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.
Lost in the nifty base running by Dustin Pedroia that won Sunday’s game against the Rays, the Red Sox set a new major league record by striking out 11 batters in a row, per Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. Starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out the final six Rays he faced and reliever Heath Hembree struck out five Rays in a row after that. Tom Seaver had the previous consecutive strikeout streak of 10, set on April 22, 1970 against the Padres.
The Red Sox also set a team record with 23 strikeouts in total: 13 by Rodriguez, five by Hembree, one by Matt Barnes, and four by Joe Kelly. Per Abraham, that’s the most strikeouts in a 10-inning game since at least 1913 and the most in a game of any length since 2004.
For Rodriguez, Sunday marked the first double-digit strikeout game of his career. He has pitched quite well since returning to the rotation at the start of the second half. Over 13 starts, the lefty has a 3.10 ERA with a 70/23 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.
Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.
The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.
Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.
It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.