 171 1/3 innings last year after signing a two-year, $26.5 million free-agent deal.

The Red Sox will place Dempster on the restricted list and he will not receive his $13.25 million salary for this year.

Dempster said neck problems factored in his decision.

"I don't feel like I am capable of performing to the ability and standard that I am accustomed to," Dempster said. "I feel it's in the best interest of both the club but most importantly, myself, to step away from playing baseball at this time. The time is right. I'm not saying retirement but I definitely won't be playing this season."

Dempster, 36, is 132-133 with a 4.35 ERA over 16 seasons.

Since the club is not paying Dempster, it might use the money to sign free agents. The Red Sox have expressed interest in re-signing shortstop Stephen Drew. But with a hole in their rotation to consider, free agent right-handers Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana are unsigned.

At this time, Boston's rotation looks to include Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey, Jake Peavy, and Felix Doubront.

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