Blue Jays add ex-Red Sox righty Clay Buchholz on 1-year deal

The Toronto Blue Jays have signed right-hander Clay Buchholz to a one-year, $3-million US contract. He went 7-2 with a 2.01 earned-run average in 16 starts for the Arizona Diamondbacks last season.

Veteran starter posted 2.01 ERA in 16 starts with Diamondbacks last season

New Blue Jays pitcher Clay Buchholz, who won a World Series with the Red Sox in 2013, posted a 2.01 earned-run average across 16 starts last season with the Diamondbacks. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images/File)

The Toronto Blue Jays have signed right-hander Clay Buchholz to a one-year, $3-million US contract.

The 34-year-old went 7-2 with a 2.01 earned-run average in 16 starts and 98.1 innings for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2018.

A two-time all-star, Buchholz won the 2013 World Series with the Boston Red Sox in 2013. He has a career ERA of 3.86.

His deal with the Blue Jays means a return to the American League East, where his former team is coming off another World Series title. The New York Yankees are also formidable. It's a division Buchholz is familiar with, but now he's at the other end of the spectrum, with a Toronto team that lost 89 games last year.

"You have to have a short memory in this division, with the good or the bad, because there's always tomorrow, and each game that you play in division in the AL East, it's a tough game," he said. "You have to know how to take the good with the bad, and go about your business the next day."

Injury history

Buchholz pitched a decade with Boston, showing flashes of greatness but struggling with consistency. He threw a no-hitter in 2007 in his second major league start, then went 2-9 with a 6.75 ERA the following year. He was an all-star in 2010 and 2013, and in the latter of those two seasons, he went 12-1 with a 1.74 ERA, eventually helping the Red Sox to a World Series title.

But even that 2013 season included injury problems, and only four times has Buchholz made more than 18 starts in a season. The Red Sox traded him to Philadelphia after an unimpressive 2016, and he made only two starts for the Phillies before an arm injury that required surgery.

To make room for Buchholz on the 40-man roster, the Blue Jays designated outfielder Dwight Smith Jr., for assignment.

Buchholz said he's been throwing, and he's hoping to get up to speed soon in his pre-season preparation. The Blue Jays have Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez at the top of their rotation, but there's a lot of uncertainty beyond those two.

"Obviously, if I would have had this opportunity a month ago, I would have been here a month ago, and I would have been ready," Buchholz said. "I told them I would keep throwing bullpens, and then once we progress to live BPs, then we'll go from there, and I'll keep an open mind with everything."​

He reached a minor league deal last March with the Kansas City Royals. Then he was released and signed a minor league contract with Arizona. He made six starts in the minors in all.

"I had to swallow a lot of pride last year to do that," Buchholz said. "Sort of felt sorry for myself there for the beginning part of it, but got over that pretty quick, and I'm glad I did it. It helped me. I learned some things last year about myself that I didn't really know, and became a little bit different pitcher."

With files from The Associated Press