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Red Sox decline $3 million option on Dan Wheeler

Oct 31, 2011, 3:49 PM EDT


Dan Wheeler can be added to the list of free agent relievers, as the Red Sox declined their $3 million option on the 33-year-old right-hander.

Wheeler had a decent season as low-leverage bullpen arm in Boston, throwing 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 39/8 K/BB ratio. He has trouble keeping the ball in the ballpark and struggles versus left-handed pitching, but as a middle reliever spotted mostly versus righties he’s a nice role player.

He earned $3 million this season after signing with the Red Sox as a free agent following three-and-a-half years with the Rays.

  1. Ari Collins - Oct 31, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    Interesting choice. They could offer him arbitration now, which means getting him on a one-year deal for more than they would have paid him had they picked up his option, or getting a sandwich pick if someone else signs him.

    For what it’s worth, he’s a very good pitcher… as long as you never pitch him against lefties. He’s a ROOGY, holding righties to a .208 BAA with great peripherals (3.49 FIP), while lefties hit .249 off him with a sub-2 K/BB (4.80 FIP). And while he allows homers aplenty to all hitters, lefties take him deep even more often.

    Guess that situational usefulness makes your ‘pen a bit inflexible, so maybe the sandwich pick isn’t such a bad idea after all.

    • proudlycanadian - Oct 31, 2011 at 4:48 PM

      A sandwich can be quite healthy Ari. It is much better than pie. Someone will sign him.

    • uyf1950 - Oct 31, 2011 at 5:03 PM

      If they offer him arbitration and he accepts they probably wind up paying him about $1M more then they would have otherwise. I don’t know but I think he may very well accept arbitration if it’s offered. Just a guess on my part.

      • Ari Collins - Oct 31, 2011 at 5:30 PM

        Yeah, I’m really not sure if he accepts. Maybe he could find a two-year deal out there.

      • uyf1950 - Oct 31, 2011 at 5:45 PM

        Ari, the real decision for the Sox as far as arbitration go’s to they bit the bullet and offer either or both Papelbon and Ortiz arbitration and obviously pay they more on a 1 deal arbitration deal or like I said bit the bullet and offer them at least 2 year deal for slightly less on a per year average.

        Personally I think they resign both on 2 year deals.

      • Ari Collins - Oct 31, 2011 at 6:32 PM

        uyf, I must politely (heh, this time) disagree. Offering them arbitration is a no-brainer. Ortiz might accept, but at least then you only commit to one year, so no big deal. But Papelbon will definitely get more than one year, and he’s out to get the most money he can.

        And while Ortiz might get a two-year deal, I’d think that Papelbon can get at least three.

      • uyf1950 - Oct 31, 2011 at 6:52 PM

        Ari, the only thing that makes me think Papelbon might be limited to just a 2 year deal is that there are several “quality” FA closers on the market this year. And that should have an effect on his bargaining power and might limit the years he ultimately gets and the dollars. But we’ll see.

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