One year ago, Buchholz watched as the Red Sox traded every member of the rotation besides him. Jake Peavy, gone. Felix Doubront, gone. Jon Lester, gone. John Lackey, gone. Just like that, Buchholz became the elder statesman of Boston’s pitching staff.
Could the Red Sox complete the revamp this season by trading Buchholz amid their struggles? It seems very unlikely — Buchholz is pitching well and major league sources recently told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford that Boston has shown no interest in dealing the right-hander — but it’s a possibility that has been broached on talk radio and in certain bowels of the Internet.
Buchholz isn’t paying the chatter much mind.
“Yeah, unless something crazy happens, I expect to be here,” Buchholz told Bradford of remaining with the Red Sox through at least 2017, when his contract expires. “I’ve always called this place home. (Trades) happen, and it’s happened to a lot of guys, where they walk in and they’re told they’re somewhere. That’s the business part of it and I think everybody understands that.
“I would love to be here throughout the next couple of years and everything goes well sign another extension. That’s sort of how I look at it.”
The Red Sox hold a $13 million club option on Buchholz for 2016 and a $13.5 million club option for 2017. Both are very reasonable, particularly given his success of late. Buchholz has looked a lot like his 2013 self this season with the exception of a few hiccups and such pitchers don’t grow on trees.
But the Red Sox entered Friday sitting 10 games under .500 (32-42). And while general manager Ben Cherington hasn’t ruled out potentially adding major league players, rather than subtracting such pieces, it’s reasonable to wonder whether the Red Sox will become sellers at the 2015 Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline if they don’t make up ground in the coming weeks.
Buchholz is one player who could fetch a healthy return because of both his recent success and his favorable contract. The Pittsburgh Pirates and others scouted Buchholz’s last start, according to The Boston Globe, only fueling speculation.
“This is obviously the only place I’ve ever been,” Buchholz told Bradford. “Being here and knowing how good this place is to play when the team is winning and everybody is doing well, there’s no reason why anybody would want to leave here.
“I’ve heard it from multiple guys coming from other organizations, that they’re pretty top-notch in terms of how they do things around here. As a player, that’s all you can expect.”
Buchholz probably will stay put as the Red Sox look to rebound as quickly as possible. And that’s cool with the 30-year-old, who already has witnessed the unpredictability of baseball firsthand.
Thumbnail photo via Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports Images
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