3 pending free agents the Red Sox need to let walk, 2 they need to try to keep

The Boston Red Sox have some tough choices coming up when it comes to some pending free agents.
Aug 21, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches against
Aug 21, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches against / Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
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Boston should try to run it back with Adam Duvall

Before the trade deadline, there was a real argument for Boston to trade Adam Duvall and it still may have been a mistake for the Red Sox to hold on to him. The trade market was bereft of quality bats and since Boston clearly didn't have high aspirations for 2023 apparently, they could have instead gotten a nice prospect or two in exchange for a guy that is about to be a free agent.

However, that is not what the Red Sox decided to do and Duvall has rewarded them with one of his patented heaters in the month of August where he hit nine homers and posted a 174 wRC+. Duvall can be a frustrating hitter at times given his boom or bust nature, but he is a quality outfield defender and when he is on, he looks like Babe Ruth. Boston shouldn't try to give him a long-term deal, but a two or even three year deal at a reasonable AAV makes a decent amount of sense for both sides as it would solidify a roster spot for the Red Sox while finally giving Duvall some security going forward.

Health permitting, the Red Sox bringing back James Paxton isn't the worst idea

James Paxton is always a weird guy to talk about. He is almost always productive pitcher when he is on the mound, but his lengthy injury history makes one just hope that he will make his next start. There seemed to always be something going on with him health wise when he was in Seattle, he missed all of the 2022 season after having Tommy John surgery, and Paxton missed time this season with a hamstring issue.

However, Paxton has been pretty good for Boston in 2023 with a 4.50 ERA in 19 starts with 101 strikeouts and 33 walks in 96 innings of work. Paxton absolutely shouldn't get more than a short-term deal given his history, but he is still probably worth taking a flyer on yet again. One note here is that Paxton has had a rough stretch lately and if there is any reason to believe that is related to a potential long-term health question yet again, Boston should probably just steer clear of him.

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