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Red Sox sign left-handed pitcher Chris Capuano to one-year contract

The Boston Red Sox today signed former All-Star left-handed pitcher Chris Capuano to a one-year contract through the 2014 season. To make room on the 40-man roster, right-handed pitcher Ryan Dempster was placed on the restricted list. Executive Vice President/General Manager Ben Cherington made the announcement.

Capuano, 35, a native of West Springfield, MA, is a nine-year major league veteran. In 2013, he went 4-7 with a 4.26 ERA (50 ER/105.2 IP) and 81 strikeouts over 24 outings for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He allowed one or no runs in nine of his 20 starts and closed out the season with a 3.14 ERA over his final 10 outings (8 starts) beginning on July 28. Over his two seasons in LA, he posted a 3.91 ERA while serving mostly as a starter.

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In his big league career, Capuano is 73-83 with a 4.27 ERA (602 ER/1,267.2 IP), 1,050 strikeouts, and 392 walks in 238 games, including 209 starts. Selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the eighth round of the 1999 June Draft, he has played for the Diamondbacks (2003), Milwaukee Brewers (2004-07, 2010), New York Mets (2011), and Dodgers (2012-13). He missed time from 2008-09 recovering from Tommy John Surgery performed in April 2008.

He was named to the National League All-Star team in 2006, when he had a 4.03 ERA (99 ER/221.1 IP) and tied for the major league lead with 25 quality starts for the Brewers. That year, he struck out 174 batters and walked just 47 for his best single-season strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.7 SO/BB) and walk rate (1.9 BB/9.0 IP).

In his career, he has held left-handed batters to a .231 batting average, a .288 on-base percentage, and a .331 slugging percentage. His lifetime .619 opponent OPS against lefty hitters is eighth lowest among all pitchers since the start of 2003 (min. 1,000 batters faced). The left-hander ranks fourth among all big league pitchers since 2003 with 35 career pickoffs.

He made his postseason debut with one outing for the Dodgers in the 2013 National League Division Series in Game 3 against the Atlanta Braves and earned the win with 3.0 scoreless innings of relief.

Capuano attended Cathedral High School in Springfield, MA and went on to graduate from Duke University with a degree in economics in 2000.

Dempster, 36, announced earlier this week that he would not pitch in 2014. In his first season with Boston in 2013, he went 8-9 with a 4.57 ERA in 32 regular season games, including 29 starts. Last year, he topped Red Sox qualifiers and ranked ninth in the American League with an average of 8.2 strikeouts per nine innings (157 SO/171.1 IP). 

In three postseason games during the Red Sox' run to the title, Dempster gave up one run over 3.0 innings. In his last outing, he pitched one inning, including a strikeout of Matt Adams for the final out in Boston's 8-1 win over the Cardinals in Game 1 of the World Series.

The 16-year major league veteran and two-time All-Star has a lifetime 132-133 record, 87 saves, 4.35 ERA, and 2,075 strikeouts in 2,387.0 innings over 579 appearances, including 351 starts. Selected by Florida in the third round of the 1995 June Draft, Dempster played for the Marlins (1998-2002), Reds (2002-03), Cubs (2004-12), Rangers (2012), and Red Sox (2013) in his big league career.

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