|Notes and Observations Week 15: Patriots Blow Out Dolphins 41-13; Clinch AFC East||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Defense, Special Teams Carry Home Team||Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 15||Right Idea? Red Sox Bring in Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson|
The Red Sox’ front office and management has made one thing very clear during their tenure: they are dedicated to putting a competitive team on the field now and in the future. As part of that plan Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester and now Clay Buchholz have all been approached with and successfully signed to long-term extensions. The deal with Buchholz is worth an estimated $30 million over four years and buys out Buchholz’s three arbitration-eligible seasons as well as his first year of free agency. Also included are two team options to cover an additional two years of free agency.
The 26 year-old righty is coming of a season where he posted a 2.33 ERA, 1.203 WHIP, and 1.79 K/BB over 173.2 innings, as well as appearing in his first All-Star Game. Of course, Buchholz also has a no-hitter to his credit from 2007, where he shut down the Baltimore Orioles.
Entering 2011, the Red Sox are expecting Buchholz to build on his breakout 2010, and, despite two poor outings to start the season, remain a rotation member for years to come. With the signing of Clay Buchholz, the Red Sox gain cost certainty and positional flexibility; all five current rotation members are signed through 2012 and all but Daisuke Matsuzaka are signed through 2013.
It was just a few months ago that Buchholz himself mentioned that he would be interested in a contract extension similar to the one signed by fellow rotation member Jon Lester. Taking a look at the comparable young starters who have signed extensions of their own showed Buchholz to match up pretty well. The Sox’ rotation may have gotten off to a shaky start, but with this contract, the future looks much more stable.