Cincinnati Reds free agency preview: Starting pitcher Clay Buchholz

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 20: Clay Buchholz #32 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the New York Mets during their game at Citi Field on May 20, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 20: Clay Buchholz #32 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the New York Mets during their game at Citi Field on May 20, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /
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The Cincinnati Reds are in serious need of starting pitching this offseason. Blog Red Machine is going to check out a few potential free agents who could help. Today we’ll preview Clay Buchholz.

Free agency doesn’t start for a few more weeks, but it’s never too early to preview which players the Cincinnati Reds may target this offseason. Obviously, starting pitching is far and away the biggest need for this ballclub going forward.

Over the next several days, Blog Red Machine is going to check in on a few different starters who could help the Reds in 2019. Today we’re looking at Clay Buchholz, who started 16 games for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2018.

Buchholz, entering free agency this offseason, is a very intriguing option for the Cincinnati Reds. Buchholz went 7-2 last season for the Dbacks and had an ERA of just 2.01. That would be very welcome in Cincinnati next season.

The downside of Buchholz, however, is his injury history. Buchholz only pitched in 16 games this season. He was traded from the Boston Red Sox to the Philadelphia Phillies after the 2016 season. Just a couple weeks into the 2017 season, Buchholz was diagnosed with a partial tear in the flexor-pronator mass of his right arm and missed the remainder of the season.

Buchholz has a history of injuries to his shoulder, neck, and back. But, when he’s healthy he’s a very good pitcher. In 2013, Buchholz went 12-1 with a 1.74 ERA in 16 starts.

Buchholz is not necessarily a strikeout pitcher. He does, however, have a repertoire of five different pitches that he uses, including a cutter, a two-seam fastball, and a curveball.

One major positive for Buchholz, especially for the Reds, is his lack of home runs allowed. This season, he only allowed 9 home runs through 16 games. Projecting a full season, Buchholz would have only surrendered 19 round-trippers this season had he started 30-plus games.

Clay Buchholz represents the type of starting pitcher that the Reds could be in the market for. Buchholz went into the 6th inning in 12 of his 16 starts this season. He even went 9 innings in a game in August against the San Diego Padres.

Buchholz has enjoyed success at the highest level, as he was a key piece of the Red Sox team that won the World Series in 2013. If former Boston manager, John Farrell is hired as the new manager of the Cincinnati Reds, their history may prove to be a factor in possibly landing the two-time All-Star.

Five free agents (non-pitchers) who could help the Reds. Next

If the price is right, Buchholz could be a nice addition for Cincinnati. Buchholz, if he’s able to stay healthy, has proven that he can be an elite-level pitcher. With his injury history, will the Reds take a flyer on him?