Re: Should BEN look to move Clay Buchholz ??????
posted at 12/10/2013 7:28 PM EST
If we look to our other successful organizations that operate on a budget, the Rays and the A's we can learn a thing or two. First of all, they trade a player when his value is high in order to pry away a top starting pitching prospect from another team.
A good example of this are the rumors of Price being shopped for a pitcher like Taijuan Walker. Now I'm not saying that Clay isn't without an amazing amount of talent, but it has to be fully understood that he will always be an injury risk. It is drastically higher for him than most pitchers his age IMO. He had good enough numbers this year that a team that is serious about getting an ace level pitcher would be interested and would pay a king's randsom.
The initial reaction that I had when contemplating this was of a negative nature. After sitting on it for a little bit, I'm thinking that this would be the best course of action for a smart team that is looking to improve the long term health of the team.
Clay is cheap enough now that he won't make us give money back in a deal and he is signed to a very friendly team contract. If the return for Clay was Taijuan Walker or Stanton who would fill a need for years to come at less money initially... would you consider it? Think about it... Price is only controlled for two more years. Clay is on a team friendly deal until 2017 and could be viewed as an ace to build a team around. I could see a very real interest from the Mariners and D-Backs... not to mention the Angels and Dodgers.
Clay has me severely concerned over his long term health as well as many other fans. I think in this case, where there is smoke, there might actually be fire. I know Pedro was always dissed for having a body that wouldn't hold up to the rigors of MLB pitching, but I am drastically more concerned with Clay's long term outlook. The dude looks like a meth head, he is so skinny. He has had some really odd medical problems and does not pitch well when he is not 100%.
The fact that the Sox medical staff was never able to find the problem with Clay's neck/shoulder/lat or whatever his problem was has me really worried. Some guys can pitch well when they don't have their best stuff and besides the playoffs this year in a small sample size, I have yet to see the same with Clay.
We won a world series this year in spite of Clay being down all year. We were consistent enough to never lose 3 games in a row all year because we had consistent starters who took their turn. Besides Clay, we were very lucky and healthy on the most part with our starters. I would rather take his money and invest it into Lester long term to be honest.
So don't shoot me, but if Ben had the marbles to make the Punto trade... I think he has them to make a Clay trade while his value is at an all time high. I also think that he should do that move if it is available and makes this team stronger in the long run.