According to Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston, free agent right-hander Ryan Dempster has rejected a two-year, $25 million offer from the Red Sox.
Dempster previously rejected a similar two-year, $26 million offer from the Royals while the Brewers have been reluctant to go beyond two years. Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel believes that he will sign with the first team who offers him a three-year contract.
Dempster had a 3.38 ERA and 153/52 K/BB ratio over 173 innings this past season, including a 5.09 ERA in 12 starts after being traded to the Rangers in late July. While things didn’t go all that smoothly during his first stint in the American League, the 35-year-old right-hander managed an impressive 70/25 K/BB ratio over 69 innings.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.