James Paxton (Dodgers)
The Red Sox were eyeing a potential reunion with James Paxton, but the Dodgers burned them, yet again. Boston needs a left-handed starter in the rotation and Paxton was one of the few options left on the market.
Paxton hasn't had as much success in the latter years of his career as he had in the beginning, but it should be noted that he's made significantly fewer starts as he's aged due to injuries. Paxton logged a 4.50 ERA and 101 strikeouts in 2023 after pitching 96 innings with the Red Sox. But he was on the mend and started to look better.
Paxton became a free agent after his lone year with the Red Sox, and though a reunion may have been out of the question from the jump, money always talks. The Dodgers reportedly gave him $12 million. The Red Sox wouldn't have been crazy to offer a larger one-year deal or even a two-year pact. Then again, it was rumored that Paxton wanted to play on the West Coast, closer to his offseason home in Washington, and the superteam that is the Dodgers would be a great target location for anyone at this point.
Paxton's 2023 season turned out to be slightly worse than average, but in Boston's current rotation, Paxton's left-handedness and years of starting pitching experience could have been valuable in helping the younger arms develop. Also, the presence of an actual starter rather than a bunch of converted relievers would've been nice, too.