Multiple sources are now reporting that the Red Sox and free-agent starting pitcher Ryan Dempster are "very close" to agreeing on a deal. The final contract might be a standard three-year deal or—more likely—extended to three years via an option clause. Also, as reported by the Globe's Nick Cafardo, Boston is apparently skittish enough about Dempster's ability that they will "try to manage who he pitches against"—avoiding tougher ALlineups. Great! Not exactly the way you treat a top-of-the-rotation starter—not that Dempster is any longer even close to that status. Basically, he's an innings-eater. Stay tuned!