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Thread: The Case for Signing Clay Buchholz

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    Member Rojo Rijo's Avatar
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    The Case for Signing Clay Buchholz

    The Reds are said to still be in the market for starting pitching. There has been little information on potential additions outside of Sonny Gray and Dallas Keuchel. I still believe that until the Harper and Machado dominos fall things will be slow and there's no telling when that will happen. Maybe the Reds are still in on more costly options, maybe they aren't.

    At this point it seems Alex Wood, Tanner Roark, and Luis Castillo are firmly entrenched into the rotation. Anthony DeSclafani is likely the next arm in that group barring a terrible spring or an injury. After that there's obviously a plethora of options but I won't go any further off topic discussing those.

    Clay Buchholz Profile:
    Age - 34 years (35 in August)
    Height - 6'3", Weight 190 lbs
    Career Innings - 1,273.1

    Throws 5 pitches:
    Cutter - 24.5% - 85-87 mph
    Four Seamer - 24% - 90-91 mph
    Sinker - 17.5% - 90-91 mph
    Curve - 17.2% - 76 mph
    Changeup - 16.9% - 77-78 mph

    *While coming down on his velocity in 2018 (remember only 7.1 innings in 2017) on his four seamer, sinker, and cutter around 2 mph his velocity decreased on his changeup from 80-82 mph to 77-78 mph, going from a 10-12 mph difference between his FB and CHGP to a 12-14 mph difference.

    2018 Stats:
    98.1 innings, 2.01 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 215 ERA+, 3.47 FIP, 81/22 K/BB

    Pitches - 1419, Batted Balls 286, Barrell% 6.3, Exit Velocity 87.8, Launch angle 12.9, Hard hit% 36.4, K% 20.6, BB% 5.6.

    Buchholz had a bounce back year in 2018 with Arizona after a partial tear in the flexor-pronator mass of his right arm ended his Phillies 2017 campaign on 4/11/17. Buchholz had previously been phenomenal with Boston in 2013, had a horrid 2014, a much improved 2015, and then a down 2016. Buchholz had signed a minor league deal with Kansas City in March 2018 but then opted out on May 1st as part of his deal was the ability to opt out if he wasn't on the ML roster. He was signed by Arizona on May 4th, spent 17.1 innings between A+/AAA before being called up May 20th. He then went on to make 16 starts for Arizona, 6 at home, 10 on the road. In those 16 starts he only gave up more than 3 ERs one time, allowing 5. He allowed 3 ERs twice, and the other 13 starts - 2 ER three times, 1 ER eight times, and no ER three times. He had one pitch count in the 50s, one in the 60s, five in the 80s, seven in the 90s, and went 100+ twice. He only walked more than 2 batters on one occasion and typically turned in minimal strikeouts (2-8). Buchholz ended 2018 with a right forearm flexor strain, the same location which required surgery in 2017 and cost him his entire season.

    Buchholz would likely come very cheap and would be a great fit in GABP with his ability to generate weak contact (something everyone points out as a + for Dallas Keuchel, another low strikeout arm). I know there have been reports of the Reds not wanting anymore 1 year arms so maybe a 2 year deal with the second year being a club option. Arizona gave him 1.5 million coming off a injury. He didn't require any surgery this offseason but the re-injury should drive the price down a little. If the Reds could bring him in the fold for say, 2-3 million in 2019 with a 4-5 million club option in 2020 I think it would be an investment with potential for extremely high return value.
    Last edited by Rojo Rijo; 01-12-2019 at 09:41 AM.

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    Re: The Case for Signing Clay Buchholz

    Really talented, but damaged goods. You can't guarantee him much money at all.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

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    Member americanoutlaw1's Avatar
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    Re: The Case for Signing Clay Buchholz

    I'd be 100% on board with Buchholz. Might be the kind of gamble the Reds need to take to land a high caliber starter if they want to keep the high end kids and not dish out another Homer Bailey type contract.

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    Re: The Case for Signing Clay Buchholz

    Minor league contract with incentives only

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    BEETTLEBUG (01-13-2019)

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    Re: The Case for Signing Clay Buchholz

    We should be aiming higher right now. I'd prefer at least a stable mid rotation guy who can be counted on to give you 170+ innings a year over the next 3 years.

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    Re: The Case for Signing Clay Buchholz

    I think we have to leave room for some of last year's pitchers to pitch. We don't want a rotation with five of them but one or two seems like a good idea to me. I would feel differently if we were a clear playoff team.

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    Red Raindog (01-12-2019)

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    Overton Window Breaker WrongVerb's Avatar
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    Re: The Case for Signing Clay Buchholz

    Quote Originally Posted by Crosley58 View Post
    I think we have to leave room for some of last year's pitchers to pitch. We don't want a rotation with five of them but one or two seems like a good idea to me. I would feel differently if we were a clear playoff team.
    Given injuries and whatnot, there will be room for pitchers to complete for those slots.
    "Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. " -- Carl Sagan

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    Re: The Case for Signing Clay Buchholz

    Quote Originally Posted by Crosley58 View Post
    I think we have to leave room for some of last year's pitchers to pitch. We don't want a rotation with five of them but one or two seems like a good idea to me. I would feel differently if we were a clear playoff team.
    Finding starts for pitchers is almost never a problem. It's almost always the other way around.

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    The Operator (01-12-2019)

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    Re: The Case for Signing Clay Buchholz

    I'd sign Bucholz & Pomeranz. In my opinion the Reds need to add as many affordable high-upside arms as possible. Maybe in the rotation, maybe in the pen, just need to look at acquiring quality within the current budget which isn't a whole lot more it seems.

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    Member Bourgeois Zee's Avatar
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    Re: The Case for Signing Clay Buchholz

    Quote Originally Posted by herbdizzle View Post
    I'd sign Bucholz & Pomeranz. In my opinion the Reds need to add as many affordable high-upside arms as possible. Maybe in the rotation, maybe in the pen, just need to look at acquiring quality within the current budget which isn't a whole lot more it seems.
    Signing both would perhaps be a clever way to both limit innings and injury.

    Might also be intriguing just for setting them up against predominantly lefty and righty lineups.

    Or just piggy-backing one guy with the other every five days-- four innings or twice through the lineup, then out. Do it again with the other guy.

    If one breaks out, the other could be used as a long man or even middle relief arm.

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    Member 757690's Avatar
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    Re: The Case for Signing Clay Buchholz

    This is a smart idea, and a very well researched and written original post. Someone should send it to the Reds.
    ďWeíre going to get the pitching.Ē -Bob Castellini

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    Rojo Rijo (01-14-2019)

  21. #12
    Making A Pass By GABP OhioRiverBarge's Avatar
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    Re: The Case for Signing Clay Buchholz

    Iím at the point where if it isnít Keuchel, Kluber, MadBum, or Gray, Iíd rather take a chance on one of our younger arms getting those innings. If itís a smaller deal, I might be convinced of Miley or Gio, but even with them itís just as much of a crapshoot as it is to try both Mahle and Disco in the rotation for the full season or giving Reed some innings.

    Buchholz is a wild card of wild cards. And I donít want to pay for his 98 innings last year that were admittedly dominant, but overwhelmingly an outlier

    Though I do want to give credit where itís due. Solid original post and itís a very creative idea, Iím just not confident signing a 34 year old to two years who has dealt with injuries and random very bad years scattered throughout his career. Give Mahle and Disco full seasons. See what they can do on that back end of the rotation.
    Last edited by OhioRiverBarge; 01-13-2019 at 02:13 PM.
    "In our sundown perambulations of late through the outer parts of Brooklyn, we have observed several parties of youngsters playing 'base,' a certain game of ball. We wish such sights were more common among us...The game of ball is glorious..." -Walt Whitman, 1846

  22. #13
    Member Kinsm's Avatar
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    Re: The Case for Signing Clay Buchholz

    1 year, ~4M$ with incentives for GS and IP tell him he's competing with Mahle for the 5th spot out of camp, if he doesn't win it he is the longman



    (though I think he'd decline it)

    - - - Updated - - -

    If the Reds can't get an ace, then they need more proven depth.

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  24. #14
    Member Rojo Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: The Case for Signing Clay Buchholz

    I really think with a team that is going to be offensively driven, signing a guy that was able to limit damage at a very successful rate would be a wise investment. Especially considering how cheap he'd be compared to others. He wont cost prospects or 80 million dollars and he was a 3.2 WAR arm last year.

    This team is going to score a lot of runs this summer and I think the Wood and Roark acquisitions are indicative of a club that is focusing on non power arms who can consistently minimize damage. If healthy and if his change up is what it was last summer he's a perfect fit for the Reds if they really are looking to add another arm to the rotation.

  25. #15
    Member GADawg's Avatar
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    Re: The Case for Signing Clay Buchholz

    For the first bunch of seasons of his career I thought his first name was “Lesterand”


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