The Boston Red Sox have cleared some much needed cap space by trading 2-time all-star and 10 year veteran pitcher Clay Buchholz to the Philadelphia Phillies. The trade is a win-win for Boston as the Phillies will send minor league infielder, Josh Tobias to Boston and assume the $13.5 million left on Buchholz’s contract for 2017.
Clay Buchholz joined the Red Sox in 2005 after they drafted him 42nd overall with the compensatory picked received when Pedro Martinez signed with the New York Mets. He debuted in 2007 and in his second start came away with a no hitter against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park (I was there). It was safe to say that Boston had high hopes for the kid after he showed a lot of promising attributes in the early stages of his career. He made the all-star team twice with Boston, once in 2010 and once in 2013 but injuries ended up taking their toll on Buchholz. He never threw more then 189 inning in a single season and in 2016 he was taken out of the starting rotation and finished the season with a horrific 4.78 ERA in 139.1 frames.
After the recent acquisition of ace pitcher Chris Sale from the Chicago White Sox, it was quite obvious that the Red Sox needed to get rid of a pitcher. Theres no doubt that Boston could have traded lefty pitcher Drew Pomeranz instead and gotten a much higher return, but it was Buchholz’s contract that was the issue. Now with that ridiculous amount of money lingering over Buchholz’ head, this is likely his last chance at a starting job. Philadelphia took a chance on him knowing how much he’s struggled, but obviously plan on giving a chance to make their starting rotation.
The amount of cap space the Red Sox have freed up with this trade is going to be extremely helpful to them going forward. It is unlikely that Boston will use the money now, but it will come in handy at the trade deadline if they need to sign a veteran player to help them make a playoff push and also could help them avoid paying luxury tax. It is completely new look for the Red Sox as Dustin Pedroia is now the only member of the team who has been there since at least 2012, but Boston and myself are happy to move on after this bittersweet trade as the possibilities are endless for the Red Sox going forward.