Clay Buchholz returns to American League East by agreeing to deal with Blue Jays

John Tomase
March 01, 2019 - 10:22 am
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It's now the Toronto Blue Jays' turn to see if they can figure out the enigma of Clay Buchholz.

The former Red Sox right-hander has agreed to a deal with the Jays, according to MLB.com, and will compete for a spot either at the back of their rotation or in the bullpen. Though Buchholz frequently frustrated Red Sox fans, the issue was never ability, but durability.

During 10 years in Boston, Buchholz threw a no-hitter, made a pair of All-Star teams, and finished sixth in the 2010 Cy Young voting. After surgery to repair a torn flexor in his forearm limited him to two starts with the Phillies in 2017, Buchholz returned to form with Arizona last year, going 7-2 with a 2.01 ERA in 16 starts.

Unfortunately, another flexor strain ended his season early, which has been a common theme since he threw a career-high 189.1 innings in 2012. His 2013 might qualify as one of MLB's greatest seasons that wasn't. Buchholz went 12-1 with a 1.74 ERA, but neck and shoulder injuries once again limited him to 16 starts, though he at least managed to return and pitch hurt in the postseason en route to a World Series title.

Now 34, Buchholz will try to crack a Blue Jays rotation that includes Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, Matt Shoemaker and Clayton Richard in the top four spots, with lefty Ryan Borucki and right-hander Sean Reid-Foley serving as Buchholz's primary competition at No. 5, per MLB.

For his career, Buchholz is 88-64 with a 3.86 ERA. All but seven of those wins came with the Red Sox.

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