Ryan Dempster says he won’t pitch for Boston in 2014

Ryan Dempster

Boston Red Sox right-hander Ryan Dempster will not pitch this season.

Dempster, 36, said Sunday that he is stepping away from baseball for physical reasons and to spend more time with his family.

“I had an incredible run, a chance to play 16 years in the major leagues and be around a lot of great teammates, made a lot of good friendships, great friendships,” Dempster said in a surprise announcement, via the Associated Press. “I’m totally comfortable with it. I’m at peace with my decision.”

Dempster was scheduled to make $13.25 million in 2014 in the second season of a two-year deal he signed before last season, but will likely be placed on the restricted list and will not receive his salary.

“The past few years have been tougher and tougher,” he said. “As you get older, going through some things, some issues I have with my neck that have made it harder and harder to throw a baseball and throw it like I’m accustomed to throw it.”

Last season, Dempster was 8-9 with a 4.57 ERA in 32 games (29 starts).

“I’m not saying retirement but I definitely won’t be playing this season.”

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