Saturday, March 8, 2014
Might the Boston Red Sox welcome back catcher Kelly Shoppach?
The Tampa Bay Rays declined a $3.2-million option on Shoppach, who played for the Sea Dogs in 2003, and was traded by the Red Sox to Cleveland before the 2006 season.
Shoppach struggles at the plate (.176 average last year), but is one of the best defensive catchers. He threw out 18-of-44 base-stealers (41 percent) last year.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia threw out 31 percent, and Jason Varitek threw out 14 percent.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox decline contract options on relievers Dan Wheeler and Scott Atchison.
Wheeler, 33, had a club option for $3-million for 2012, the same he was played last year. Wheeler was supposed to be a key set-up man, but registered a 4.38 ERA in 47 games.
Wheeler is now a free agent. Boston could still re-sign him at a cheaper price.
Atchison, 35, spent most of last year in Pawtucket. He made 17 appearances with Boston (3.26 ERA).
Atchison's case is different than Wheeler's because he remains under the club's control, and the Red Sox announced that Atchison remains on the team's 40-man roster. He already was cheap, so not sure why his option was declined.
Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.
Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases
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