Cleveland Indians Re-Sign Scott Atchison
Hey, MLB’s most disrespected player Scott Atchison finally gets a little love! The Indians re-signed Atchison for 2015 for a cool $1 million well before the end of the 2014 season. He gets $900,000 next year, with a $100,000 buy out if the Tribe doesn’t pick up their $1 million team option for 2016.
Actually, Scott was arbitration eligible after this season and projected by mlbtraderumors.com to make $1.3 million, so signing the extension now gives up roughly $300,000 in exchange for the risk that he might get hurt between now and the end of the season. Atchison may also have given the Indians a discount because he was so excited to find a team that actually wants him to stick around after he pitched well for them.
As the above link indicates, I’ve been following Scott Atchison for years, in part because I love the old guys who figure it out after age 30 and go on to have successful major league careers. Atchison has more than paid his dues, and it’s nice to see him get rewarded a little bit. He first caught my attention when he pitched well for the San Francisco Giants back in 2007, but the Gints didn’t make an effort to keep him around.
The last time I wrote about Atchison, the Red Sox non-tendered him after he recorded a 1.58 ERA for the team and was only expected to make $800,000 through the arbitration process, because he had a tear in his elbow tendon. He refused to undergo Tommy John surgery, probably because the doctors told him it might be enough to rest his elbow and try other treatments (I’d don’t know if got the platelet rich injection that Masahiro Tanaka recently had).
In 2013, Atchison had a 4.37 ERA in 50 relief appearances for the Mets, which suggests his arm still wasn’t quite right. This year, though, he’s got a 2.95 ERA and a 6-0 record in 53 relief appearances for the Indians, and his other numbers are close to what they were in 2012 when he looked so good for the Red Sox.
Atchison will be 39 next year, which is certainly old for almost every major league player. However, he’s clearly pitched well enough this year for the Indians to bring him back, and the guarantee is so low by MLB standards that it has to be seen as a good risk for the Indians to take. Way to go, Scott — keep pitching into your 40’s!