Entering the offseason, the Dodgers have a clear need to upgrade their starting rotation, and they are expected to be aggressive in doing so. LA has been linked toward the majority of big-time free-agent pitchers, but per usual, they likely will look at signing some potential high-value guys as well.
It’s become a common theme for this Dodgers team since president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman took over the team, and LA has worked their magic on multiple guys. And once again, the Dodgers are being seen as an option for some guys who could be in need of a value-boosting season.
MLB insider Jim Bowden of The Athletic has linked the Dodgers to a veteran left-handed pitcher who could end up being a decent value signing. That would be James Paxton, who spent last season with the Boston Red Sox.
“James Paxton made five starts in 2020, one start in 2021 and no starts in 2022, but he took the mound for 19 starts this year for Boston, going 7-5 with a 4.50 ERA. He struck out 101 in 96 innings and allowed 93 hits. From 2017 through 2019, he averaged 27 starts a season with an ERA well under 4.00. In the first half of this season, Paxton went 5-1 with a 2.73 ERA, but he was hit hard in the second half (2-4, 6.98 ERA) and many GMs were surprised the Red Sox didn’t trade him at the deadline, when he had solid value. Paxton was shut down for the remainder of the season in September because of right knee inflammation.”Per Jim Bowden of The Athletic
Paxton would slot in toward the back of the Dodgers rotation and would provide them with another left-hander to use. While his best days are likely behind him, he did show some solid performances in the first half of the season.
He is exactly the type of signing that the Dodgers would love to look into, and he makes sense for them. Paxton would be a low-risk, potentially high-reward type of rotation piece for this team.
Bowden has LA as a good landing spot for the veteran, and he is projecting the contract to be around one year for $8 million with incentives. The Dodgers would be all over that, and Paxton could try to turn his career around in the later stages.
Even if he is just a depth piece for this Dodgers team, Paxton makes some sense. LA will have plenty of options to work with this offseason, and it’ll be interesting to see how they build the rotation out.
Photo Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
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