The trade deadline, part 2: the James Paxton conundrum
The Red Sox have another conundrum at the deadline that ties into part one, and that is left-handed starting pitcher James Paxton.
Currently, he is in the last year of his deal with Boston, but given that it's also his first season pitching in nearly three years, he is pitching like he has something to prove. The fact of the matter is, he does. He is trying to prove that he belongs, and should stay beyond this season.
If he were to stay, that would almost certainly put the Red Sox out of any sweepstakes for Shohei Ohtani in the offseason.
Now comes the conundrum for the Red Sox: do you use Paxton as a trade chip to bolster your offense or shore-up your pitching even more, or do you hold onto him as he has been the closest thing to a number-two pitcher behind Brayan Bello?
Boston has a big two weeks ahead of them in terms of where they stand, and Chief Baseball Office, Chaim Bloom, could either be revered for what he does, or he could be on his way out the door if it blows up in his face.