The Red Sox haven’t told righty Clay Buchholz whether they plan to exercise his option, WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford writes. Buchholz’s contract calls for a $13.5MM option or a $500K buyout for 2017. The Red Sox have until five days after the World Series to decide. They also had an option on Buchholz for this past season, and by this point last year, they had already told him they planned to exercise it, Bradford notes.
Whether Boston would exercise Buchholz’s option after a disappointing season (4.78 ERA, 6.0 K/9, 3.7 BB/9) in which he lost his rotation spot has lately been a topic of speculation. Most recent reporting, though, has indicated that the Sox are leaning toward picking up the option.
That would seem to be a defensible decision, depending on how the Red Sox feel about Buchholz’s performance down the stretch. After making mechanical adjustments and taking a two-week break from appearing in games in early July, Buchholz fared well in the second half (when he had a 3.22 ERA). His struggles early in the season could perhaps be seen as related to a flexor strain that cost him the last two and a half months of an otherwise-strong 2015 campaign. He’s also only 32 and has a long record of at least modest success as a starter. Also, with a weak free agent market for starting pitching, he could potentially have trade value even if the Red Sox don’t have concrete plans for him.