Red Sox decline options on Wheeler, Atchison

The Red Sox today declined team options on right-handed relievers Scott Atchison and Dan Wheeler ($3 million).

Atchison’s option was for the 2012 MLB minimum plus $200,000. He remains on the 40-man roster and is not eligible for arbitration. So the Sox could simply tender him an offer at the minimum or slightly above and retain him.

Wheeler is a Type B free agent. So the Red Sox could offer him arbitration and get a draft pick once he signs with another team.

From the team release:

The 35-year-old Atchison made 17 appearances over six stints with the Red Sox this past season, posting a 1-0 record with a 3.26 ERA and his first Major League save. He also pitched in 36 games with Triple-A Pawtucket, including one start, going 6-2 with five saves, a 2.64 ERA.

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Wheeler, 33, went 2-2 with a 4.38 ERA in 47 games with Boston in 2011, his first season in the organization. Signed by the Red Sox as a free agent on December 17, 2010, he finished 22 games, second-most on the club behind Jonathan Papelbon’s 54.

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