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Indians sign Scott Atchison to contract extension

Let the youth movement begin!

Rick Yeatts

The Indians have signed relief pitcher Scott Atchison to a one-year contract extension for 2015, which also includes a team option for 2016, and guarantees the 38-year-old righty at least $1 million. Atchison will be paid $900,000 next season, and the Indians will then either pay him $1 million in 2016, or buy out his contract for $100,000.

Atchison was brought into spring training and given a shot to make the team, largely on the basis of his strong relationship with manager Terry Francona from their time together in Boston. I didn't think much of his potential to make a positive impact on the team, but he's been great, posting a 2.95 ERA in 55 innings during 53 appearances. His strikeout rate of 6.1 K/9 isn't impressive, but his walk rate ranks 6th in the American League, among 68 relievers with 40+ innings this season, and he hasn't given up many home runs.

This may seem a strange time to announce a contract extension, but if Atchison stays healthy and finishes out the season the way he's pitched so far, I am confident he'd have had offers in the $1.2-1.5 million range for 2015, so I don't mind committing to him now. Given that the other key members of this year's bullpen were already under team control, the Indians should be returning basically the same relief corps for next season, all for $7-8 million. That's a great price for what has been a very good group.