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Tuesday, 20 December 2016 17:03

Red Sox Trade Clay Buchholz To Phillies For Minor Leaguer

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The Clay Buchholz era in Boston officially came to an end on Tuesday morning, as the 32-year-old was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for minor league second baseman Josh Tobias.

Buchholz was 8-10 with a 4.78 ERA in 37 appearances (21 starts) last season in Boston.  He posted an impressive 53-23 record from 2009 to 2013, which cemented him as one of the best pitchers in the American League, but fell from grace with a disappointing 23-28 record in his last three seasons with the Red Sox.

The team had picked up his $13.5 million option in the offseason, and his new team have reportedly agreed to pay that contract in full after the trade.  That agreement probably led to the low return for a veteran starter, with Tobias not ranking anywhere near the top of the Phils' farm system.

Tobias was a 10th-round selection of the Phillies in the 2015 MLB Draft after playing for the University of Florida.  He spent 2016 in A-ball with two teams, combining for a .291 average with nine homers and 69 RBIs.  The second baseman also played seven games in the outfield last season along with making 109 starts in the infield.

Buchholz’ 2016 season was the definition of a rollercoaster, as he progressed from starting the second game of the regular season to being on the verge of an outright release to taking the hill to start Game 3 of the ALDS in the span of six months. 

The 10-year veteran was sent to the bullpen in late May after an atrocious stretch of starts that landed him with a 2-5 record and a lofty 6.35 ERA.  He did sprinkle two quality outings in during that clip, including a 6.2 inning gem against the potent Blue Jays lineup on April 18th, which demonstrated just how unpredictable his starts had become. 

After moving to the bullpen, Buchholz looked like he was righting the ship, until he was called upon for three starts in late June/early July that saw him allow 14 runs (10 earned) in 14.2 innings for another three losses. 

Buchholz was basically relegated to mop-up duty to start the second half of the year, but regained the trust of manager John Farrell by posting a 1.93 ERA out of the bullpen which earned him five more starts in the month of September.  Clay was excellent in four of those starts, giving up just four runs in 25.2 innings to post a 3-0 record to earn a postseason start during the Divisional series with the Indians.  He had the best start of the short three-game series for Boston, allowing two runs in four innings before Farrell gave him the early yank in a 4-3 loss that ended the Red Sox season.

Buchholz ends his run in Boston with an 81-61 record and a 3.96 ERA.  He earned two All-Star nods in 2010 and 2013, and was a member of two World Series Champions (2007, 2013).  He will likely slot in at the top of a Phillies rotation led by Jeremy Hellickson and youngsters Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vincent Velasquez.

If you want MORE coverage of your team, check out Red Sox Beat Podcast here on CLNS Radio! The latest episode is below and check us out on ITUNES as well!

Adam Belue

My name is Adam Belue, I'm from Fall River, MA, and I'm a sports fanatic.  I'll watch and write about just about any and every sport, even the fringe ones that aren't really sports like bowling, poker, and ultimate frisbee.  I'm a huge Green Bay Packers fan, and a self-proclaimed New England Patriots hater (and proud of it!)... which makes my job in a sporting goods store quite interesting.  I'm a big fan of the other local teams (Bruins, Red Sox, and Celtics), along with the Alabama Crimson Tide and college football as a whole.  I may be a bit obsessed (or a lot obsessed) with Taylor Swift, and I've seen her in concert four times so far... some of the best times I've had by the way her concerts are quite the experience!  I'm also a huge tennis fan, and have played the sport for a good majority of my life.  I wish more people watched and appreciated tennis.  I'm currently a part of the Boston Bruins and Boston Red Sox Beat Team on CLNS Radio, and post a weekly fantasy football and college football column during the season.