Dodgers Rumors: James Paxton Close To Signing Contract

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The Los Angeles Dodgers have addressed their starting rotation in a major way this offseason, adding Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Tyler Glasnow to lead the rotation after it was the team’s biggest weakness last year.

Despite those deals, the Dodgers continued looking too add additional starting pitcher depth. The need remained due to Walker Buehler being slow-played and caution over moving Yamamoto into a new routine after he pitched once every week in Japan.

It appears the Dodgers now have their sights set on the starter they want to add. According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Dodgers are working on a deal for James Paxton:

Dodgers are working on a possible deal for James Paxton. Not done yet but a possibility.

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 23, 2024

Heyman also added they are making progress on the deal:

Dodgers, who have spent $1B plus this winter, are making progress on Paxton

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 23, 2024

The deal is believed to be worth around $12 million, which would give the Dodgers the highest payroll in MLB:

If Dodgers finish Paxton deal, they will likely move ahead of Mets at the top of the payroll leaderboard (for CBT purposes). Deal expected to be in $12M range.

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 23, 2024

A veteran of 10 MLB seasons, Paxton spent the 2023 season with the Boston Red Sox, where he posted a 4.50 ERA across 96 innings.

He missed most of the 2021 season and all the 2022 season due to Tommy John surgery.

He has spent most of his career with the Seattle Mariners, where he was a top-of-the-rotation starter. His best season came in 2017 when he pitched to a 2.98 ERA across 136 innings.

He also had a two-year stint with the New York Yankees.

Over his career, Paxton owns a 3.69 ERA, 3.46 FIP and 1.22 WHIP while striking out 26.3% of hitters and walking 7.5% in 850.2 innings.

He figures to slot into the Dodgers rotation into the fourth or fifth spot, allowing them to keep Buehler off the opening day roster and taking some of the pressure off their young starters.

Dodgers continuing to be opportunistic with addition of James Paxton

The Dodgers are moving closer to the highest tier of the luxury tax threshold, but that has not been a deterrent to continue adding talent.

“Right now, just be opportunistic,” Dodgers general manager Brandon Gomes said. “We feel good with our team. If Spring Training started tomorrow, we feel we have talent and depth in most areas.

“So it’s just continuing to evaluate and where opportunities present themselves for us to become even better, we’ll try to do that. But not feeling pressured to try and do anything either way.”

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