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Former Red Sox reliever Scott Atchison signs with Mets 01.29.13 at 11:28 am ET
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Scott Atchison agreed to a minor league deal with the Mets on Tuesday (AP)

Reliever Scott Atchison, who spent the last three years with the Red Sox, is moving on.

The New York Mets announced that they’ve agreed on a minor league deal with the right-hander that includes an invitation to big league spring training. While Atchison, 36, was an outstanding performer for the Red Sox in 2012, forging a 1.58 ERA in 51 1/3 innings (the fourth-best ERA among pitchers with at least 50 innings pitched last year) while striking out 6.3 batters per nine innings and walking just 1.6 per nine, an ulnar collateral ligament strain that sidelined him for two months in the second half dampened his free agent market.

Atchison was told by Dr. James Andrews that he could pitch again with a course of rest and rehab, rather than surgery. He did, in fact, end up pitching in five games at the end of the season, logging 5 1/3 scoreless innings while striking out two and walking none.

The reliever told MLB.com on Monday that the Red Sox — after declining to tender him a contract in December, thus making him a free agent — had offered him only a minor league deal. Given that the team added right-handers Joel Hanrahan and Koji Uehara to an already deep bullpen mix, Atchison felt that he was better served to sign a minor league deal with a different club that presented a greater opportunity to make the Opening Day roster. Read the rest of this entry »

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Trade Deadline: Red Sox out on Carlos Beltran? 07.24.11 at 9:18 am ET
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The Red Sox view the potential acquisition of Carlos Beltran as a “total longshot” and are instead focused on adding pitching before the deadline, according to a tweet from Buster Olney of ESPN.

Beltran is owed roughly $6 million for the rest of the season, the last of his seven-year, $119 million deal. The right fielder is having his best season since 2006, ranking among the National League’s top 1o in doubles, RBI, extra-base hits, on-base percentage, runs created and walks.

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Trade Deadline: Giants’ pursuit of Carlos Beltran slowing down? 07.21.11 at 12:35 pm ET
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According to a report from Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, the Giants have a hit a sang in their pursuit of Carlos Beltran. The Giants, according to Martino, are now willing to assume most of the $6 million owed to Beltran for the rest of the season but will not give up a top prospect in exchange for the outfielder. The Mets are willing to pay the remainder of Beltran’s salary but want an elite prospect in return.

Beltran leads the National League with 30 doubles and 47 extra-base hits. He also ranks in the top 10 in walks, OBP, RBI and OPS.

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Trade Deadline: Carlos Beltran reportedly gets a list of potential trade destinations, including Philadelphia 07.20.11 at 1:52 pm ET
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Carlos Beltran

According to Tim Brown and Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, the Mets have given Carlos Beltran a short list of teams they could trade him to, and the Phillies are one of them.

Philadelphia’s starting rotation has been terrific this season, but the team’s offense has struggled to keep up, ranking 14th in runs and 20th in batting average. The switch-hitting Beltran ranks ninth in the National League with 59 RBIs and is hitting .287 entering Wednesday.

The Giants and Red Sox have shown interest in Beltran as well, and Yahoo! reports that the Mets slugger would prefer to stay close to his New York home, making Boston a more likely destination than San Francisco.

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Trade Deadline: Yankees not interested in Carlos Beltran 07.13.11 at 2:48 pm ET
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According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Yankees will not pursue Carlos Beltran before the July 31 trade deadline. The Mets outfielder has said he’d waive his no-trade clause to a play for a contender, and the Giants have emerged as a potential suitor.

The Yankees currently have Nick Swisher in right field, who’s hitting .249 with 10 home runs and 49 RBI.

Olney also reports the Tigers could be in the hunt for Beltran, because of their willingness to absorb big money contracts.

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Trade Deadline: Mets willing to trade K-Rod, Yankees ‘marginally interested’ 07.05.11 at 1:23 pm ET
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According to Bob Klapisch of Fox Sports, the Mets are open to dealing closer Francisco Rodriguez, even if it means shipping him to their crosstown rival. Rodriguez’ contract has a no-trade clause, but he said he would wave it for a trade to “good teams” like the Yankees and Rays. The Yankees could use another reliever, but their set up role could be filled when Rafael Soriano makes his return from the disabled list after the All-Star break.

Rodriguez has expressed a desire to stay with the Mets. He leads the team with 21 saves and has a 3.32 ERA.

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What Zack Greinke thinks about pitching in New York 10.26.10 at 1:19 pm ET
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Zack Greinke (AP)

According to several reports, the Kansas City Royals will entertain pitches for 2009 Cy Young winner Zack Greinke. It is expected that it would take an enormous prospect package to acquire the Royals ace, who is young (he just turned 27 last week), affordable (he is under contract in 2011 and 2012 for $13.5 million, relatively short money for a pitcher of his talents) and armed with stuff that is comparable to just about any pitcher in baseball.

Greinke, one year removed from his dazzling Cy Young campaign, struggled in 2010. He was 10-14 with a 4.17 ERA, more than two runs higher than his 2009 mark. Even so, many observers thought that the right-hander might have been disinterested while pitching for a Royals club that was once again a last place club. Greinke himself suggested as much towards the end of the year, telling MLB.com that he had indeed struggled with motivation, and that he would consider changing his medication for a social anxiety disorder in order to help deal with the issue.

With many teams feeling that Greinke’s 2010 performance was something of an aberration, his appeal this offseason will be tremendous. His talent makes him a lower-cost alternative to Cliff Lee, with few other pitchers able to match his stature.

But, a question looms over where Greinke might be willing to pitch. The topic is somewhat delicate, given the social anxiety disorder that had him on the brink of quitting the game in 2006, and had Royals officials fearing more for his health and well-being than his pitching future. If, for instance, the Yankees prove unable to land Lee in free agency, Greinke would appear the only top-of-the-rotation alternative who would be available this winter.

But the question exists as to whether Greinke would be a fit for a team in New York with a press corps and fan base several times the size of that to which the right-hander has become accustomed in Kansas City. Indeed, Greinke himself suggested in 2009 that part of the reason he signed a four-year, $38 million deal with the Royals was his comfort with the environment. And while he said that he has progressed sufficiently in his treatment that he could imagine pitching somewhere else, he admitted that he found it hard to imagine pitching in New York.

“[The environment] had a lot to do with [signing the extension], for sure,” Greinke said at the 2009 All-Star Game. “Now, maybe New York would bother me, but I don’t think anywhere else would bother me anymore. Even though I’m in Kansas City, I’ve gotten used to it a lot more. New York, I still might have trouble in New York. I probably would. But I think almost everyone does.”

Greinke, FoxSports.com reported earlier this offseason, will have the right to veto trades to 15 teams in 2011. This past season, when he had the right to veto deals to 20 clubs, the report stated, both the Yankees and Red Sox were on the list of teams to whom he had the right to veto a deal. And while that is sometimes merely a negotiating ploy to extract more money from potentially interested clubs, in Greinke’s case, the issue could be more delicate than that.

As MLB Network and NESN analyst Peter Gammons said on The Big Show on Friday:

“I can’t believe [the Yankees would] ever trade for Greinke and try to have him pitch in New York. I think he’s better off pitching in Greenland.”

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