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Red Sox let Scott Atchison, Rich Hill, and Ryan Sweeney goFriday November 30th, 2012
The Red Sox on Friday did not tender contracts to righthanded reliever Scott Atchison, lefthanded reliever Rich Hill, and outfielder Ryan Sweeney, making them free agents.
For Hill, it was a repeat of last winter, when the Red Sox let him go and agreed with him on a minor league contract.
“We’ll see what happens. I’m hopeful that this will be a positive for me. I felt like I pitched well last year and came back and showed I was healthy,” said Hill, a Milton native. “There is usually a market for lefthanded relievers and I feel like I’m a major league pitcher.”
Hill, 32, made 25 appearances last season after returning from Tommy John surgery in April, and had a 1.83 ERA. He returned to the disabled list in June with an elbow strain and did not come back until September.
Hill has yet to speak to the Red Sox about a minor league contract.
“Not yet,” he said. “We’ll see what happens after the winter meetings. I’m sure we’ll talk. I want to see what is available to me from any team.”
Atchison, 36, appeared in 42 games last season, posting a 1.58 ERA. He struck out 36 and had only six non-intentional walks in 51⅓ innings.
Atchison also tore a ligament in his elbow in July and elected not to have surgery. He returned in September and pitched well in five games.
Atchison said he is open to going to spring training with the Red Sox on a minor league deal. His elbow has not given him any trouble since the end of the season.
Sweeney, 27, was limited to 63 games because of three stints on the disabled list. He hit .260 with 16 RBIs and no home runs in 204 at-bats. Sweeney’s season ended July 30 when he broke a knuckle on his left hand punching a metal door in frustration after making an out.
Sweeney would have been in line for a salary of close to $2 million if he returned. Once the Red Sox signed Jonny Gomes, Sweeney fell further down the depth chart.
The Red Sox offered deals to righthanders Alfredo Aceves, Andrew Bailey, and Daniel Bard; lefthanders Craig Breslow, Andrew Miller, and Franklin Morales; outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
All will receive at least a one-year deal. If the sides cannot agree on a salary, an arbitration panel will determine it. None of the deals should be particularly difficult to agree to, however.
The Red Sox now have 37 players on their 40-man roster. The team has yet to announce the signing of Gomes, who agreed to terms Nov. 21.
Victor Rodriguez has spent 18 seasons in the Red Sox organization in a variety of roles. Now, for the first time, he’ll be in the majors. The 51-year-old was named assistant hitting coach under Greg Colbrunn.
Rodriguez has spent the last six seasons as the minor league hitting coordinator. Rodriguez played 19 seasons for seven organizations, including the Sox. He was 12 for 28 in 17 major league games and hit .295 in the minors.
Rodriguez’s son, Victor Jr., is a scout for the Red Sox, and his son, Miguel, is a catcher in the Boston system after being drafted in 2012.
Many teams are using two hitting coaches because of the extra video work involved in the position and the amount of time players spend in the batting cage before games.
Righthanded reliever David Carpenter, who was designated for assignment Nov. 20, was claimed off waivers by the Braves. Carpenter was obtained from Toronto on Oct. 21 as part of the compensation deal for manager John Farrell . . . The Sox will hold their “Christmas at Fenway” event today and start ticket sales for select games next season.