Yesterday the Red Sox traded pitcher Clay Buchholz to the Phillies for second baseman / DH prospect Josh Tobias. Before I give my thoughts on the "trade" I have to confess two things; when I saw Buchholz was pitching for Boston most times my first thought was "take the over!" and my second thought usually was "hey Buchholz does kinda look like Hilary Swank".
This was a "trade" only in the sense that Philadelphia included a player on their end. This really was a straight salary dump on the part of the Red Sox. Buchholz's $13.5 million contract had to come off the books to give Boston some in-season flexibility and to get the team under the salary cap. The trade happened now because Dave Dombrowski wanted the Red Sox front office to wrap business up before the holidays.
Buchholz as a player was maddening to most Red Sox fans. He would have seasons like 2010 (17-7 with a 2.33 ERA) or 2013 (12-1 with a 1.74 ERA) but he'd also have seasons where he just sucked or was hurt (which was often). And Buchholz has the potential to continue to be maddening to Red Sox fans. If he pitches effectively for the Phillies there's a real potential for him to be traded for a much better prospect than what the Red Sox got in Josh Tobias. And if the team that trades for him is say the Toronto Blue Jays (Buchholz has a career 11-3 record and a 2.63 ERA at the Rogers Centre) - can you imagine how Boston fans will react if he beats them in a big second half game next season? Maddening!
Even though he could be maddening - I wish Clay Buchholz the best of luck with his new team. Maybe a change of scenery will help him to finally reach his potential. And I'd be remiss if I didn't say "Thank you Clay for being a big part of the 2013 World Series champs - there's so few members of that team still on the roster."