Dodgers Free Agency Rumors: James Paxton Signed To 1-Year Contract

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The Los Angeles Dodgers went into the offseason with a clear need for starting pitching, and while it was addressed by trading for Tyler Glasnow and signing Yoshinobu Yamamoto, the team also parted with some of their depth by including Ryan Pepiot in the deal with the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Dodgers remained connected to a potential Dylan Cease trade, but their reported interest in acquiring the Chicago White Sox ace is said to have decreased since signing Yamamoto.

L.A. also didn’t appear to be significantly involved for Shōta Imanaga before he signed with the Chicago Cubs.

Instead, the Dodgers added to their starting pitching depth by signing James Paxton to a one-year, $11 million contract with a bonus for being on the Opening Day roster, per Jon Heyman of the New York Post:

James Paxton and Dodgers now in agreement. $11M plus $1M Opening Day roster bonus plus $1M incentives.

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 23, 2024

Paxton spent the past two seasons with the Boston Red Sox but did not pitch in 2022. He made just one start for the Seattle Mariners in 2021 before undergoing Tommy John surgery.

While on a rehab assignment in 2022, Paxton suffered a Grade 2 lat tear that ended his season before it began. The left-hander started last season on the 15-day injured list because of a right hamstring strain that kept him out until the middle of May.

He finished the 2023 season on the IL as well because of right knee inflammation. When he was able to pitch, Paxton went 7-5 with a 4.50 ERA in 19 starts last season. The Dodgers reportedly had some interest in the veteran starter at the trade deadline but were unwilling to meet the Red Sox’s high asking price.

Over his 10-year career, Paxton owns a 3.69 ERA, 3.46 FIP and 1.22 WHIP to go along with a 26.3% strikeout rate and 7.5% walk rate across 850.2 innings pitched.

How James Paxton fits Dodgers rotation

By signing Paxton, the Dodgers have further lengthened their starting rotation, which is going to include Walker Buehler for the first time since June 2022.

Paxton will allow the Dodgers to be more cautious with their handling of Buehler, even if he comes with his own injury concern.

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