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Red Sox, Buchholz agree on four-year, $29.945 million extension

04.10.11 at 4:36 pm ET

According to multiple Major League Baseball sources, the Red Sox have agreed to a four-year, $29.945 million extension with pitcher Clay Buchholz that will take effect in 2012. The extension includes two club options. (For year-by-year contract details, click here.) The 26-year-old wouldn’t have been eligible for free agency until after the 2014 season; with the deal, he will remain with the Sox through at least 2015, with the options covering the 2016 and 2017 campaigns.

Last season Buchholz went 17-7 with a 2.33 ERA. The Sox starter has made two starts this season, the latest one coming Saturday afternoon with Buchholz surrendering five runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings.

Buchholz told WEEI.com in February that he was open to a deal along the lines of the five-year, $30 million pact that Jon Lester signed with the Sox at a comparable stage of his career in 2009.

“I think that would definitely be a base model for it — numbers-wise, security reasons, I think every player with less than three years of service time, that’s what they strive for,” said Buchholz. “I’m not saying I’m as good as Lester or I deserve what he got, but just from the other guys who signed their deal in the past year or so with the same service, I think that’s definitely a good starting point if there ever was one.”

By waiting until the start of the season to sign a four-year, $30.5 million deal (on top of the pitchers $550,000 salary for 2011), the Sox will save in the vicinity of $1.6 million over what they would have had to pay in luxury taxes had they agreed to a five-year deal in the $30 million range with Buchholz in spring training.

The agreement was first reported by FoxSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi.

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