Clay Buchholz is one of the more overlooked free agents on the market. In his 10 years with the Boston Red Sox, Buchholz appeared in two All-Star Games and won a World Series. He also had brief stints with the Philadelphia Phillies and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Buchholz can be a good candidate for teams looking to improve their pitching roster. Do not let his age fool you: he still has baseball left in him.
Here are five potential landing spots for Clay Buchholz.
The A’s have blown up in 2018, and most did not see them coming. With weapons like Lou Trivino and Blake Treinen, Oakland shaped into a formidable pitching crew last season. Adding a veteran arm like Buccholz can help utilize the momentum the A’s built through the pitcher’s mound. Their relievers are forces to be reckoned with. But the starting rotation could benefit from having the 33-year old ace in their ranks.
If Bucholz were to sign with Oakland and embrace a mentor role, he could take the pitching roster from good to great. Plus, in time, the A’s could have a pitching crew that could rival the Houston Astros as the best in the field. But first things first, Oakland will have to sign him, and better sooner than later.
Boston Red Sox
Buchholz has thrived playing the Boston way. Plus, in recent history, familiar faces returning to the Red has yielded positive results (Alex Cora, anyone?). It is rare that lightning would strike twice. But Buchholz’s return could perpetuate Boston’s surging dominance over the majors. After all, the first 10 years of his career were with Boston. Like Oakland, Boston’s pitching was a key factor in the success of their 2018 campaign. With their arch-rivals making moves to plan their revenge for the ALDS, Boston ought to prepare for what the New York Yankees have to throw at them.
With Cora’s guidance and Buchholz back in Fenway, the Red Sox could combine what worked during their 2013 and 2018 runs. The target on their backs is bigger now than it ever was.
The Braves came ready to fight in 2018 and took home the NL East title. With a roster full of young, hungry players, Atlanta stands as one of the teams who could return to the playoffs in 2019. However, their starting rotation, stats wise, is not where it wants to be yet. Though their relievers show mercy, especially Jesse Biddle and Dan Winkler, their starters will need more help to keep the Braves riding high.
Buchholz could be a great help for Atlanta as they look to keep the division pennant. His stint with Philadelphia could give him an edge and bring back familiar scenarios that he could learn from and execute from memory.
There was no team more feared from the pitcher’s mound than the Houston Astros. They boasted baseball’s best ERA as a team. They also had a stacked starting rotation, that included Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton. With the latter two no longer in the Space City, more pitchers will have to step up and keep the Astros’ dominance rolling.
Though people may see his age as an issue, baseball has seen plenty of pitchers continue to shutdown teams well into their 30s. Plus Buchholz can enter the fray if any of the starters get injured during the 2019 campaign.
San Francisco Giants
The Giants went through a rough patch in 2018. They finished the season 73-89 and second to last in the NL West. Their pitching however, was solid in that season and could be a cornerstone for San Francisco in their comeback. The Giants could benefit from signing Buchholz for 2019.
His experience can bolster the pitching roster and give the other pitchers extra help as they look to get back to the playoffs. Though he is not the solution to all of San Fran’s problems, he could remove one from the list and let the franchise work on the rest.
Featured image courtesy of beyondtheboxscore.com
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