On Friday, the Red Sox said goodbye to a three contributors to the 2012 squad.
Outfielder Ryan Sweeney, right-handed reliever Scott Atchison and left-handed reliever Rich Hill were all nontendered by Boston, moving the Red Sox’ 40-man roster down to 37 players. The team had until Friday at 11:59 p.m. to tender contracts to players under their control for next season, or cut them loose.
As we wrote on Thursday, the Red Sox had several interesting decisions to make regarding their roster, Sweeney being among them. The left-handed hitting mostly right and center fielder was acquired from Oakland in the same trade that brought Boston Andrew Bailey for Josh Reddick. On the 2012 season Sweeney made three trips to the disabled list, putting together a .675 OPS in 204 at-bats.
Atchison represents another interesting choice. Although the reliever was very effective in 2012 — owning a 1.58 ERA and sub-1.00 WHIP in 51 1/3 innings pitched — he missed nearly two months of the season after discovering that he had been pitching with a torn ulnar collateral ligament, the same injury which usually requires Tommy John surgery. Although Atchison was able to return to pitch in September without the procedure, the state of his elbow was likely a worry.
Hill, who actually did undergo Tommy John surgery in 2011, returned in 2012, but was largely injured throughout his three seasons with the Red Sox.