Scott Atchison Rumors

AL East Notes: Red Sox, Maddon, Darvish, Ortiz

Some interesting items to pass along from around the AL "Beast" …

  • The Red Sox were gauging trade interest in some of their out-of-options pitchers at the GM Meetings this week, a source tells Alex Speier of WEEI.com. Franklin Morales, Andrew Miller, Felix Doubront, Michael Bowden and Scott Atchison are all out of options but aren't locks to make next year's bullpen, according to Speier, so Boston may decide to add or remove some of these players from the 40-man roster based on relative trade interest.
  • The Rays are hopeful of extending the contract of manager Joe Maddon, tweets Jon Heyman of SI.com. Maddon is entering the final year of a three-year extension he signed in 2009.
  • The Yankees may shy away from pursuing Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish if he's posted because of the club's history with busts Hideki Irabu and Kei Igawa, opines Heyman (Twitter link), although owner Hal Steinbrenner told reporters, such as the New York Post's Joel Sherman and Newsday's Ken Davidoff, that the team will evaluate each player on a case-by-case basis.
  • The Blue Jays are interested in free agent DH David Ortiz, tweets Scott Miller of CBSSports.com.
  • Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano said that last month's rumors that he was angling for a contract extension was the result of a joke gone awry, according to Spanish-language Web site DiarioLibre.com“I’m not thinking about the contract. My lawyer told a journalist as a joke that I was looking for a contract extension, and that’s what got published… I’m not thinking about that. The team has a $14MM option for next year." Thanks to MLBTR's Nick Collias for the translation.

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.


Quick Hits: Pirates, Atchison, Astros

The Pirates are over .500 at 18-17. Here are some links for Monday night, as we wonder how long they can maintain a winning record…

  • Pirates starters have been pitching well and manager Clint Hurdle tells MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch that pitching can be contagious, just like hitting. GM Neal Huntington has acquired two of his starters in the last year: James McDonald (trade) and Kevin Correia (free agency).
  • As Jonathan Mayo explains at MLB.com, potential changes to the Collective Bargaining Agreement could make drafted players more eager to sign. One scouting director expects to see a few more signings than usual in 2011. 
  • Red Sox reliever Scott Atchison was added to Boston's Triple-A roster after being optioned to the minors, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com (on Twitter). The Red Sox designated Atchison for assignment Friday in what was "a purely procedural move," according to Speier.
  • Houston attorney Kenny Friedman told Stephen Goff of the Houston Examiner that he maintains interest in buying the Astros. Though Jim Crane now has an exclusive negotiating window during which he can buy the team, Friedman, the father of Rays executive Andrew Friedman, is working on his bid.


Red Sox Notes: Gonzalez, Atchison, Kalish, Wakefield

Daisuke Matsuzaka joins a growing list of Japanese players who have made donations to fund disaster relief in their homeland. Dice-K donated $1MM to the Japanese Red Cross Society though the Red Sox Foundation, according to Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. Here are a few other Sox-related notes:

  • ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Insider-only link) expects the Red Sox and Adrian Gonzalez to get an extension done for the slugger in the second week of the season, sometime during the club's first homestand. Olney points out that it might be in Gonzalez's best interest to nudge the Sox toward finalizing a deal sooner rather than later, since his market value could be hurt by an injury.
  • Boston optioned a handful of players to the minors today, including Scott Atchison and Ryan Kalish, as Rob Bradford of WEEI.com writes.
  • While the Sox still have a few pitchers whose Opening Day fates are in limbo, it doesn't sound like Tim Wakefield is among them. WEEI's Alex Speier has quotes from Terry Francona discussing how the skipper hopes to maximize Wakefield's effectiveness this year.

Red Sox Announce Three Option Decisions

The Red Sox exercised the 2011 option for Scott Atchison and declined the options for Bill Hall and Felipe Lopez, according to Ed Price of AOL FanHouse (on Twitter). 

The Red Sox will only pay Atchison $40K more than the MLB minimum in 2011. That's a bargain considering the 34-year-old threw 60 innings of 4.50 ERA ball with 6.2 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 last year.

Boston chose to pay Hall a $500K buyout instead of guaranteeing him $9.25MM in 2011. The 30-year-old utility man batted .247/.316/.456 with 18 homers in 2010 and he played every position but first base and catcher (he even pitched). Hall is an unranked free agent, so the Red Sox won't obtain draft pick compensation if he signs elsewhere.

They could obtain a compensation pick if Lopez, a Type B free agent, turns down arbitration to sign elsewhere. That possibility appeared to contribute to the team's interest in the infielder when they signed him in September. Lopez batted .233/.311/.345 in 441 plate appearances for the Cardinals and Red Sox.


Red Sox Designate Atchison For Assignment

The Red Sox designated Scott Atchison for assignment to make room for Mike Cameron, according to a team press release. Last night, it appeared that the Red Sox had designated Darnell McDonald for assignment to make room for Cameron, but the team changed its plans.

Jacoby Ellsbury has experienced soreness in his left side, so the team wanted to keep McDonald around, according to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com (via Twitter). Atchison has options, so the DFA is 'procedural', writes Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com (via Twitter). For now, the Red Sox are not cutting ties with Atchison or McDonald.

The Red Sox signed Atchison to a one-year deal with two club options last winter. The 34-year-old righty has a 6.10 ERA in 10.1 innings this year, with 7.8 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9.


Red Sox Sign Scott Atchison

1:21pm: ESPN's Gordon Edes says Atchison will be paid $420K in 2010, with club options for $440K and $600K.

11:12am: The Red Sox signed reliever Scott Atchison, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  Atchison gets a one-year deal with two club options after spending two seasons in Japan.  Atchison, 34 in March, elected free agency in November of 2007 after posting a 4.11 ERA in 30.6 relief innings for the Giants.  NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman had more on Atchison in October.


Odds & Ends: Ricciardi, Sabathia, Chapman

Links for Monday…

  • Former Padres GM Kevin Towers told Bill Madden of the New York Daily News recently "it's just a matter of when" the team trades first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.
  • The Astros claimed outfielder Jason Bourgeois off waivers from the Brewers, according to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart via Twitter.  Bourgeois, 28 in January, hit .316/.354/.401 in Triple A while playing all three outfield positions.  In other Brewers-related news, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel says the team retained Mike Burns and Adam Stern on minor league deals.
  • Don Mattingly is discussing his future with the Dodgers, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.
  • I missed this October 5th article from Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun.  Elliott talked to former Blue Jays president Paul Godfrey, who was frank in his opinions of ex-GM J.P. Ricciardi.
  • Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times says the Angels bid $140MM for C.C. Sabathia last winter, but Olney says "the Angels bid a firm $100MM and discussed increasing their offer to $120MM."
  • Andy Pettitte admitted to Kevin Baxter of the L.A. Times, "I think everybody knows I wasn't real happy with the contract.  But I wanted to take it and come back here and have a chance to do this."  Pettitte ended up earning about $10MM in 2009, but only $5.5MM was guaranteed.
  • ESPN's Jorge Arangure Jr. says on Twitter that Aroldis Chapman "had good conversations" with Yankees GM Brian Cashman and other team execs at yesterday's game.  Meanwhile, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian says that Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos finds signing Chapman unrealistic for his club.  Logically, the Chapman bidding should heat up after the World Series.  The 21-year-old lefty is meeting with the Cardinals, Orioles, and Red Sox this week.
  • Aaron Gleeman says it's reasonable for fans to call for Twins closer Joe Nathan to be traded, but not because he allowed a postseason home run to Alex Rodriguez.
  • NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman says reliever Scott Atchison hopes to return to MLB in 2009.  Atchison, 34 in March, elected free agency in November of 2007 after posting a 4.11 ERA in 30.6 relief innings for the Giants.
  • Jim Seip of the York Daily Record writes about the beginning of Ken Rosenthal's career.
  • John Bonnes attempted to extract info about Joe Mauer's future with the Twins, talking to GM Bill Smith.