Declining James Paxton’s 2023 option won’t mean his departure
James Paxton never ended up pitching for the Red Sox in 2022.
After undergoing Tommy John surgery in the spring of 2021, the Sox signed Paxton to a one-year deal for 2022, knowing that he would miss a significant portion of the season while he continued to recover. The significant portion turned out to be the entire year, as Paxton then suffered a lat tear during his first rehab game.
Now, the Sox are in a mess. Paxton’s contract includes a club option, but it’s not just for 2023. It’s an option for the next two seasons, totaling $26M. Scott Boras, you sly fox.
But wait, it gets worse. If the Sox decline this bloated option for 2023-24, Paxton also has a $4M player option just for 2023. Since Paxton has thrown 21 2/3 innings dating back to the beginning of 2020, he won’t exactly have teams lining up to sign him.
It seems like the Sox are stuck with him for one more year.