The Phillies are still in rebuild mode, so it comes as a slight surprise that the team announced Tuesday morning that they had acquired righty Clay Buchholz from the Red Sox, in a trade that sent second base prospect Josh Tobias up north.
Philadelphia will now have two veteran arms atop their developing rotation, with Jeremy Hellicksonset to return and Vincent Velasquez, Aaron Nola, Jared Eickhoff and others likely to viefor a spot on the starting rotation in spring training.
“We are excited to welcome Clay Buchholz to Philadelphia,” Phillies GM Matt Klentak said. “Clay had a very productive tenure with the Red Sox, and we look forward to seeing what he can do in a Phillies uniform. He is a welcome addition to our young starting rotation.”
Buchholz has been an AL All-Star twice, but had a rough 2015 going8-10 with a 4.78 ERA in a career-high 37 games (21 of them starts). He did come on late in the year, with5-1 record with a 2.80 ERA and held opposing hitters to a .212 batting average.
Buchholzhas a no-hitter under his belt as well as six postseason appearances. The 32-year-old has a career mark of81-61 with a 3.96 ERA in 206 games (188 starts).
For those curious as to why the Phillies — who in all liklihood won’t contend in 2017 — would acquire a player like Buchholz, perhaps it’s about value. If he plays well, Philadelphia would have a trade chip come deadline time and could potentially add more young talent. He also would be a mentor to some young and upcoming hurlers.
Tobias was a 10th round draft pick for Philly last year and the 24-year-oldhit a combined .291 with 31 doubles, nine home runs, 69 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 127 games.