Clay Buchholz Rumors
The Blue Jays shouldn’t part with manager John Farrell unless they are confident they can hire a comparable replacement and make the Red Sox pay dearly for their former pitching coach, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes. The Blue Jays could start by asking for Clay Buchholz again, Rosenthal suggests. Here’s more from around MLB, starting with Farrell...
- People who know Farrell find it difficult to believe he’d try to force his way out of Toronto, Rosenthal reports. The Blue Jays appear to value Farrell and don’t want to see him leave.
- Most MLB teams wanted to develop Jurickson Profar as a pitcher when he was an amateur player, Rosenthal reports. The Rangers built a relationship with Profar, who wanted to play shortstop.
- Scouts following the Indians like the team’s up-the-middle talent, but say the body language of manager Manny Acta suggests he’s resigned to losing. The Indians are expected to consider trade offers for Justin Masterson, Shin-Soo Choo and Chris Perez this offseason and rival teams wonder if they’d listen to offers for Asdrubal Cabrera.
- Indians officials are “livid” with Perez for his comments about the team’s ownership and top baseball executives, Rosenthal writes. Perez questioned the Indians’ decision making and spending last week in an interview with Jon Paul Morosi. Some executives viewed those remarks as an attempt to get traded, Rosenthal reports.
- One Orioles person points out that Andy MacPhail traded for many of the Orioles’ key players in a series of successful deals. MacPhail dealt for players such as J.J. Hardy, Pedro Strop, Chris Davis, Tommy Hunter, Robert Andino and Adam Jones before stepping down following the 2011 season.
- Though the Nationals would like to retain Adam LaRoche, they can rely on internal options if the first baseman’s asking price reaches the three-year, $33-36MM range. Similarly, the Nationals might decide not to pursue Michael Bourn despite the long-standing expectation that they will offer him a competitive free agent contract.
- The Brewers will need to sign a starting pitcher and fix their bullpen this coming offseason, Rosenthal writes.
The Red Sox are on track to finish below .500 for the first time since 1997. Here’s the latest as a disappointing season winds down:
- Manager Bobby Valentine is now fighting a battle that he cannot win, opines Scott Miller of CBSSports.com. Miller writes that Valentine couldn't possibly be back as skipper in 2013 because either the Red Sox will lose patience or he will.
- In a heated interview on WEEI, Valentine characterized the 2012 season as "miserable" but said he'd definitely like to manage the Red Sox again in 2013. "If that's what I'm asked to do, that's what I'm going to get paid to do," Valentine said. He also suggested he would like to punch radio host Glenn Ordway in the face and defended himself when asked about a late arrival to a game earlier this year (highlights via Alex Speier).
- Blue Jays manager John Farrell would be an excellent hire for the Red Sox, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com writes. The Red Sox tried to acquire Farrell from Toronto twice last offseason, including once after the Blue Jays made it clear that Farrell was off-limits to teams seeking managers, Bradford reports. The Blue Jays asked for Clay Buchholz as compensation for Farrell, according to WEEI.com. Red Sox pitchers who worked with Farrell in Boston have a deep respect for their former coach based on both friendship and fear, Bradford adds.
- Farrell said yesterday he’s "unequivocally" focused on the Blue Jays.
- Ivan De Jesus Jr. wanted to get traded from the Dodgers leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports. “I wanted a fresh start,’’ said De Jesus, who was sent to Boston in the recent blockbuster trade between the Red Sox and Dodgers.
- The price tag on a potential extension for Jacoby Ellsbury would be “astronomical" should the Red Sox attempt to lock the outfielder up long term, ESPN.com's Buster Olney said on WEEI today (partial transcript via Kirk Minihane of WEEI.com). Olney said he's doubtful rival teams will overwhelm Boston with trade offers for Ellsbury, partly because he's a Scott Boras client.
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said that he is not aware of any trade talks involving either the acquisition or trading of a pitcher, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com. Major league sources also dismissed the idea that Boston would consider trading Josh Beckett in the wake of his golfing controversy.
“I’m sure that Ben’s looking at every conceivable way of improving our team, but I haven’t been in on any trade conversations about pitching, either coming or going,” said the manager.
Speier writes that Beckett's value would be virtually non-existent and points out that he has given the team more quality outings than any other pitcher so far this year. Beckett, 31, is set to earn $15.75MM each year through 2014.
Valentine also said that no real consideration was given to the idea of sending the struggling Clay Buchholz to the minors. Had Boston made that move, they would have exposed the pitcher to optional waivers.
Red Sox righty Clay Buchholz is unlikely to pitch again in the regular season due to a stress fracture in his back, reports Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com. McAdam's source believes postseason pitching is possible, though it'd be a tall order.
That explains why the Red Sox picked up Erik Bedard yesterday, though Bedard was actually Plan C after Hiroki Kuroda and Rich Harden. The Sox had a deal in place to acquire Kuroda for Tim Federowicz and another prospect Saturday night, reports McAdam, but the righty rejected it. The Kuroda talks were later used as a base for GM Theo Epstein to acquire Trayvon Robinson, who they sent to Seattle in the Bedard deal.
Red Sox GM Theo Epstein acquired Mike Aviles, Erik Bedard and Josh Fields in trades this weekend. He joined reporters on a conference call to discuss those moves and other issues pertaining to his first-place team this evening. Here are the details:
- The Red Sox like the way Bedard's stuff looks this year. He "really started to look like one of the best left-handers in the league again," Epstein said.
- Though Bedard was rusty in his lone start since returning from the disabled list, the Red Sox maintained interest in him since he seems healthy and has pitched in the AL East. Plus, he met Boston's biggest need - rotation help.
- The Bedard deal came together at the last minute, since the Red Sox had to acquire Trayvon Robinson from the Dodgers before completing the deal with the Mariners.
- As for the bullpen, Epstein says the Red Sox can get by without adding outside help. "We feel we have some depth, not only in the big leagues, but in Triple-A," he said.
- Epstein declined to speak about discussions for Rich Harden, but says he has no hard feelings. It appeared last night that Boston was going to acquire Harden.
- The Red Sox like Fields' "big arm" despite his command issues.
- Though Epstein didn't discuss Clay Buchholz's injury in detail, he acknowledged concern over the right-hander's health.
Red Sox GM Theo Epstein told John Dennis and Dale Arnold that the Red Sox can surrender prospects in the right trade. Speaking on WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan show, Epstein said Boston’s farm system remains strong even after giving up a significant haul for Adrian Gonzalez in the offseason.
"Don't think we're limited just because we made a trade last winter," Epstein said.
But Boston’s most important reinforcements may not arrive in trades. Epstein said the Red Sox aren’t going to do better than injured starter Clay Buchholz on the trade market.
"If you ask me what player do I want out there on this club in all of baseball, if I could name one guy to acquire for this team, it would be just a healthy Clay Buchholz and I think we're going to have that,” Epstein said.
In terms of offense, Josh Reddick has a .378/.432/.671 line 95 plate appearances into the season, so the Red Sox will continue working him into the lineup. Epstein says he and manager Terry Francona intend to give "the best players a chance to impact the game."
John Tomase from the Boston Herald has some notes about several Major League topics in his latest article:
- Tomase reminds us that at the 2009 deadline, the Red Sox reportedly offered the Mariners any five of the following prospects in exchange for Felix Hernandez: Clay Buchholz, Daniel Bard, Michael Bowden, Josh Reddick, Yamaico Navarro, Nick Hagadone, Felix Doubront, and Justin Masterson. While a Boston official disputed the specific names, Tomase says the reports were in the ballpark.
- Regarding a trade though, Tomase quotes King Felix himself as saying that he wants to stay in Seattle: "I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m not trying to think about it. I’d love to stay here (with the Mariners). I’m part of Seattle now and I’d like to be in Seattle."
- San Diego's Anthony Rizzo, acquired in the Adrian Gonzalez trade, is off to a blazing start at Triple-A. Rizzo has posted a monstrous line of .400/.471/.744 with seven homers, eight doubles, and a triple through 102 PAs, but despite that production the Padres aren't giving up on Brad Hawpe yet. Manager Bud Black cites Hawpe's career success, but it'll be hard to ignore his .149/.194/.194 line much longer.
- Manny Ramirez's abrupt retirement had many questioning a Rays' lineup that was struggling to score runs, but as Tomase points out, the Rays have gone 14-5 since Manny called it quits. The Rays were 0-6 with Manny on board.
Tomase's article also features several more quotes from Felix on his appreciation for Seattle as well and is a good read all-around.
After extending Adrian Gonzalez this week, the Red Sox have guaranteed nearly $300MM to their two big offseason acquisitions, Gonzalez and Carl Crawford. However, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, some baseball people feel that Jayson Werth would have made more sense for the Sox than Crawford. One AL GM says he's "not sure that many of us are unhappy they chose Crawford over Werth," adding that Werth seemed to be a better fit for Boston's lefty-heavy lineup. Here are the rest of the highlights from Cafardo's Sunday Notes:
- The Red Sox may not have even been in on Crawford or Werth this winter if they had re-signed Jason Bay a year earlier. A National League GM calls Bay leaving Boston "one of the worst decisions both by a team and by the player," suggesting that both sides miss each other.
- According to Cafardo, Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers was willing to deal Justin Upton to the Red Sox in the offseason, but only if he got the Adrian Gonzalez package or Clay Buchholz in return.
- Several teams have spoken to Omar Minaya about potential job openings. Minaya, who dubs himself a "free agent," says he's still sorting through everything and searching for the best fit, but he could make a decision soon.
- Cafardo points out that spending time on the disabled list could cost Takashi Saito a good chunk of money this season. Currently on the shelf with a hamstring injury, Saito can earn up to five $100K bonuses based on time spent on the active roster.
Links for Monday, as Angels number two prospect Tyler Chatwood prepares for his big league debut against the first place Indians...
- The Red Sox were non-negotiable on getting two club options on Clay Buchholz's contract, reports Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. Buchholz explained, "If it was me and I didn’t have a wife and a kid that I had to take care of, it might have been a decision that we would have thought about a little bit more."
- Teams are locking up their best players earlier and placing increased emphasis on club options, writes Dave Cameron of FanGraphs, and the result may be that "the best players in the game are going to be significantly underpaid during their primes," while the free agent market could become even more inflated.
- Reliever Duaner Sanchez signed with the Long Island Ducks, the team announced. Sanchez hasn't pitched in the Majors since May of '09, his career derailed by a July '06 taxi cab accident. His Ducks teammates include Ruddy Lugo, J.R. House, Lew Ford, and John Rodriguez.
- Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star writes about how Royals owner David Glass changed his tightfisted ways upon hiring Dayton Moore as GM about five years ago. Glass won't rule out keeping his talented wave of top prospects together on long-term deals "regardless of who their agent is."
- Baseball America links: Conor Glassey chatted with potential top draft pick Anthony Rendon, while J.J. Cooper lists the youngest players in every league.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has details on the iPads Carl Crawford's agent Brian Peters distributed as a promotional tool early in the outfielder's free agency. Though GM Theo Epstein said the iPad didn't change his evaluation of Crawford, he was compelled to return the favor with some Red Sox Beats By Dre headphones. First Dr. Dre mention in MLBTR history?
5:08pm: Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com 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.