The Red Sox are “very concerned” about Clay Buchholz

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Alex Speier of WEEI.com reports that the Red Sox are “very concerned” that Clay Buchholz is dealing with a structural issue in his back — perhaps a broken bone as opposed to the muscle strain currently listed as what’s ailing him —  and may not be back any time soon.

This is trouble, and may intensify the Sox’ quest to land an arm.  There has been talk about Ubaldo Jimenez, but the price is probably still pretty high.  Given that Boston has a three game lead in the East and a very comfortable cushion over the next best wild card contender behind the Yankees, it’s probably not the time to do something silly.

Astros talking to Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole about extensions

Justin Verlander
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It’s extension season and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros — who already agreed to an extension with Alex Bregman — are discussing contract extensions with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.

Funny thing about Verlander, by the way: when he got his current $180 million deal, most people fell into the “oh, there’s an overpay!” column. What’s more, this past winter, when everyone was talking about how bad it is to give guys big long term deals, Verlander’s name was notably absent in the conversation despite the fact that his deal has turned out to be quite good. I suppose that says something about how good the anti-long-term deal folks are at cherrypicking.

That being said, Rosenthal says “it would be an upset” if either Verlander or Cole signed extensions. I can see that. Verlander is locked up this year and has a vesting option for 2020, and a lot can happen in a year or two. Cole is a Scott Boras client and Boras clients tend to hit the market rather than sign extensions. Perhaps their former teammate, Dallas Keuchel‘s, terrible experience on the free agent market this winter will alter that calculus. Hard to say.