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Red Sox non-tender Atchison, Hill and Sweeney

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  November 30, 2012 07:10 PM

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The Red Sox did not tender contracts to righthander Scott Atchison, lefthander Rich Hill, and outfielder Ryan Sweeney. They are now free agents.

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 51.1 innings. But 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.

Hill, 32, appeared in relief in 25 games last season after returning from Tommy John surgery in April. He had a 1.83 ERA. Hill returned to the disabled list in June with a strained flexor tendon in his elbow and did not come back until September.

"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. There is usually a market for lefthanded relievers and I feel like I'm a major league pitcher," Hill said.

Hill was asked if he had spoken to the Red Sox about a minor league contract. He went that route last season.

"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."

Sweeney, 27, was limited to 63 games last season, making three trips to the disabled list in his first year with the Red Sox. He hit .260 with 16 RBIs and no home runs in 204 at-bats. His season ended on July 30 when he broke a knuckle on his left hand punching a metal door in frustration after making an out.

The Red Sox did offer deals to RHP Alfredo Aceves, RHP Andrew Bailey, RHP Daniel Bard, LHP Craig Breslow, OF Jacoby Ellsbury, LHP Andrew Miller, LHP Franklin Morales, and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Twenty-two others players with less than three years of service time also were offered contracts.

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