Buchholz happy to remain Sox property

Buchholz happy to remain Sox property

BALTIMORE -- Clay Buchholz, Boston's prized starting pitching prospect, arrived with the team in Baltimore on Thursday night and wondered if he would still be with the team when it came time for his turn in the rotation on Sunday afternoon.

As much as Buchholz tried to avoid the constant stream of trade rumors, it finally got to him with just hours to go before Friday's 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline.

"I got in the hotel after we got off the bus and I turned on the TV and [trade speculation] was all that was on," Buchholz said. "It sort of started making me think, 'Wow, this really might happen.' In my head, I thought it was almost a done deal just the way everyone was talking about it. It's something that I've experienced before, but not to that level."

The agony continued into the next day, when Buchholz arrived several hours before Friday's game against the Orioles and sat around and waited if he would get the type of invitation to manager Terry Francona's office that fellow young right-hander Justin Masterson got that day. Masterson was dealt to the Indians as part of the package that brought Victor Martinez to the Sox.

"Then I come in here and everybody is sort of sitting at their lockers [waiting]," Buchholz said. "It was just a different kind of day. Nothing you could have done about it, even if it did happen. That was sort of the stance I took. I was still a little antsy, sad to see one of our young teammates go, but it's a business and [Martinez is] going to make our team better. We've got an extra bat in the lineup and another catcher, so we can give [Jason Varitek] some days off. I think it's all going to work out pretty well."

Francona, who was so preoccupied with all that was going on Friday, admits he didn't have time to fully process what Buchholz was going through until it was too late.

"I didn't think of it," Francona said. "I was so busy. I walked out to get somebody and he kind of looked at me like [oh no]. I saw it and said, 'This poor kid.' I should have said something to him earlier. He wasn't going anywhere and I knew it, but I got busy so I said something to him later. But I should have actually said something to him. [Friday] was as busy a day as we've had for a long time."

So there Buchholz will be on Sunday, making his fourth start since his recall from the Minors and hoping to pitch the Red Sox to a three-game sweep over the Orioles. Catching him will be Martinez, giving Varitek the day off.

Pitching matchup
BOS: RHP Clay Buchholz (1-1, 3.52 ERA)
Buchholz tossed 5 2/3 innings of two-run ball on Tuesday, striking out a season-high five in an eventual 9-8 loss to Oakland at Fenway Park. The 24-year-old right-hander said his breaking ball felt better than it has in the past three weeks, and he seems to be handling adversity much better than last season, when he lost nine of 11 decisions in 15 starts. Buchholz is 2-2 with a 4.19 ERA in four career appearances against Baltimore, including his famed no-hitter on Sept. 1, 2007.

BAL: RHP Jason Berken (1-8, 6.21 ERA)
Berken's previous start showed signs of progression from the rookie right-hander. Berken went six innings, allowing two earned runs in a no-decision against Kansas City. It was just the second quality start, one that saw him strike out three and issue three walks.

Left fielder Jason Bay, who exited Saturday's game with cramping in his right hamstring, will get Sunday off. It was scheduled even before the cramps. ... Knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, on the disabled list with back woes, might throw a side session on Tuesday. ... Martinez will make his second start for the Red Sox, but first behind the plate.

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Up next
• Monday: Off-day
• Tuesday: Red Sox (Jon Lester, 9-7, 3.90) at Rays (Matt Garza, 7-8, 3.69), 7:08 p.m. ET
• Wednesday: Red Sox (Brad Penny, 7-5, 5.07) at Rays (David Price, 4-4, 5.10), 7:08 p.m. ET

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.