Ryan Dempster hasn’t played in the major leagues since he was part of the 2013 World Series winning Boston Red Sox, but that doesn’t mean he’s completely washed up. With the World Baseball Classic rosters being announced a couple days ago, team Canada seems to realize this as they’ve included Dempster on the country’s roster.
The 39 year old played with Boston during the 2013 season after signing a two year contract worth $26.5 million, but he retired before the contract was up. Dempster had been having back issues and he walked away from the $13 million he would have received during 2014 because he simply didn’t believe he’d be able to physically make it through another season.
He had an 8-9 record with Boston and a 4.57 ERA in 29 starts during the World Series winning campaign. Since retiring, Dempster has been done some work for the MLB Network and served as a special assistant to Theo Epstein in Chicago (where he spent most of his playing career).
It was first being rumored that Dempster would pitch for Canada back in January and he was asked about it by Shi Davidi of Sportsnet in Toronto. In what is representative of the goofy personality the pitcher is known to have, Davidi tweeted that Dempster jokingly said he had decided to pitch in the WBC becase he “was putting up some really good numbers in beer-league softball.”