Red Sox Non-Tender Atchison, Hill, Sweeney

The Boston Red Sox had until midnight on Friday to decide who tender contracts to that were under the team's control. As you might have expected, the Red Sox had some tough decisions to make.

Boston Red SoxGM Ben Cherington decided to not tender contracts to three players. Those three players are Scott Atchison, Rich Hill and Ryan Sweeney.

To me, Hill is the most surprising.

He's been one of the better relievers the Red Sox have had. He was 1-0 with a 1.83 ERA in 25 appearances in 2012, one year removed from Tommy John surgery. In his three seasons with the Red Sox, he made 40 appearances and was 2-0 with a 1.14 ERA. He gave up just four runs in 31.4 innings.

I do wonder if the Red Sox will sign to Hill to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. I hope they do.

To read the release from the Red Sox, please click on the continue reading button below if you're on the home page.

BOSTON, MA—The Boston Red Sox today announced that the club will not tender 2013 contracts to right-handed pitcher Scott Atchison, left-handed pitcher Rich Hill and outfielder Ryan Sweeney.  As a result, Atchison, Hill and Sweeney will become free agents.  Boston tendered 2013 contracts to the other 30 unsigned players on its Major League roster.  The announcements were made by Executive Vice President/General Manager Ben Cherington.  

The 36-year-old Atchison appeared in 42 games for the Red Sox in 2012, all in relief, going 2-1 with five holds, a 1.58 ERA (9 ER/51.1 IP) and 36 strikeouts.  He missed 55 games on the disabled list due to a right elbow strain from mid-July through mid-September.  Atchison has pitched for Boston in each of the last three seasons and is 7-7 with one save, a 3.48 ERA (81 ER/209.2 IP) and 164 strikeouts in 155 career Major League outings (1 start) between the Mariners (2004-05), Giants (2007) and Red Sox (2010-12).  He was originally selected by the Mariners in the 49th round of the 1998 First-Year Player Draft.

Hill, 32, appeared in relief in 25 games for the Red Sox last season after returning from Tommy John surgery in April.  He went 1-0 with six holds, a 1.83 ERA (4 ER/19.2 IP) and 21 strikeouts.  The left-hander has appeared in 40 games for the Red Sox, all out of the bullpen, since joining the organization as a minor league free agent during the 2010 season.  Originally signed by the Cubs in the fourth round of the 2002 First-Year Player Draft, he owns a 23-20 record with a 4.59 ERA (218 ER/427.0 IP) and 391 strikeouts in 118 career Major League games (70 starts) with the Cubs (2005-08), Orioles (2009) and Red Sox (2010-12).

Sweeney, 27, was limited to 63 games due to three stints to the disabled list last season, his first year with the Red Sox.  The left-handed batter hit .260 (53-for-204) with 19 doubles, two triples, 16 RBI, 22 runs scored and 12 walks.  He made 50 starts, including 35 in right field and 15 in center field.  A second-round selection by the White Sox in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft, Sweeney is a career .280 hitter (481-for-1,719) with 102 doubles, 12 triples, 14 home runs and 185 RBI over 535 Major League games with the White Sox (2006-07), Athletics (2008-11) and Red Sox (2012).

With these moves, Boston’s 40-man roster is now at 37.

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