Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe has the year-by-year breakdown of Clay Buchholz’s new contract extension with the Red Sox:
Signing bonus: $1 million
2012 – $3.5 million
2013 – $5.5 million
2014 – $7.7 million
2015 – $12 million
2016 – $13 million team option or $245,000 buyout
2017 – $13.5 million team option or $500,000 buyout
Add it all up and he’ll get at least $30.5 million for four years and can earn up to $57.25 million for six years.
I’d never blame a young pitcher for taking $30 million in guaranteed money, especially when he’s just 26 years old and still making close to the MLB minimum, so Buchholz certainly did plenty well for himself. With that said, this strikes me as a very team-friendly contract for the Red Sox.
They bought out all three seasons of arbitration and his first season of free agency for $30.5 million and have reasonable team options with remarkably small buyouts for his second and third seasons of free agency. If he gets hurt they’re out $30.5 million, which is a relatively small sum in the world of long-term extensions. And if he stays healthy and effective they locked Buchholz up through age 32 for $57.25 million, which is probably pretty close to what he’d get on the open market for those three free agent years alone come 2015.