Red Sox sign James Paxton- 1/$10m+ 2yr club option

Ale Xander

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22 innings combined the last 2 years, but he wasn't bad at all prior.

Hope it's not a sizeable commitment.
 

jon abbey

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Sale had TJS 3/30/20 and didn’t pitch for BOS until mid-August 2021. Paxton’s TJS was April 21.
 

cantor44

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Really strange to give him that much given he won't pitch for most of the season ... I will say, when he was healthy, he was very very good.
 

chawson

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10 million this year to partially not pitch?
To mostly not pitch!

Paxton will be 34 and 35 in his club option years so I’m not wildly optimistic, but this could turn out to be a pretty savvy move. From 2016-19, Paxton had the 12th-best fWAR (15.3) and the 8th-highest fastball velocity among SPs (95.7 mph) in baseball.
 

Lowrielicious

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If the club options are a few mill a year then its a decent gamble I guess. If they are 10 mill per then I like it a lot less.
 

ehaz

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I don't get it unless they got glowing reports on his TJ recovery or something. Paxton signed for $8.5M last season, and he wasn't coming off TJ. How does he get surgery and then get more money?
 

chawson

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I don't get it unless they got glowing reports on his TJ recovery or something. Paxton signed for $8.5M last season, and he wasn't coming off TJ. How does he get surgery and then get more money?
They’re gonna go past the luxury tax threshold and my sense is that they see this is a worthwhile gamble. Or maybe they’re trading Houck.
 
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According to RotoWire, he has been throwing from beyond 60 feet since September and is expected back in June or July.
 

scottyno

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Garrett Richards redux deal without the sticky stuff issue. If he pitches like 2019 or previous form when he returns then they get a great 2 year contract, if he doesn't then whatever it's a 1 year deal that won't matter.

I don't see the downside.
 

Scoops Bolling

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Interesting deal, I dig it. Gives them a "midseason acquisition" type of addition, and if Paxton looks healthy that option could be a bargain. I'd have preferred Rodon, but given the market that may have been unrealistic.
 

chawson

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His first few months of rehab aside, I’ll be interested to see how Paxton’s next three years compare with Kershaw’s. Only one of them has a shot at throwing 95 this year.
 

curly2

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According to RotoWire, he has been throwing from beyond 60 feet since September and is expected back in June or July.
Sale, Syndergaard and Severino all had their TJ earlier than Paxton, were all expected back fairly early in the season and they combined to throw 50.2 innings, all but 8 from Sale. There's a good chance Paxton -- who's never thrown more than 160 innings in a year -- never throws a pitch in the majors in 2022.
 

nvalvo

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I don't get it unless they got glowing reports on his TJ recovery or something. Paxton signed for $8.5M last season, and he wasn't coming off TJ. How does he get surgery and then get more money?
I can see it.
  1. He would need to get more money in order to give a team a two-year option that will be well under market if he's actually healthy, and which they can walk away from if he isn't. Think of the year one salary as mostly the price of that option.
  2. He's now actually gotten the surgery that it turned out he should have gotten before 2021. So instead of losing him after four outs like the Mariners did, we can give him months to rehab and hopefully add him down the stretch — and if not, well, that option looks good.
This makes more sense to me than Wacha.
 

nvalvo

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They’re gonna go past the luxury tax threshold and my sense is that they see this is a worthwhile gamble. Or maybe they’re trading Houck.
Hmm. They might well be trading Houck, but I don't see what Paxton has to do with it. We'll be lucky to get 50 IP from Paxton.
 

E5 Yaz

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It's only $2M more than they gave Schilling to go away
 

curly2

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He's now actually gotten the surgery that it turned out he should have gotten before 2021. So instead of losing him after four outs like the Mariners did, we can give him months to rehab and hopefully add him down the stretch — and if not, well, that option looks good.
You'd feel comfortable picking up a $25 million option if he's gotten four outs in two years?
 

grimshaw

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These are the types of creative deals I thought would happen in the weeks before the CBA where you wouldn't be setting the market given the uncertainty.

I don't think I've ever seen a 3 year TJ commitment before. I'm fine with it. If he's half the guy he was, the two year option is still ok.
 

RG33

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Wow. Interesting. Kind of love it. Was really expecting him to have a great year last year until the TJS popped up.
 

chrisfont9

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Hmm. They might well be trading Houck, but I don't see what Paxton has to do with it. We'll be lucky to get 50 IP from Paxton.
If anything, it makes a Houck trade less likely, no? You have two unproven, high ceiling guys in Houck and Whitlock, plus two proven guys in Paxton and Wacha who could take the pressure off the kids and be easily repurposed or moved if Houck and Whitlock both take off.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Again, when you are only willing to guarantee a pitcher one year, and are trying to squeeze in a club option or two, these are the kinds of guys you are gonna get. 33, 20 innings the past two years, and coming off of TJS.

But, no such thing as a bad one year deal, right?

I don’t really get this one at all. Any time you sign a guy and the article says “he should be pitching next year”, it’s a bit concerning.
 
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Red(s)HawksFan

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Can you explain the jump from signing a guy for late 2022 and beyond to trading Houck who is likely in the opening day rotation. And makes small dollars? If there is a season?
It's a conclusion one can jump to only if one is predisposed to want to trade every young player in the organization because there's someone "better" (and usually more expensive) to be had from outside the club.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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I don't understand this one at all. Having wasted $10 million on Garrett Richards to pitch badly, we're now going to waste another $10 million on a guy who probably can't pitch at all? Seems like a huge investment to buy an option on "how does the post-surgery recovery go for a guy on the wrong side of 30 who has never been all that healthy in the first place?"

Somebody said a few days ago that it feels like we're back in the Duquette era of trying to find cheap reclamation projects. At least when we signed the Saberhagens and Averys of the world, it was with the expectation that they'd actually be able to play for us.
 
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Red(s)HawksFan

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I don't understand this one at all. Having wasted $10 million on Garrett Richards to pitch badly, we're now going to waste another $10 million on a guy who probably can't pitch at all? Seems like a huge investment to buy an option on "how does the post-surgery recovery go for a guy on the wrong side of 30 who has never been all that healthy in the first place?"

Somebody said a few days ago that it feels like we're back in the Duquette era of trying to find cheap reclamation projects. At least when we signed the Saberhagens and Averys of the world, it was with the expectation that they'd actually be able to play for us.
I think the problem is is viewing $10M as a "huge investment". In baseball terms, $10M is not huge at all.
 

Devizier

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I always remember the late Duquette teams as having pretty good pitching and average hitting once park factors were considered. Obviously having Pedro was a huge part of the former, but the reclamation guys definitely held the back half of the rotation together. Where that approach failed was when you needed to rely on Bret Saberhagen to be healthy at the end of the season.

So much has changed that I’m not even sure a comparison is even that applicable anymore.
 

Rovin Romine

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I don't understand this one at all. Having wasted $10 million on Garrett Richards to pitch badly, we're now going to waste another $10 million on a guy who probably can't pitch at all? Seems like a huge investment to buy an option on "how does the post-surgery recovery go for a guy on the wrong side of 30 and has never been all that healthy in the first place?"

Somebody said a few days ago that it feels like we're back in the Duquette era of trying to find cheap reclamation projects. At least when we signed the Saberhagens and Averys of the world, it was with the expectation that they'd actually be able to play for us.
I'm closer to you than not. If they have some medical indication this is a near-lock, it almost makes sense. They're paying 35 mil for 2.5 years of production. That's 14 mil a year. ERod's 5 year deal was 15.4 per.

What's a realisitic good outcome scenario for him - a notch above league average ERA+? Nick Pivetta territory?

Worst case is that his recovery isn't great, or slow, or he's inconsistent on his return. Maybe he's overall average? Richards and Perez were by ERA+. So you gamble 10 mil for this season to acquire that for two years?
 

Rovin Romine

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I think the problem is is viewing $10M as a "huge investment". In baseball terms, $10M is not huge at all.
It helps eats up the margin for this year. Seems like they overpay for spare parts every year then are somewhat hands-tied when it comes to picking up a mid-season guy with salary.

I mean, I don't think it's a crazy signing. But it seems like we're gearing up for a "moderately competitive" year, instead of picking up a solid bullpen piece or two.
 

GB5

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I wonder if the Sox have a general game plan and time frame for post TJ surgery pitching. Sale seemed to be longer than most from date of surgery to first pitch on MLB mound. If it’s the case then early to mid August and then you maybe get 10 appearances with the usual post TJ rust to make a determination on the 25 mill options?
If it’s the other way and the Sox base return to mound on a case by case basis based on strength in shoulder and other stuff maybe he gets back sooner.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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If you believe the rumors, the Sox made offers to Andrew Heaney, Corey Kluber, Michael Wacha, and James Paxton- and landed the latter two. All of those pitchers have signed for a year guaranteed at $10M or less. For whatever reason, I think that’s the market they are playing in and the risk that they find acceptable. Given Paxton’s injury history, this is risky but all the pitchers in this range are going to be risky; Paxton has a pretty high ceiling if it works out.
 

moondog80

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I've thought for a while that the Sox' plan under Bloom was to spend to the tax while being very cautious about long term deals. So they're not being cheap, just spending differently. This fits in with that.

Eventually, they are going to have to jump in with a splashy deal if they plan to maintain payroll.
 

johnnywayback

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Seems pretty clear they're willing to bust through the CBT threshold in 2022 (and, it would stand to reason, 2023) before they next have to reset in 2024. So my guess is that this won't be the last one- or two-year deal for a starter we see. In which case I love the gamble.
 

JM3

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I think it's fun.

If they're in contention, he's a really good add for the post season run, & if they're not they can either take it really slow with the rehab or ship him to a team that is in contention.
 

BravesField

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I wonder if the Sox have a general game plan and time frame for post TJ surgery pitching. Sale seemed to be longer than most from date of surgery to first pitch on MLB mound. If it’s the case then early to mid August and then you maybe get 10 appearances with the usual post TJ rust to make a determination on the 25 mill options?
If it’s the other way and the Sox base return to mound on a case by case basis based on strength in shoulder and other stuff maybe he gets back sooner.
I think you're right. No way this is about 2022. It has to be about the option years. And, since we may lose both Sale and Eovaldi after this season, it does make sense to have him at 12.5M per.
 

chawson

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Can you explain the jump from signing a guy for late 2022 and beyond to trading Houck who is likely in the opening day rotation. And makes small dollars? If there is a season?
Sure, for these reasons:

1) I think there’s enough money in the Paxton deal to think it’s more than a flyer and they like the odds he’ll be a solid #3 in 2022

2) I think there’s still a good chance we sign Stroman, extend Eovaldi and/or acquire another SP by trade

3) I think Whitlock is a rotation candidate and Houck is a multi-inning guy, making Houck’s perceived value greater than his actual value because

4) We have a few of those multi-inning reliever types about to help in 2023 (Seabold, Crawford, Bello, Winckowski, Mata, Ward maybe)
 
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johnnywayback

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Sure, for these reasons:

1) I think there’s enough money in the Paxton deal to think it’s more than a flyer and they like the odds he’ll be a solid #3 in 2022

2) I think there’s still a good chance we sign Stroman, extend Eovaldi and/or acquire another SP by trade

3) I think Whitlock is a rotation candidate and Houck is a multi-inning guy, making Houck’s perceived value greater than his actual value because

4) We have a few of those multi-inning reliever types about to help in 2022 (Seabold, Crawford, Bello, Winckowski, Mata, Ward maybe)
I mean, it seems like #1 and #2 are irrelevant if you think Houck's a multi-inning reliever. And #3, the idea that Whitlock may start, just undermines the argument. So I guess you're leaning on your #4, the idea that we have a surfeit of those multi-inning relief ace guys. And that's just not true. Seabold looks awful in his return from injury, Bello and Winckowski need time at AAA, Mata won't be available until late in the season and Ward is probably going to miss the entire season. I would bet against any of those guys pitching high-leverage innings in 2022.

And really, after what we saw from Whitlock last year, I don't understand how anyone could see Houck as expendable when he could be the best guy to play that exact role this year.