Left-hander Ryan Buchter has opted to become a free agent rather than accept an outright assignment to the Angels’ alternate training site, the team announced. Buchter was designated for assignment earlier this week and then outrighted off the 40-man roster once he cleared waivers.
Buchter inked a minor league deal with the Halos in February and pitched in 10 games for the club this season, posting a 4.50 ERA and eight strikeouts over six innings pitched. Uncharacteristically for the 33-year-old, control was an issue, as Buchter issued six walks over his six frames of work.
Over 214 career innings with the Braves, Padres, Royals, and A’s from 2014-19, Buchter has quietly posted some strong numbers, with a 2.86 ERA, 9.9 K/9, and 2.45 K/BB rate. Home runs (1.1 HR/9) have been an issue, and ERA predictors have been less impressed by Buchter’s output — prior to the 2020 season, Buchter had a career 4.01 FIP, 4.74 xFIP, and 4.01 SIERA.
Given Buchter’s past track record and a history of good performance against both left-handed and right-handed batters, it is understandable why he’d bet on landing another contract with a big league team, rather than biding his time at the Angels’ alternate training site.