The Philadelphia Phillies have acquired right-handed pitcher Clay Buchholz from the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday.
In exchange for Buchholz, the Red Sox have received minor league second baseman Josh Tobias. In the trade, the Phillies will be picking up all of Buchholz's remaining salary.
The deal provides Phiadelphia some much-needed rotation depth in the transition period between rebuilding and contention. Buchholz is signed through just 2017, but he should be a nice bridge to the top prospects coming up the pipeline.
And if Buchholz can return to old form, he could provide some major upside in Philadelphia, who may decide to keep him like they did with Jeremy Hellickson over the past calendar year.
The Phillies' rotation, even during a rebuilding period, was still among the better staffs in the Majors. They ranked 11th in WAR, mainly due to a good strikeout-to-walk ratio. Their ERA, on the other hand, ranked 18th.
Regardless, they saw improvement from many prospects, and a rotation of Aaron Nola, Jeremy Hellickson, Vince Velasquez, Jerad Eickhoff and Buchholz does not seem to be bad by any means. Good years from each of those pitchers could make the Phillies, at the very least, competitive in a tough NL East division.
As for the Red Sox, Buchholz just no longer fit in their system. With the acquisition of Chris Sale earlier this offseason, Boston just had one too many starters, and a trade appeared inevitable. The question, rather, was whether Drew Pomeranz or Buchholz would be dealt, and the result was obviously the latter.
The 32-year-old Buchholz has had plenty of mixed results throughout his career. He is a two-time All-Star, in 2010 and 2013, but lost his starting rotation spot just last season. The Phillies hope that he will be able to rebound for them in 2017.
Last season, Buchholz went 8-10 with a 4.78 ERA over 139.1 innings pitched, coming in 37 games (21 starts). He posted a poor 93-55 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and his FIP (5.06) and xFIP (5.32) suggest that his numbers were even better than they should have been. According to FanGraphs, he was worth just 0.5 WAR.
Buchholz is signed through 2017 and is owed $13.5 million.
As for Tobias, the 24-year-old was a 10th round pick by the Phillies back in 2015 and posted a .291/.362/.422 triple slash line with nine homers and 69 RBI over 561 plate appearances in Class-A and Class-A Advanced.
FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman was the first to report the Phillies' trade of Buchholz. FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal was the first to report the inclusion of Tobias.