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The Red Sox to pick up Clay Buchholz’s $13.5 million option

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From the World Series to the hot stove in less than 12 hours. Baseball never sleeps, folks.

Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports that the Red Sox will soon announce that they are picking up Clay Buchholz’s $13.5 million option for 2017.

Buchholz had a forgettable 2016, posting an ugly 4.78 ERA in 139.1 as a swingman. It’s a weak free agent market, however, and the Sox can’t necessarily assume they could replace even that level of production on the open market. If they declined the option, meanwhile, they would be unlikely to keep Buchholz in the fold because he’d actually look pretty good to a lot of teams.

Not that this is just a security play. Buchholz rebounded in the second half, so it’s not crazy to think that the 32-year-old former ace can rebound for a full year in 2017.

Cubs acquire Martín Maldonado from the Royals

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Last night Cubs catcher Willson Contreras was placed on the injured list with a strained muscle in his right foot. That injury inspired the Cubs to go out and get another catcher. They acquired Martín Maldonado in a trade with Kansas City in exchange for lefty Mike Montgomery, in a deal that was announced after the Cubs loss to the Reds.

Maldonado, 32, was a Gold Glove winner in 2017 with the Angels. At the moment he’s hitting .227 with six homers and 17 RBIs in 74 games. Obviously, though, defense is his calling card, as he’s a .220 career hitter with 57 homers and 210 RBIs in 686 games.

Montgomery, 30, is 1-2 with a 5.67 ERA in 20 relief appearances for the Cubs this year. He’s heading back to where his pro career began. He was drafted by Kanas City in 2008, though he was traded away in the James Shields/Wade David/Wil Myers deal in 2012. He made his big league debut for Seattle in 2015. Dayton Moore said last night that the Royals plan to use Montgomery in the rotation as a replacement for Homer Bailey, who was dealt to Oakland on Sunday.