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It has been a wild day of rumors at Day 1 of the Winter Meetings, and the Sox are involved in a bunch of them. They signed one player already: 34-year-old relief pitcher Scott Atchison, who spent the last two years pitching in Japan. ESPN.com’s Gordon Edes reported that Atchison will be paid $420K in 2010, with club options for $440K and $600K.
Here’s a look at what else is going on…
Red Sox super-prospect Casey Kelly has reportedly decided to pursue a career as a pitcher in the major leagues. He came to the Sox as a rare “P/SS” but after a year of playing both positions in Single-A (2.08 ERA as a pitcher, combined .222/.302/.340/.642 as a shortstop), he decided his best chance for success with the Red Sox would be as a pitcher.
“He’s as excited about his future on the mound as we are,” said Epstein. “I don’t think you could ever expect a 19-year-old pitcher to go out and do what he did. It’s a pretty impressive debut…I think he sees he’s relatively close to the big leagues, certainly for his age, and has a chance to make an impact in this organization. … Maybe he agreed with us in the end that this was his chance to make the most profound impact on the organization.”
The Red Sox will reportedly have to look elsewhere for a power hitter. Why? New Padres GM Jed Hoyer (the former Sox assistant GM) told WEEI’s Lou Merloni it would be ludicrous to trade Gonzalez now, with the slugger due to make $4.75 million in 2010 with a club option for $5.5 million in 2011. Hoyer did admit it would be difficult to retain Gonzalez.