Clay Buchholz may be in his final days as a member of the Red Sox, writes Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Teams have inquired with the Red Sox about the struggling right-hander, Bradford reports, and his sparse usage as of late has the pitcher himself pondering his future with the club. “…I feel like the guys they’re rolling out there, I don’t have a spot. I’m the odd man out,” said Buchholz in reference to the rotation. “I’m not sure. I don’t know. Not having pitched in a while I felt like something has be going on.” Manager John Farrell offered a rather frank analysis of the situation when asked by Bradford: “He’s in a tough spot, I’ll be candid. I don’t want to say it’s purgatory, but as far as baseball he’s in a difficult spot. There was the four-day layover over the break. We’ve played very good winning baseball. We’ve gotten starters deeper into ballgames where the bullpen has been rested. That’s where the decisions have come in.” Buchholz’s contract has one more club option at $13.5MM on it, so perhaps an interested party would look to buy low in hopes of revitalizing him over the final two months of the year and making that option look like a reasonable price.
More from the AL East…
- Bradford also spoke with president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski about the process of making several of the more high-profile trades he made while serving as GM of the Tigers. Dombrowski pulled back the curtain a bit on his acquisitions of Doug Fister, Anibal Sanchez and David Price, as well as his trade of Yoenis Cespedes to the Mets last summer. Dombrowski also offered his take on this year’s trade market for starters, noting that it’s rare to see such lofty demand — winning teams are often good because of their starters, which is not the case for several clubs this year — while also seeing such a short supply from clubs that are decided sellers.
- The Red Sox hoped that adding Brad Ziegler would constitute sufficient pen depth, but now Koji Uehara has joined Craig Kimbrel on the 15-day DL. Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald writes that Boston ought to add at least one more reliever from outside the organization. Though the team isn’t without its internal options, including Joe Kelly, Silverman suggests that it would be wise to have alternatives in place.
- Steve Pearce has been the subject of quite a few of the Rays’ trade talks as of late, reports ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick (via Twitter). Pearce has been one of the best bargain pickups of the offseason, slashing an outstanding .322/.393/.552 with 10 homers in 206 plate appearances. Because he can play first base, corner outfield or second base, Pearce could help a large number of clubs, and the remaining $1.89MM on his $4.75MM salary is a manageable sum for most clubs. Crasnick lists the Giants and Indians as a pair of possible fits for Tampa Bay’s slugging utilityman.
- The Rays are in a powerful position on the trade market, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. With so few options on the market for starting pitching, they’re poised to ask for lofty demands for any of Jake Odorizzi, Matt Moore or even Chris Archer, though the common refrain on Archer is that he won’t be moved. The Dodgers and Rangers are both following the Rays’ starters closely, and Topkin lists the Pirates, Astros, Marlins, Nationals and Red Sox as teams with serious interest. Topkin adds Pearce, right-hander Erasmo Ramirez and left-hander Xavier Cedeno to the list of possible trade options for president of baseball operations Matt Silverman and his staff. Notably, the Marlins were recently tied to left-handed relief help, so they could be interested not only in Tampa Bay’s starters but Cedeno as well.
- The Blue Jays scouted both Andrew Cashner and CC Sabathia for their starts last night, per FanRag’s Jon Heyman. While Cashner is an obvious trade candidate that has been monitored by a large number of clubs, Sabathia’s name hasn’t been suggested often due to his significant salary. He’s earning $25MM this year with an identically priced vesting option for the 2017 season that will trigger if he doesn’t finish out the year with a shoulder injury. Heyman suggests that Sabathia may not be available as the Yankees aren’t yet decided on selling off pieces, though I have to imagine that they’d be perfectly willing to part with Sabathia even if they aim to contend, as that 2017 option isn’t especially appealing for a 36-year-old who has struggled over the past four seasons. Sabathia’s 10-and-5 rights are a factor, though, as he’d have to approve any trade. The Jays would also certainly request that the Yankees pay a hefty portion of Sabathia’s salary to green-light any trade. The notion of trading him seems like a bit of a reach to me, though one can’t fault the Blue Jays for performing due diligence.