Boston Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz will be moving to the National League, as he has been traded to the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies will send minor league second baseman Josh Tobias to the Red Sox in exchange for Buchholz.
Source: #Phillies trading minor-league 2B Josh Tobias for Buchholz.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 20, 2016
Clay Buchholz Traded to Philadelphia Phillies
Buchholz, 32, has been with the Red Sox since 2007, spanning his entire 10-year career. He has been a model of inconsistency with the Red Sox throughout the years. While he has gone 81-61 with a 3.96 ERA, he struggled to put up back-to-back productive seasons on a regular basis. 2010-2011 were the only back-to-back seasons that Buchholz was able to pitch with ERAs of below four, however he only pitched in 14 games in 2011.
Health has also been a struggle with Buchholz. He has never pitched in at least 20 games in back-to-back years.
That is not to say that Buchholz was a bad pitcher his whole career. While he hasn’t been able to pitch consistently well, he has been able to pitch well at times. He was an All-Star in 2010 and 2013. In 2010, he went 17-7 with a 2.33 ERA and 120 strikeouts in 173.2 innings. The 2013 campaign began to look like Buchholz’s best season before he went down with an injury. Still, he was able to go 12-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 96 strikeouts in only 16 starts.
No Room for Buchholz
The Red Sox had no room for Buchholz in the rotation last season amidst another poor year. They moved him to the bullpen after he put up a 6.35 ERA in his first 10 starts. He was later slotted back in the rotation and pitched quite well to end the season.
After trading for Chris Sale, the Red Sox had even less of a reason to keep Buchholz this year. They now have Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello, Drew Pomeranz, Steven Wright, and Eduardo Rodriguez. Moving Buchholz also clears $13.5 million off the Red Sox pay roll, which gets them under the luxury tax penalty threshold.
The Phillies will now have a jam-packed rotation, but not to the caliber of the Red Sox. They have Buchholz, Jeremy Hellickson, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez, who will mostly likely fill the first four spots of the rotation. Then they have plenty of competition for the fifth spot, as Zach Eflin, Alec Asher, Adam Morgan, Jake Thompson, and Aaron Nola can all possibly be considered.
The other player in this deal, Josh Tobias, is a 24-year-old selected in the 10th round of the 2015 Draft. He has played in 188 games these last two years throughout Rookie-Level Williamsport, Class-A Lakewood, and Class-A Advanced Clearwater. In those 188 games, he hit .301/.362/.439 with 50 doubles, six triples, 22 stolen bases, 13 home runs, and 106 RBI.