NESN – Clay Buchholz’s 10-year career with the Boston Red Sox reportedly has come to an end. The Red Sox traded the right-handed pitcher to the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday, according to multiple reports. Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer was the first to report the news, with FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman and FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal confirming. According to Gelb, Boston will acquire minor leaguer Josh Tobias in the deal.
Just like that, the Clay Buchholz Era in Boston has ended. Fittingly, it ended with a whimper and not with a bang. The dude threw a no-hitter in his second career start in 2007, but could never live up to his potential.
Buchholz showed flashes at times, no doubt. An All-Star in 2010, he finished 6th in Cy Young Award voting that season. He was named to the All-Star team again in 2013 after starting the season 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA. But injuries put him on the shelf from June 8 – to September 10 in 2013, and he ultimately did not make much of mark the rest of that season or during the World Series title run.
Ultimately, those flashes were just flashes and only served to extend his time in Boston. His reasonable salaries didn’t hurt his case either. Why not take a flier on your own guy instead of bringing in someone else? (See Miley, Wade.)
While his 81-61 record puts his winning percentage at .570 and his 3.96 ERA puts his ERA+ at 109, it’s hard not to characterize the Buchholz Era as a disappointment in the end. The ups and downs, the injuries, disappointments (see 2008) and frustrations ultimately became too much for the Red Sox. Buchholz has now been swapped for a 24 year-old infielder with no professional experience higher than A-ball.
If the Phillies take on all of the $13.5 million due to Buchholz, that’s a win for Trader Dave. But even if not, this is is addition by subtraction for the Red Sox. I know that you can never have too much pitching (see Arroyo, Bronson), but Buchholz was never an innings eater. It’s just one less moving part John Farrell needs to be concerned with. With David Price, Rick Porcello and now Chris Sale headlining next year’s staff, hopefully the Red Sox can move away from the revolving door that has been (at least the back of) their rotation for the last few years.