Dodgers Bolstering Rotation by Inking Veteran Starter

The 35-year-old Paxton will be joining the Dodgers on a one-year deal.

Jul 29, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA;  Boston Red Sox starting pitcher James Paxton (65)
Jul 29, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher James Paxton (65) / John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
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The Los Angeles Dodgers are continuing to add depth to their starting rotation despite being the odds-on favorites to win the World Series this season. 

Earlier this offseason, Los Angeles acquired Tyler Glasnow from the Tampa Bay Rays and signed Yoshinobu Yamamoto to a massive 12-year, $325 million deal. Those two starting pitchers will likely headline the rotation. However, they’re on the cusp of signing a quality veteran who is looking to stay healthy in 2024.

Dodgers News: Los Angeles Signs James Paxton to One-Year Deal

Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reported Monday night that the Dodgers and free-agent left-handed pitcher James Paxton were closing in on an agreement. The deal is expected to be for one year at $12 million.

Paxton hopes to build off the momentum he had last season with the Boston Red Sox. The southpaw had a 7-5 record, a 4.50 ERA, and 101 strikeouts in 96 innings (19 starts). Paxton had an excellent first half for the Sox, sporting a 5-1 record and a 2.73 ERA (10 starts). But it came crashing down in the second half of the season as Paxton’s ERA skyrocketed to a 6.98 ERA (nine starts).

Even though he struggled down the stretch, it was the first time since the 2019 season Paxton made double-digit starts. During that season with the New York Yankees, Paxton had a stellar 15-6 record and a 3.82 ERA in 29 starts.

Los Angeles hopes that version of Paxton shows up this year, as he’s missed the previous three seasons with multiple injuries. In 2021, the veteran left-handed pitcher underwent Tommy John surgery after one start with the Seattle Mariners. Paxton missed the rest of the 2021 and all of ‘22 season.

With Paxton in the fold, Los Angeles’ starting rotation is almost set with Yamamoto, Glasnow, Bobby Miller, Ryan Yarbrough, and Emmet Sheehan. 

If Miller and Sheehan take the next steps in their development and Paxton gives some quality starts at the back of the rotation, Los Angeles will win the NL West for the 11th time in the past 12 seasons.