Red Sox Extend Clay Buchholz

5:08pm: Sean McAdam of has the breakdown (on Twitter). Buchholz will earn $3.5MM in 2012, $5.5MM in 2013, $7.7MM in 2014, and $12MM in 2015. The two club options are worth $13MM and $13.5MM respectively. 

3:45pm: The Red Sox announced that they have signed Clay Buchholz to a four-year contract extension in a press release. The deal is worth $29.945MM with a pair of club options, making it comparable to the contract signed by teammate Jon Lester a few years ago. Ben Nicholson-Smith looked at Buchholz as an extension candidate back in September.

Boston bought out all three of Buchholz's arbitration-eligible years plus one year of free agency with the contract. The club options cover two more free agent years, and the Red Sox saved approximately $1.6MM against the luxury tax by announcing the deal after the season started. Yovani Gallardo and Ricky Romero are two other young pitchers that have signed similar contracts in recent years. 

Buchholz, 26, broke out in a big way last season, pitching to a 2.33 ERA with 6.2 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 173 2/3 innings (28 starts). He earned his first All-Star Game nod and finished sixth in the Cy Young Award voting thanks to the second lowest ERA in the AL. Fielding independent pitching metrics say he wasn't quite that good as that ERA indicates, but a 3.61 FIP is certainly impressive on its own. 

Lester's deal has proven to be a tremendous bargain for Boston so far, which is the level of success the Sox hope to achieve with Buchholz's deal. Boston now has five starting pitchers under contract through 2012 and four under contract through 2013. 

Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports originally reported the agreement (Twitter links) while Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston (on Twitter) and's Rob Bradford and Alex Speier added details.

77 Responses to Red Sox Extend Clay Buchholz Leave a Reply

  1. his performance yesterday was the deciding factor.

  2. BVHjays 4 years ago

    Does this buy out any free agent years?

    Ah, scratch that. Just saw the update.

  3. phoenix2042 4 years ago

    you mean to say that the red sox liked what they saw in an outing in which he gave up five runs, four earned, in 3.2 innings with 2 strike outs against 3 walks and allowing a homerun for his second loss and an ERA over 7? that outing was their deciding factor in extending him? I have a different theory. I think that his 2010 season was the deciding factor in extending him.

    • jwredsox 4 years ago

      I thought he meant it was the deciding factor for Buchholz agreeing to that deal. Either way they’re unlikely to have been the reason

    • Bluduke28 4 years ago

      Why is it people like you are unable to detect sarcasm?

    • Bluduke28 4 years ago

      Are people like you really so dense that you can’t detect clear sarcasm?

      • The_Silver_Stacker 4 years ago

        Sarcasm on the internet only is caught 50 % of the time everytime by the average user.

  4. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    do the first baseman next

  5. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    it’s interesting that they didn’t get a club option like they did in lester’s contract. iirc theo had said it was policy to at least get a free agent year and a club option, and buchholz had said he would do a deal like lester’s

    • Matthew Kory 4 years ago

      I’d be shocked if there was not at least one team option and probably two. Look at the extensions signed by Lester, Pedroia and Youkilis. All of them have one year club options, though according to Cot’s, Lester’s option year is voided if he finishes first or second in the Cy Young voting.

      • RahZid 4 years ago

        It’s only voided if he finishes 1st or 2nd in Cy Young voting AND he’s traded. He should be in Boston through the option years regardless of how many Cy Young votes he gets.

        Barring any career altering/ending injury of course.

    • soxfan0928 4 years ago

      GordonEdes Gordon Edes
      Sox will be announcing extension for Buchholz for around 4 years/$30m, with two club options, industry source says.

      THat just came across twitter

  6. grant77 4 years ago

    I’m a little surprised this deal was done, big risk for both sides. Buchholz has great stuff, he could be in line for a big payday. On the other hand, his K rate has dropped to Jamie Moyer levels and he doesn’t have much hope for success if that continues.

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      buchholz’s first full season featured a 6.65 K/9

      lester’s first full season featured a 6.50 K/9

      even with that low figure last year, buchholz got (and gets) more swinging strikes than josh beckett ever has in boston (that includes 2007-2009). he has the stuff; the K’s will come. it doesn’t seem like it because he threw that no-no way back when, but this is actually only buchholz second full season in the bigs

    • cmock 4 years ago

      Pretty sure the rotation has given up more homers than strikeouts so far, but there is no way Buchholz doesn’t get a lot better that what he has been so far this season easily vindicating this deal.

      • grant77 4 years ago

        Perhaps he does increase it, I definitely expect that. I was just pointing out the risk involved.

  7. East Coast Bias 4 years ago

    Ugh, I hate Theo’s jedi mind tricks during negotiations. HOW the hell does he get such talent to sign these deals?!

    • grant77 4 years ago

      By getting the players agent to make an offer and accepting it? It’s nice for them to sign him, but it’s not something that any GM couldn’t do.

      • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

        I disagree. Other GMs/leadership teams could probably evaluate talent and project which player will be a star/superstar, but they couldn’t sign Lester to his deal, or Pedroia to his deal, or Youk, or now Buch.

        • grant77 4 years ago

          Arbitration deals always look good. Not that Youkilis and Lester aren’t great players, but there are very few young all-starts that refuse to sign a long term deal. Papelbon, Fielder, maybe Lincecum? He deserves more credit for drafting these guys than signing them.

          Not sure where that jedi magic was when he payed Crawford like 40 mil more than the Angels or when he gave Lackey 5 years when nobody else would go over 4.

          • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

            That was free agency. You HAVE to go to exorbitant amounts to secure top talent in free agency. Extensions, it seems Theo has a more accurate perception of a player’s potential than the player himself. These agents need to get a clue.

          • grant77 4 years ago

            I don’t see what’s wrong with an arbitration guy getting some job security. It’s usually the players decision, not the agents. Arbitration deals are almost always based on precedent, you can almost predict exactly what guys will get. There’s little in the way of shrewd negotiating tactic by any GM on a deal like this.

            Edit: Look at the Gio Gonzalez extension candidate thing, I bet you they are right within 5 million if the A’s do end up signing him.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            also, if they don’t sign lackey last year and beckett goes down with the injury in 2010 as he did, who do they turn to? sure, they didn’t end up making the playoffs anyway, but lackey was a big reason they even had a chance

            despite beckett, the team’s starter WAR was second in the AL last year. if lackey does four five years what he did last season (not an extremely high bar), he will have produced 20 WAR — well worth the contract

            and i am speaking as a guy who really didn’t like the lackey signing at the time

          • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

            I think every single player that doesn’t have 4 years of service understands that they are NOT getting their market values worth. They are trading fair market value for security. Every GM understands that when they sign a mega star to a free agent deal that they will, at some point, be paying way above market value for those last couple of years.

            I don’t think any of those issues are lost on anyone.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            “Arbitration deals always look good”

            yup! easy game

            -w. jocketty

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            srsly tho, not sure what you’re driving at. even if we assume young players happily sign these kinds of deals (not true), he deserves credit for correctly appraising the guys he offered them to. youkilis, pedroia, and lester have been tremendous bargains. which young player did he sign to a long-term deal to that didn’t turn out to be a stud?

            free agency signings are very obviously a different story. but if you wanted to knock theo, crawford and lackey aren’t the guys you point to. lugo and renteria are your main men when tearing down mr. epstein

          • grant77 4 years ago

            Every time a 0-6 player signs a deal, the GM gets all kinds of praise. I just don’t think it’s as impressive as most people think. Like I said, there are very few examples of young all-stars that refuse to sign a long term deal.

          • nhlegend 4 years ago

            It’s Theo, Mr Epstein if you’re nasty. :-)

          • RedSoxDynasty 4 years ago

            It’s been mentioned here many times that the Angels were gonna give Crawford the same deal he signed with Boston for. People conveniently love to make up these urban legends that just aren’t true!

        • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

          I think just about ever team has done the same thing with their non-Boras youngster.

          Realistically, it’s agood deal. But it’s not a GREAT deal because they onlybought out 1 free agent year. And I do say this with alldue respect. Theo did the right thing.I think thekey isto find out howmuch the option years are worth.

          Yanks really haven’t had any in-house talent worth extending beyond Hughes and Gardner who have yet to prove themselves worthy of an extension yet. They didit with Cano and they passed on doing it with Wang.

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            With the two club options it’s really 3 free agent years.

        • optionn 4 years ago

          Yeah, Theo’s 142 million dollar investment in Crawford is already working out lovely. I agree he is decent at giving extensions to homegrown guys, but why did he splurge on unnecessary free agents? Last year the Red Sox were hyped and ended up in 3rd place. This year they have won 1 game soo far.

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            You do realize that all of that is based on what amounts to the smallest sample size you could possibly use, right? There’s a pretty good chance that Crawford doesn’t hit like this for the rest of his contract and the Sox aren’t likely to go 1-7 the rest of the way.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            yea, man. cards are looking smart for not extending pujols too, ya know? guy clearly sucks now

  8. Really Red Sox? Kid could end up a one season wonder.

    • cmock 4 years ago

      Or he could be well worth the money, even if last season was an outlier he could easily surpass 7.5 mil of value with a 3.25-3.5 ERA with a whip close to the 1.203 he had last season.

    • MaineSox 4 years ago

      That’s usually the case with these types of deals. It was the same with Lester, Gallardo, and Romero too. If it turns out like Lester’s deal they look like geniuses; if he ends up a bust they don’t pick up the options and it’s only one year beyond arbitration anyway.

    • RedSoxDynasty 4 years ago

      You must be mistaking Buchholz for someone like Aaron Hill!

      • except Aaron Hill’s deal doesn’t represent his big 2009 year. He signed his deal before his monster season.

  9. BoSoXaddict 4 years ago

    This extension was a foregone conclusion. If the Sox were 5-3 right now and Buchholz was 1-1 there would be NOTHING but praise for this deal…

  10. umair56 4 years ago

    Awesome! I’m happy to know Clay will stay in Boston for at least one more year.

  11. How many notebooks Buchholz could buy with the money that he will make?

  12. bigpupp 4 years ago

    To go from being the human trade chip to a long term deal has to feel good for him. As said before, now they just need to lock up a certain 1B.

  13. “foaifnosdifnaseofjweaopfnswof”

    That’s all I can understand when some people start spouting off sabermetrics.

    The guy had a 2.33 ERA and was a key reason that the Red Sox even sniffed 85+ wins last year despite injuries and underproduction from Beckett and Lackey. That, and they’ve traded away a lot of young pitchers in the past few years. They needed to at least keep he and Lester around for awhile since they have so much money and years locked into the aforementioned duo of J.B and J.L

  14. Redsoxn8tion 4 years ago

    At least they’re doing something right in April.

  15. Slopeboy 4 years ago

    While I don’t disagree, Buchholz could have done better by waiting until the season was over. This guy is poised to have a better year than last, he could have put off the security for another season and signed for better money. At the end of the contract in four years, given what he’s done and projected to do, 7.5 Million per year will be a steal for the Sox.

  16. bucs_lose_again 4 years ago

    As far as having a better year than last, his peripherals suggest otherwise.

  17. The_Silver_Stacker 4 years ago

    I believe he went for the extra security since he is married and has a kid. Locking up a financial security for his family, gotta respect him for that. Look at Hamilton’s injury, freak accidents like that can happen at anytime.

  18. Slopeboy 4 years ago

    Explain, please

  19. He got somewhat lucky considering a much lower than average BABIP. If this balances out he is likely to do worse this year but still could have a solid season.

  20. Karkat 4 years ago

    His HR/fly ball rate last year was also exceptionally low, so we should expect more bombs than 2010 (already ringing true -_-). Still, great deal for both parties.

  21. vtadave 4 years ago

    Also, a 6.2 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 don’t really support a guy repeating anywhere near a 2.33 ERA.

  22. He also had a very low strikeout rate and it will be hard to be successful if that trend continues. These are real concerns and they have been highlighted so far this season. SSS but still.

  23. MaineSox 4 years ago

    His 9.9% swinging strikes doesn’t really support him repeating a 6.2 K/9 either; only one pitcher in all of baseball had a bigger spread between his swngstrk% ranking and his K/9 ranking so there is a pretty good chance he brings his K/9 up considerably. Regardless though, reality doesn’t really support a guy repeating a 2.33 ERA, but it wouldn’t be a stretch for Buchholz to have an ERA a full point higher while actually pitching better.

  24. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    you almost nailed it. he’s had a very low strikeout rate despite strikeout stuff and a high-strikeout history. this strongly suggests his strikeouts will increase – which in turn suggests significant decline may not actually be imminent

  25. stl_cards16 4 years ago

    A small deal like this isn’t going to become “very regrettable” for a big market team. There is only one garaunteed year over 8 million. Not something I see holding the Sox back.

  26. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    Even if Buchholz regresses this deal isn’t going to keep them from doing anything else they want to do.

  27. jwredsox 4 years ago

    He had an ERA near 4 assuming he doesn’t get any better, which he should. His peripherals, though obviously not good, also hinted at signs of improvement. Like Notsureifsrs has been saying, his swinging strike % is high for a guy with so few Ks and the only reason his FIP is so high is the lack of K’s. If his K% even only improves to 7.5/9 (which seems low to me given his good stuff and minor league track record) you will see FIPs much better than that one over 4 from last season.

  28. MaineSox 4 years ago

    Pretty sure you’re misusing FIP/xFIP. FIP is used to tell you how well a pitcher did at controlling the things that he can control (walks, strikeouts etc.) by eliminating plays that fielders could be involved in. It’s not ERA – luck; guys shouldn’t be expected to necessarily regress all the way to their FIP because there are always balls in play so other things come into the equation. His FIP was 3.61 last year anyway, which is very good in it’s own right (Sabathia’s FIP wasn’t far off at 3.54).

  29. ellisburks 4 years ago

    Yeah Beckett sucks. He even let you guys have 2 hits last night. He must bite the big one.

  30. RedSoxDynasty 4 years ago

    And I’m sure many Boston fans are happy that Phil Hughes now has the velocity of Jamie Moyer! U can go crawl back under the George Washington Bridge now!

  31. The_Silver_Stacker 4 years ago

    I’ll say this much, I’d rather have Buchholz over Hughes

  32. ellisburks 4 years ago

    No, I was merely stating that you think the Beckett deal was a bad one and you welcome it, however aside from 2010 Beckett has been worth the money the Sox have paid him and he still knows how to pitch as evidenced by last night when he dismantled one of the best offenses in baseball.

  33. ellisburks 4 years ago

    Fine then, I was implying it. Also, Beckett HAS been worth every cent the Red Sox paid him except for 2010. He had team-friendly deals and had came in second in CY young voting, kicked butt in the playoffs, and has been an above average pitcher every year except the last one. So I would like to see you prove that “the deal was absolutely horrific for nearly all of his years in Boston” because it simply isn’t true.

  34. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    “And no, the deal was absolutely horrific for nearly all of his years in Boston.”.2006: $4M – 2.1 WAR2007: $6M – 6.5 WAR2008: $9.5M – 5.1 WAR2009: $10.5M – 5.4 WAR2010: $12M – 1.4 WARTotal: $40M / 20.5 WAR = less than $2M per WAR

  35. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    also, when a player’s single game performance conforms to career trends, it’s not considered an outlier. you’re doing it wrong because you are using too small a sample (an injured single season) as your baseline against which to compare his current performance

    if you use an adequate sample, beckett is expected to pitch at a 4+ WAR level. that doesn’t mean he’s expected to throw 2-hit 10 K shutouts, but it does mean that poor starts (and not good ones) are assumed to be the outliers

  36. notsureifsrs 4 years ago


  37. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    i’d love to hear more about your theory, captain xFIP!

  38. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    show your work

  39. MaineSox 4 years ago

    Okay, but you’re still using it wrong.

  40. Ben_Cherington 4 years ago

    You scare me! You are the Pujols of MLBTR!!!

  41. MaineSox 4 years ago

    “His tenure in Boston, save 1 year, has been horrific.”

    “fan graphs. use it.”


    Using xFIP (your stat of choice) both 2008 and 2009 were better seasons than ’07. He also had a better K/9 and BB/9 in ’08 than in ’07. In ’08 he had the fifth best xFIP in all of baseball, and the third best K/BB. In ’09 he was in the top 10 for xFIP too. If you take ’07 through ’09 as a whole (you know, larger sample size and whatnot) he has the third best K/BB in baseball, and the second best xFIP, again in all of baseball.

    Horrific right?

  42. MaineSox 4 years ago

    The Sox were the original dynasty. About 100 years ago…

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