While Darryl added this to the end of the article he posted today, I thought it was probably a good idea pull this out on it’s own.
The Boston Red Sox and Clay Buchholz have come to terms on a four year contract worth $30M that will buy out all three seasons of his arbitration eligibility. The contract will go into effect starting in 2012, and will include two club options for 2016 and 2017. According to Sean McAdam of Comcast Sports Net New England, he will earn $3.5M in 2012, $5.5M in 2013, $7.7M in 2014, $12M in 2015, $13M in 2016 (opt), $13.5M in 2017 (opt). If both options are picked up, the contract would max out at $46.5M.
Earlier this afternoon on Twitter, Gordon Edes had this to say about Clay’s new extension:
“Getting the extension out of the way should mean one less distraction for Buchholz. Not an excuse, but imagine it was on his mind Saturday”
Perhaps he’s right. Maybe the looming contract extension served as a distraction while he was on the mound. Forgive me for not being convinced. I’m not trying to underplay the psychological card, but I think people grab for that card a little too frequently; especially when they feel a certain player is psychologically fragile. Darryl covers this pretty well, but it appears that Buchholz’s problem stems from mediocre fastball command, a loopy curve ball, and not being able to keep the ball down.
Either way, this looks to be a great contract for both Clay and the Red Sox. Assuming the average cost of a win (above the replacement level) remains at $5M during the duration of the contract, he would only need to produce 9.3 WAR (or 1.55 WAR per season) in order to justify his salary. If the average cost of a win continues to inflate at the average 5% rate per year, the deal looks even better.