Scott Atchison Rumors
Between now and Opening Day, several minor league signees will win jobs with their clubs and earn 40-man roster spots. Here are today's additions:
- Reliever Jose Valverde will make the Mets Opening Day roster, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPN.com. The 36-year-old will occupy a 40-man slot. Last year, in 19 1/3 innings with the Tigers, Valverde threw to a 5.59 ERA. But he allowed only three earned runs in nine innings this spring, and more importantly struck out seven against just one walk.
- The Indians have informed reliever Scott Atchison that he will be on the Opening Day roster, Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer reports on Twitter. Accordingly, Atchison will need to be placed on the club's 40-man. The soon-to-be 38-year-old was non-tendered by the Mets before hooking on with Cleveland on a minor league deal. He had a strong spring, allowing just two runs and one walk in eight innings while striking out eight batters.
The Indians have signed right-hander Scott Atchison to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training, according to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian (on Twitter). Atchison is represented by agent Rich Thompson.
Atchison, 38 in March, was non-tendered by the Mets in November. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz had projected him to earn $1.3MM in arbitration on the heels of a season that saw him post a 4.37 ERA in 45 1/3 innings with the Mets. Atchison averaged 5.6 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 and posted a solid 48.7 percent ground-ball rate in New York last season.
Atchison is somewhat similar to Matt Albers, whom the Indians recently lost to free agency (Albers signed with the Astros). Though Albers is significantly younger, each right-hander makes up for a below-average strikeout rate by keeping the ball on the ground. Atchison's ground-ball rate isn't as pronounced as that of Albers, but he's posted superior walk rates to Albers since returning to the Majors from Japan in 2010.
Major League clubs have until 11pm CT tonight to tender contracts to players for the 2014 season. We'll run down the list of National League non-tenders here. Remember that you can track all of the action using MLBTR's Non-Tender tracker, and we offer a full list of non-tender candidates as well. Also of use will be our Arbitration Eligibles series, which includes Matt Swartz's projected 2014 salaries for all arbitration eligible players.
- The Reds non-tendered outfielders Xavier Paul and Derrick Robinson, according to the AP. Robinson had been designated for assignment last Thursday to open a roster spot for Skip Schumaker.
- The Rockies have non-tendered reliever Mitchell Boggs, tweets Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post.
- The Dodgers have non-tendered Ronald Belisario, tweets Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.
- The Marlins have non-tendered outfielder Chris Coghlan and reliever Ryan Webb, the club announced via press release.
- The Pirates have non-tendered Garrett Jones, Michael McKenry, and Kyle McPherson, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- The Giants have non-tendered Sandy Rosario and Francisco Peguero, tweets Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- The Cubs have non-tendered Mat Gamel, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. The club has also non-tendered Chang-Yong Lim, tweets Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com.
- The Mets officially announced their slate of non-tenders, which includes a few new names in Jeremy Hefner and Justin Turner (via tweet from Andy Martino of the New York Daily News).
- The Braves announced that they have non-tendered infielders Elliot Johnson and Paul Janish as well as right-hander Cristhian Martinez (Twitter link). Johnson, 29, batted .209/.255/.283 in 275 plate appearances between the Royals and Braves last season. Janish was less productive in 45 PAs, batting .171/.222/.220. Martinez, 31, missed nearly the entire season due to shoulder surgery. However, he posted a 3.63 ERA in 151 1/3 innings for Atlanta from 2011-12, making him a potential buy-low candidate for another club.
- The Mets have non-tendered Jordany Valdespin, Rubin reports. Valdespin has been a persistent source of drama for the Mets, lashing out at manager Terry Collins after being demoted and also being slapped with a 50-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis PED scandal. The soon-to-be 26-year-old is a career .219/.271/.380 hitter in 350 big league plate appearances. Valdespin's non-tender comes despite him not yet being arbitration eligible, illustrating the Mets' frustration with the second baseman/outfielder.
- The Cubs will non-tender right-hander Daniel Bard, tweets Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago. Bard was claimed off waivers in September and never threw a pitch for the Cubs organization. WEEI.com's Rob Bradford notes that Bard was pitching in the Puerto Rican Winter League but walked nine batters while recording just one out. The Cubs could still agree to a non-roster deal with Bard, he adds. Bard's control has vanished into thin air, as the formerly dominant setup man has also walked 56 batters over his past 47 1/3 minor league frames.
- The Mets have informed shortstop Omar Quintanilla that he will be non-tendered, Quintanilla told Jorge Castillo of the Star-Ledger. Quintanilla projected to earn $900K this offseason after batting .222/.306/.283 in a career-high 359 plate appearances last season.
- ESPN's Adam Rubin tweets that the Mets will also non-tender Scott Atchison. The right-hander projected to earn $1.3MM coming off a 4.37 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 45 1/3 innings. Atchison will turn 38 in late March.
12:01pm: Atchison will make $700K at the MLB level and could earn $150K more in incentives, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports (on Twitter).
9:23am: The Mets signed right-hander Scott Atchison to a minor league contract that includes an invitation to MLB Spring Training, the team announced (on Twitter). Agent Rich Thompson represents Atchison, who turns 37 in March.
Atchison pitched for the Red Sox in 2012, posting a 1.58 ERA with 6.3 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 in 51 1/3 innings. The Red Sox non-tendered him at the end of November instead of proceeding through the arbitration process with a projected $800K salary. Atchison missed two months with forearm tightness last summer but returned to make five appearances in September. He considered Tommy John surgery, ultimately avoiding the procedure.
Free agent right-hander Javier Vazquez is getting his right meniscus repaired by one of the Marlins’ team doctors this Wednesday, Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio reports (Twitter links). The right-hander is expected to be throwing at full strength within two to three weeks. Though seven teams have expressed serious interest in Vazquez, he has not made a decision about playing in 2013 as of now. Here are some more links from around MLB...
- Right-hander Scott Atchison expects to sign a minor league deal with a team other than the Red Sox this week, writes MLB.com's Evan Drellich. Atchison told Drellich it the team he's closing in on will give him a good chance to make the Major League bullpen. Atchison was diagnosed with a partial UCL tear last August but has had "great results" in letting it heal with rest and rehab.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets that the Pirates expressed interest in Freddy Garcia, but the 36-year-old hurler elected to sign a minor league deal with the Padres instead.
- Time Warner Cable and the Dodgers have officially agreed to a 25-year, $7 billion TV deal, John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal reports. The agreement will lead to the creation of a new regional sports network for the Los Angeles area; SportsNet L.A will launch in 2014.
- The Rays signed free agent infielder Kelly Johnson today, but that won’t stop Ben Zobrist from playing “a lot” of second base for Tampa Bay, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). Johnson, who played 79 games in left field as a rookie in 2005, will bounce around.
- Michael Bourn still wants a five-year deal, yet the Mets aren't willing to go there, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports (on Twitter). Here’s an explanation of how the Mets wanted to sign Bourn while keeping their first round draft pick this coming season.
The Red Sox’s signing of free agent catcher David Ross has fueled speculation that they will move either Ryan Lavarnway or Jarrod Saltalamacchia, but neither catcher seems particularly concerned about the prospect, tweets Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. “I haven’t talked to anyone about it,” Lavarnway told reporters, including Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. “The final roster is still so far away that you don’t know what’s going to happen. I have no control over it, at all, at this point, so I don’t think about it," said Lavarnway. Here's more out of Boston..
- General Manager Ben Cherington won't say that the club is open to trading Jon Lester, but he didn't completely close the door on the idea, writes Tim Britton of The Providence Journal. The Red Sox have reportedly had talks with the Royals centered on Lester and prospect Wil Myers.
- Abraham (via Twitter) doesn't get the sense that Vicente Padilla isn't a priority for the club based on conversations he had with Red Sox people. Last season, Padilla was one of the staples in Bobby Valentine's bullpen, posting a 4.50 ERA with 9.2 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 50 innings of work.
- Cherington says that the club will be working hard to strengthen the outfield with one or two pickups, tweets Abraham. "We’ve always felt it’s important at Fenway to have not just somebody who can play right field but really two guys that can handle center or right. I think our best teams have had that in the past. Easier said that done. That would be optimal," Cherington said.
- The GM went on to say that he expects the rotation to take a step up based mostly on the improved performance of the pitchers they have in-house, Abraham tweets.
- The Red Sox would like to re-sign non-tenders Rich Hill and Scott Atchison, tweets Alex Speier of WEEI.com.
- As we close in on the Winter Meetings, Cherington believes that it is still early in the offseason and expects to see things come together in the next week, Abraham tweets.
Here are today’s American League non-tenders. All decisions must be in by 11pm CT tonight. Be sure to track all tender decisions using MLBTR's Non-Tender Tracker. Related resources include our list of non-tender candidates, our projected arbitration salaries and our arbitration eligibles series.
- The Rays have non-tendered Ben Francisco according to Marc Topkin of The Tampa Bay Times (on Twitter).
- The Blue Jays have non-tendered Bobby Wilson, the team announced.
- The Mariners have non-tendered Robert Andino, the team announced. They acquired him from the Orioles less than two weeks ago.
- The Rangers have non-tendered Geovany Soto, Brandon Snyder, and Jacob Brigham according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan (on Twitter).
- The Orioles have non-tendered Mark Reynolds in addition to Omar Quintanilla and Stuart Pomeranz, the team announced (on Twitter).
- The Athletics have non-tendered Jermaine Mitchell, the team announced. Mitchell was designated for assignment earlier this week.
- The Red Sox have non-tendered Rich Hill, Ryan Sweeney, and Scott Atchison, the team announced. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports had the Sweeney news earlier (on Twitter) while Rob Bradford of WEEI.com had the Atchison news.
- The Indians announced they non-tendered Jack Hannahan, Rafael Perez and Chris Seddon
- The White Sox announced that they've non-tendered right-hander pitcher Anthony Carter and infielder Dan Johnson.
- The Royals announced that they won't tender outfielder Derrick Robinson a contract for 2013 (Twitter link). Robinson has no MLB experience so he wasn't arbitration eligible.
- The Tigers announced that they will non-tender Daniel Schlereth. The left-hander was limited to six appearances this past season, which he mostly spent on the disabled list with shoulder tendinitis. Schlereth was not yet arbitration eligible.
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
We'll keep track of today's minor moves here...
- Right-hander Scott Atchison signed a minor league contract with the Red Sox after being removed from the 40-man roster and clearing waivers, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America.
- The Cubs signed left-hander Nate Robertson to a minor league deal, Eddy writes. Robertson had a 7.14 ERA with 5.3 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 in 18 starts with the Mariners' Triple-A affiliate last season.
- The Rockies signed left-handed pitcher Royce Ring, according to Eddy. The former first-round pick saw time in the majors for four different clubs between 2005-2010. Ring spent time with the Triple-A affiliates for Seattle and Boston last season.
- The Nationals signed right-hander Mike Schultz, who has one big league inning to his credit from his time with Arizona in 2007. The 32-year-old has been pitching well in Japan for the last four years, posting a 2.55 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9.
- MLBTR has learned that the Orioles signed catcher Josh Johnson. The 29-year-old played the last three years in the Atlantic League but prior to that spent time with the Rays and Astros Triple-A affiliates.
- The Red Sox signed right-handed pitchers Garrett Mock and Billy Buckner to minor league deals and will report to minor league camp, an industry source tells Alex Speier of WEEI.com. Mock, 28, was once considered a top pitching prospect by Washington but strugged in 2011 as he posted a 6.39 ERA with 9.3 K/9 and 5.3 BB/9. Buckner, meanwhile, made 21 starts and two relief appearances for the Rockies' Triple-A affiliate in 2011.
- The Dodgers signed right-hander Blake Johnson and shortstop Brandon Mims to minor league deals following this week's open tryout, Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times tweets. Johnson spent the 2011 season in the upper minors with the Royals and Rockies, posting a 5.59 ERA in 77 1/3 innings. Mims, 19, was the Blue Jays' ninth round selection in 2010.
- The Orioles signed 27-year-old Mexican pitcher Miguel Gonzalez to a minor league deal, the pitcher told Fernando Ballesteros at Puro Béisbol (link in Spanish). Gonzalez posted decent strikeout rates across three levels in the Red Sox system last year after two years away from the minors. He told Ballesteros he will start off at Triple-A for the Orioles.
The latest outright assignments from around MLB...
- The Red Sox outrighted Scott Atchison to Triple-A after he cleared waivers, Maureen Mullen of CSN New England tweets. The Red Sox had designated the 35-year-old for assignment late last month. He posted a 3.26 ERA with 5.0 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 in 30 1/3 innings for the 2011 Red Sox and logged 61 1/3 more innings at Triple-A with a 2.64 ERA, 10.6 K/9 and 1.3 BB/9.
Atchison, 35, posted a 3.26 ERA with 5.0 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 in 30 1/3 innings for the Red Sox in 2011. He spent post of the season at Triple-A, where he pitched 61 1/3 more innings with a 2.64 ERA, 10.6 K/9 and 1.3 BB/9. He is not yet arbitration eligible.