Scott Atchison Rumors

Red Sox Notes: Lavarnway, Padilla, Lester, Cherington

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
  • 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.

American League Non-Tenders

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.

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.

Minor Moves: Red Sox, Cubs, Rockies, Nationals

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  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. 

Outrighted To Triple-A: Scott Atchison

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. 

Red Sox Designate Scott Atchison For Assignment

The Red Sox designated right-hander Scott Atchison for assignment, the team announced. The move creates roster space for outfielder Cody Ross, whose contract became official today.

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.

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 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 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
  • 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“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'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, 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 (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:

  •'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 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.