Dan Wheeler and Scott Atchison, both relief pitchers for the Boston Red Sox, did not have their options picked up by the team and will become free agents, according to an announcement from the team on Twitter.
Wheeler is coming off his first season with the Red Sox while Atchison is coming off his second. In 2011, Wheeler had a 2-2 record with a 4.38 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 47 games while Atchison was 1-0 with a 3.26 ERA and 17 punch-outs in 17 games. In his two seasons with the club, Atchison is 3-3 with a 4.08 ERA and 58 strikeouts.
Even though the team declined the options on both players, they could be back.
This doesn't mean that these two pitchers aren't eligible to be re-signed, but for now, it's up in the air. Wheeler struggled to start the 2011 season, posting an 11.32 ERA with four homers allowed in just 10-1/3 innings through May 4, but following a stint on the DL, returned to be one of Boston's very best relievers the rest of the way, with an ERA of 2.54, 7.1 strikeouts per nine against just 1.6 walks per nine, and just 0.7 homers allowed.
As for Atchison, part of his value was in his ability to move up and down between the minors and Boston as the team needed additional help in the bullpen. Now that he is out of options, though, then the majors were just about the only place for him. (via Over The Monster)