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Red Sox sign Ryan Dempster

The Boston Red Sox have reached an agreement with free agent right-hander Ryan Dempster.

Rick Yeatts

UPDATE - 2:55 PM EDT - The Red Sox have signed Dempster, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The agreement is pending a physical.

UPDATE - 2:51 PM EDT - The Red Sox are nearing a two-year, $26.5 million agreement with Dempster, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:

ORIGINAL - The Boston Red Sox are close to reaching an agreement with free agent right-hander Ryan Dempster, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:

The Red Sox have been seriously pursuing Dempster for the past few days and it appears they are nearing a pact with the 35-year-old righty. Dempster previously rejected a two-year, $25 million offer from the Red Sox, as the veteran is reportedly seeking three years guaranteed.

Dempster was one of the best pitchers in baseball over the first half of last season. The right-hander maintained an ERA of 2.25 over 16 starts for the Chicago Cubs.

The rebuilding Cubs then decided to trade Dempster to the Texas Rangers for a pair of prospects. The veteran’s success didn’t continue once he made the jump to the American League, as he only mustered an ERA of 5.09 over 12 starts with the Rangers.

While Dempster struggled against the AL, he did register two solid starts while facing the Red Sox last season. He allowed no earned runs over 13 2/3 innings versus Boston.

Dempster posted a combined ERA of 3.38 over 28 starts spanning 173 innings last season. Prior to 2012 he had registered four-straight 200-inning campaigns.