Red Sox Decline Options On Wheeler, Atchison

The Red Sox declined their club options on relievers Dan Wheeler and Scott Atchison, announced the team.  Atchison remains on the team's 40-man roster.

Wheeler, a Type B free agent, had no buyout on his contract.  The 33-year-old posted a 4.38 ERA, 7.1 K/9, 1.5 BB/9, 1.28 HR/9, and 32% groundball rate in 49 1/3 innings for the Red Sox.  He missed time due to calf and forearm injuries.


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29 Comments on "Red Sox Decline Options On Wheeler, Atchison"


Devern Hansack
3 years 9 months ago

How much would Atchison make through arbitration? I know he qualifies as a super two. He’d be a decent long man for the Sox if they can get him for $650K or so.

3 years 9 months ago

Atchison had a $600k option and they declined it. Why would they want to pay him $650k instead? He wasn’t a ranked FA so compensation wouldn’t factor in.

0bsessions
3 years 9 months ago

This was what i was wondering. If that’s the case, I’m very confused by this move. Sure, he’s not their best pitcher, but he’s been consistent enough to warrant $600k and a roster spot. I really can’t imagine that there’s a guaranteed better option out there at that price.

The only way this makes any sense to me is if they’re looking to get him off the 40-man and onto a minor league deal, which still makes no sense to me since he’ll almost certainly make the 25 man at some point and needed to be added back anyway.

notsureifsrs
3 years 9 months ago

the 40-man is going to be really tight, so your minor league contract theory makes the most sense. he’s worth having among the reinforcements in AAA, but you only give him that spot on the 40-man when injuries force your hand

Steve_in_MA
3 years 9 months ago

Correct.  Its another 40-man spot to protect prospects and its a salary stabilization deal. I think he made just under $500K while up in the bigs this past season, so he’s not gonna command much more than $500K in arbitration.

3 years 9 months ago

Red Sox have lost 4 players to Rule V draft past two years.  Theyd rather free up a couple of roster spots and sign relievers after the draft.  Since every team has a bit of the same problem, its doubtful many relievers are going anywhere soon, anyway.

Steve_in_MA
3 years 9 months ago

Correct, and we still have forty-one Rule 5 eligibles this year, even though we traded two of them away, mid-season.  Only about ten of them really need protection, but still, that’s a lot of roster spaces to be consumed.  We do have many roster spots due to having six injured players on the 60-day DL, plus five or six free agents who are likely to be walking away, but we can always use more. 

jondogg2010
3 years 9 months ago

Than I’M consistent enough to warrant 600 G’s and a roster spot. Moving on…

David Yellope
3 years 9 months ago

No shock. Since there’s no buyout there’s no cost to jettison, and if no interest, can resign cheaply, and if there is interest, they get another draft pick out of it.

3 years 9 months ago

Wheeler is only 33? I feel like he should be 43. Been around forever and has lots of stickers on his luggage.

Oilcanoworms
3 years 9 months ago

I had high hopes for Wheeler…

notsureifsrs
3 years 9 months ago

wheeler could have worked out a lot better. bullpen usage was never one of tito’s strengths and danny boy suffered because of it. francona sent him out to face lefties constantly in the first two months of the season and then pretty much gave up on him altogether

it’s not that wheeler can only ever pitch to righties, but that is definitely his strength. you can only get away with bringing him in to face L-R-L-L so many times

if the team that picks him up uses him properly, he’ll have a very good year in 2012

0bsessions
3 years 9 months ago

Don’t be surprised if he’s back. As noted below, odds are the Sox will offer him arbitration.

jondogg2010
3 years 9 months ago

Correct. I wouldn’t be surprised if Atch was back on a minor league deal and Wheeler on a low level Major League deal

jondogg2010
3 years 9 months ago

Could still resign, and most players (from what I hear) are willing to listen when their buyouts are paid out all at once.

chico65
3 years 9 months ago

I’m a bit surprised at Wheeler.  He had a really nice middle of the season that got lost in a bad start and poor finish.

notsureifsrs
3 years 9 months ago

troof, but a squeeze pick >>> the 5th man in your bullpen

chico65
3 years 9 months ago

Excellent point

0bsessions
3 years 9 months ago

As notsure noted, they’re better off declining and offering arbitration. Considering he had a rotten season, he will at worst accept and make a very slight raise on his option and at best sign elsewhere and net us a sandwich pick. Either that, or they just don’t plan to retain him. Either way, exercising his option was the worst way to go.

gradylittle
3 years 9 months ago

I was a bit surprised at how much Wheeler struggled at times this season. I still think he’ll be a valuable relief man, if not for the sox, for someone else.

Jeff L.
3 years 9 months ago

It makes sense to part ways with Wheeler because the Sox will get a draft pick, and they have other options like Matt Albers, Michael Bowden (who is out of options), Kyle Weiland (who projects as an effective back of the bullpen arm) and Junichi Tazawa (who will be fully recovered from TJ surgery next season). I do think Atchison will be given a chance to win a spot in spring training. I think Papelbon will be brought back, and since it appears Aceves will be moved to the rotation, the bullpen will include Papelbon, Bard, Franklin Morales, Felix Doubront (who is also out of options) and Bobby Jenks. I imagine the Sox will sign a reliever or two as well. I believe the pen will be a strength in 2012, as long as Papelbon is brought back. Lots of depth there.

Steve_in_MA
3 years 9 months ago

Good assessment, except I don’t see Paps coming back.  He wants to test F/A very badly.  I think we should offer arbitration, let him decline and if we sign him, fine, or if not, we get two picks for him and then we sign Joe Nathan.  Nathan costs us no picks to sign and is a very capable closer.

commenter3346
3 years 9 months ago

You want to win the world series with a “capable” closer? Did you not watch Feliz, a good closer blow a save in the world series that basically costs them the whole thing? 

Steve_in_MA
3 years 9 months ago

Uhm, perhaps you forgot that Paps is just a capable closer himself?  He blew two save opportunities against the Orioles in our last 3 weeks this season.  Had he preserved one of those, we’d have had a one game playoff against the Rays for the Wildcard.  Had he preserved both, we’d have won the Wildcard, outright.  So Paps AIN’T NO SAVIOR.  And yes, I watched Feliz.  I’d take him over Paps as well, given the cost and the fact that we can get two low round draft picks by letting Paps walk.

Jeff L.
3 years 9 months ago

I think that, without a doubt, the Sox will offer arbitration to Papelbon, which he will decline. However, I will be surprised if the Sox don’t sign him to a new deal. It appears Heath Bell will accept arbitration in San Diego. He is the only other palatable closer out there. Nathan is no longer a reliable arm. I do think Bard can be a strong closer, but after the 2011 season, I can’t see the Sox being comfortable giving the ball to him in the ninth.

Ben_Cherington
3 years 9 months ago

I get the feeling you hate the Red Sox more than you like your own team. 

3 years 9 months ago

Your caps lock button needs a rest.

Ned Gold
3 years 9 months ago

LOUD NOISES

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
3 years 9 months ago

Just ignore the whiny child.