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Friday, November 30, 2012

Red Sox non-tender Sweeney, Atchison, Hill

BOSTON -- With decent organizational depth at the corner outfield spots, the Red Sox non-tendered veteran Ryan Sweeney on Friday. Acquired along with Andrew Bailey last December in a trade with Oakland, Sweeney was both injury-prone and unproductive in his brief tenure with Boston. His 2012 season ended on a note that was both embarrassing and frustrating, as he broke his hand punching a door in the clubhouse following a bad at-bat on July 30. The 27-year-old played in 63 games for the Red Sox, and had three stints on the disabled list. He hit .260 with 18 doubles, two triples, no homers and 16 RBIs. Daniel Nava and Ryan Kalish are alternatives to help supplement the outfield. The Red Sox are also on the verge of signing left fielder Jonny Gomes to a two-year, $10 million deal, and they are trying to re-sign Cody Ross. The Sox also non-tendered veteran relievers Scott Atchison and Rich Hill, but there's a chance both could return on Minor League deals that include invites to Spring Training. In fact, Hill was non-tendered last winter and wound up returning. Atchison, a righty, has been an underrated performer for the Red Sox in recent years. In 2012 he went 2-1 with a 1.58 ERA, notching 36 strikeouts. He missed 55 games because of an injured UCL in his right elbow but wound up not needing surgery. Injuries have also been a problem for left-hander Hill, a native of Milton, Mass. Hill bounced back from the Tommy John surgery he had in June 2011 but was able to pitch in only 25 games because of a strained flexor in his elbow. Hill has pitched well for the Red Sox when healthy. Sweeney, Hill and Atchison are now free agents. The Sox did tender contracts to the other 30 unsigned players, a list that includes Jacoby Ellsbury, Alfredo Aceves, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Daniel Bard.

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