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Red Sox exercise option on Clay Buchholz, pass on Ryan Hanigan

Somehow, Buchholz is back.

Division Series - Cleveland Indians v Boston Red Sox - Game Three Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Red Sox have exercised their $13.5 million team option on Clay Buchholz, while passing on their $3.75 million option on catcher Ryan Hanigan. Hanigan will receive an $800,000 buyout.

Both moves are entirely as expected. Hanigan just didn’t hold up in his second season with the Red Sox, dealing with no end of injuries and seeing action in just 35 games while hitting to a sub-.500 OPS. Perhaps his greatest contribution, sad though it might be to say, was being unavailable and thus forcing the Red Sox to turn to Sandy Leon behind the plate.

For Buchholz...well, it took a while to get to this point, but after a disastrous start to the season, Buchholz managed to right the ship to the point where he received the start in the decisive Game 3 of the ALDS. He isn’t the third best starting pitcher on the roster — he might not even be in the top-5 if he fails to follow his typical cycle of great - hurt - awful - great — but in a year where it’s going to be very difficult to find starting pitching in free agency, the Red Sox were hardly going to let a viable arm like Buchholz hit that market. Whether they plan to keep him or trade him is anyone’s guess.

Also, in housekeeping news, the Sox have reinstated Carson Smith, Brandon Workman, Blake Swihart, and Pablo Sandoval from the 60-day disabled list (which is, as always, unavailable during the offseason) and exercised their team option on David Ortiz, just in case.