Dodgers Team News

Dodgers Rumors: Insider Thinks LA Could Target Veteran Starting Pitcher James Paxton in Free Agency

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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Matt Levine

Matt is a passionate sports fan who loves writing about and covering the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL and NCAA. After growing up watching sports, Matt set out to work in the field, earning a Master of Science degree in Sport Management from Louisiana State University. He was born and raised in the Los Angeles area.


  1. Lots of guys out there like Paxton. I like Ryu as he is not so much a reclamation project. If you want a rebuild sign Giolito. I don’t like the rumors about Cease as he has only had one really good year and last year he lost a lot of velocity, a bad sign for a pitcher.

  2. First of all, the most recent signing of another injured reliever, taking up a spot on the 40-man roster, is very concerning, very troubling. Could someone please tell Friedman “stop signing injured relief pitchers messing up the 40-man roster!” Second, in 2025, the following starters who will not or probably will not pitch many innings, if any in 2024, may be returning: (1) Ohtani [if they sign him, and since he is not an injured relief pitcher, they probably are not going to sign him] (2) Gonsolin (3) May (4) Kershaw. So if they build out a roster of 5 or 6 or 7 starters for 2024, they have to be mindful that 1 – 4 of the above may want to join that 2024 rotation, in 2025. So someone like Tyler Glasnow, in his last year of a contract, for 2024, makes sense, or someone else reasonably likely to be worthy of starting a playoff game might be OK. Not as weak as Paxson., Otherwise, only longer-term guys for the top of the rotation [Yamamoto or Snell] considering that Gonsolin, May [Ohtani? Kershaw?] will be ready in 2025. And don’t forget Bobby Miller, Pepiot,and maybe Sheehan, Grove, Gavin Stone, Kyle Hurt (if an of those survive being traded this winter). And save money for Soto next winter. Betts, Ohtani, Freeman, Soto, Smith, Muncy, Heyward, Outman, Lux in 2025 lineup.

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