Often times, after a phenomenal season at the major league level, a player signs a lucrative contract extension. Clay Buchholz and the Boston Red Sox are apparently in no rush for that; not at the moment at least.
According to WEEI.com, the Red Sox have not approached the starting pitcher about a contract extension.
“I haven’t spoken money with anybody,” said Buchholz. “It’s been basically go out and play until somebody approaches me about it. That’s sort of how I’m looking at it.”
The 26-year-old Buchholz made only $443,000 in 2010, a season in which he had a 17-7 record with an incredible 2.33 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. He was even named AL Pitcher of the Month for his 4-0 record and sparkling 1.03 in the month of August last season.
Such stellar statistics at a young age may make him worthy of a contract extension. Several other young pitchers signed big deals after having terrific seasons with a low salary.
At 25, Josh Johnson signed a four-year, $39 million extension with the Marlins after a 15-5 season with a 3.23 ERA in 2009.
At 25, Zack Greinke signed a four-year, $38 million extension after a 13-10 season with a 3.47 ERA in 2008.
At 25, fellow teammate Jon Lester signed a five-year, $30 million extension after a 16-8 season with a 3.21 ERA in 2008 and a low $421,500 salary.
Making $450,000 last season, Yovani Gallardo signed a six-year, $42.5 million extension in April after a 13-12 season with a 3.73 ERA at 24.
And recently, 24-year-old Johnny Cueto, who made only $445,000 last season, signed a four-year, $27 million extension after a 12-7 season with a 3.64 ERA in 2010.
Despite the remarkable season Buchholz had last year in Boston and his low salary, he is more focused on having another terrific season and improving even more.
“This is a game of adjustments,” said Buchholz told redsox.com. “You have to adjust to everybody. All the scouting the hitters do, they know what pitches you throw on certain counts, and then you have to go back and look at video of them. It’s more like a chess match. I expect it to be another fun year, but at the same time, we’re going to have to work a little harder to get where we’re at.”
Buchholz may have made less than five-percent of what John Lackey and Josh Beckett each did last year, but in the near future he should be signing a deal that rewards him for his early success in the majors.
With arbitration eligibility looming, while playing for a team that’s earned a reputation as a club who is willing to lock up good, young talent, it’s probably safe to say that Buchholz won’t be extension-less for much longer.