According to Rob Bradford, the Red Sox have informed reliever Scott Atchison that he will not be tendered a contract before tonight's deadline.
This makes no sense.
Atchison, 36, threw 51.1 exceptional innings for the Red Sox last year, racking up a 1.58 ERA. If his peripherals were not as impressive, they were still certainly good. He went down with an injury partway through the season that looked like it might require Tommy John Surgery, but returned to the team to throw 5.1 innings at the end of the year. In that last stint he allowed just five hits, no walks, and struck out two without seeing a single run cross the plate.
Atchison has been a surprise contributor with the team ever since coming over from Japan in 2009 to ensure his sick daughter would receive the best possible care. In 2010 he earned a spot on the team and, if his 4.50 ERA wasn't impressive, he was one of a few decent choices in a wreck of a bullpen and bailed the Sox out of a good few situations. In 2011 he managed to make his way back up in May and September and was good for 30 more at a 3.26 ERA clip. This year, though, was certainly his crowning achievement.
That this comes on the heels of last night's news that Alfredo Aceves with his 5.36 ERA would be coming back to the team makes it all the more difficult to understand. The medical reports on Atchison must be really bad to justify choosing the crazy malcontent with bad numbers to the devoted father who dominated the opposition last year.