The Red Sox are set to introduce Ryan Dempster as a new member of the Red Sox on Wednesday afternoon, but in order to do so, the 40-man roster needed an open space. Unsurprisingly, it's reliever Pedro Beato who was designated for assignment to clear room for Boston's newest starting pitcher.
Beato was acquired in the August trade of Kelly Shoppach to the Mets. While he survived the non-tender winnowing, he has been the most-likely to be cut from the 40-man roster ever since Sandy Rosario was claimed that one time and then that other time, too. Beato has an option, and likely would have begun the season at Triple-A Pawtucket because of it, but he's not so exciting that he's going to get in the way of Boston bringing in someone like Dempster.
He's thrown 79 innings in the majors in the last two years, posting a 4.67 ERA in the process, including seven frames of 4.70 ball with Boston in 2012. While he was ranked the #99 prospect by Baseball America back in 2007, much has changed for Beato since then -- he's given up too many homers in the upper levels of the minors, switched organizations twice, was made to lose his cutter, saw his command falter, and never quite developed the full repertoire he needed to consistently succeed in the majors.
Because of all of these question marks, and the lateness of the designation, there's a chance Beato slips through waivers and rejoins the Red Sox at Pawtucket anyway. Given how many times the aforementioned Rosario has bounced around, though, maybe not. It's not a significant loss for Boston either way, though, given how many right-handed relief options they have on the roster that already lack a clear home for 2013.
As for Dempster, he's the fifth free agent signing of Boston's winter to become official, leaving just Mike Napoli and Monday's Stephen Drew looking for the final seal of approval and a roster spot.