James Paxton exercises his $4 million option

BaseballJones

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That's great news for the Sox actually. He *should* be fully ready to go for 2023 and when he's been healthy, he's been a terrific MLB pitcher. That guy - assuming health - for just $4 million? Sign me up.
 

E5 Yaz

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That's great news for the Sox actually. He *should* be fully ready to go for 2023 and when he's been healthy, he's been a terrific MLB pitcher. That guy - assuming health - for just $4 million? Sign me up.
Unless he knows he's not healthy and figures $4M in hand is better than risking it on the open market
 

jon abbey

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That's one less 40 man spot to protect prospects, BOS is going to have some hard decisions there.
 

E5 Yaz

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That's the likely reason. You'd think he could even more than that on the open market though.
Maybe, but he's been rehabbing and working it out with the Red Sox people for a year now. Maybe he likes the program he's in, instead of starting at Square One with people he doesn't know.
 

BaseballJones

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Yes for sure. If he's NOT healthy, then that's a problem. But a $4 million risk isn't that much in today's game.
 

moondog80

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Unless he knows he's not healthy and figures $4M in hand is better than risking it on the open market
Yeah, that's my fear. If what happened in September was truly a minor setback and he felt like a million bucks I don't think he'd settle. Oh well, it's not a huge amount of money, noting we can do now other than hope for the best.

I don't think this news changes the Sox' plans -- they won't go after one fewer starter because of this. I hope, anyway.
 

StuckOnYouk

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Give me 30-35 decent games started from Sale/Paxton and I’ll be ecstatic.
A Frankenstein lefty
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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For what little it probably matters, this might save the Sox a little bit on the luxury tax for this season. His original hit for 2022 was $10M: $6M salary + the $4M option. Now it will count as $6M and $4M will go on the 2023 books (or it'll be $5M each, I'm not 100% sure how that breaks down).
 

nattysez

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Unless he’s hurt and doesn’t expect to pitch much.
To paraphrase DH3 at the time of the Sale extension, the guy who knows his body best is James Paxton, so when he accepts what seems to be an under-market contract coming off an injury, adjust your expectations accordingly.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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That's one less 40 man spot to protect prospects, BOS is going to have some hard decisions there.
Yup. This is a tough position that he put the Sox in. Hopefully, it'll work out ...

To paraphrase DH3 at the time of the Sale extension, the guy who knows his body best is James Paxton, so when he accepts what seems to be an under-market contract coming off an injury, adjust your expectations accordingly.
... but this seems like the most logical take. The one sliver of hope that I'm feeling is that Paxton knows that he's close to being back in business, knew that no one would believe him and wouldn't get more than an invite to ST and plans to have an amazing year so that next year he can get that last big contract.
 

joe dokes

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To paraphrase DH3 at the time of the Sale extension, the guy who knows his body best is James Paxton, so when he accepts what seems to be an under-market contract coming off an injury, adjust your expectations accordingly.
Why is 4M "undermarket" for a guy who hasn't pitched in a long time & whose only evidence that he can pitch next year is his word? Not that they had a choice, but but the Sox at least have some 1st hand information.
 

chawson

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Interesting. He may be opting in because he’s hurt and knows it, but I think it’s possible he likes his chances of staying healthy with our staff in Boston than elsewhere.

At 1/$4, a healthy Paxton is great asset. There’s a scenario he could turn into a decent trade chip if he finds his form again. Maybe we could deal him back to Seattle.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I'm not shocked that he opted in. He hasn't actually pitched, at all, in a coon's age! I don't think any team... at all.... was going to take yet another chance on him. Only the Sox because of the perception of his last year.
I imagine that the Sox will figure out if he's looking healthy or not and figure that into the rotation plans. Assuming health for both him and Sale to start the season, they have what should be a good rotation already:

Sale
Whitlock
Bello
Pivetta
Paxton

I still think they'll add Hill and one of Eovaldi/Wacha. Lots of risk but some depth to mitigate risk. Of course, everyone hitting the DL at the same time will hurt but the mL depth chart at SP is much better at this point than last off-season.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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Worst case, he’s cooked and the Sox end up DFAing him and eating $4M. That’s not too big a hit. Best case, he likes the situation, sees an obvious opening in the rotation, gets relatively healthy, and gives us 25+ quality starts. For $4M.

Seems fine to me.
 

amfox1

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Boras on Paxton returning: “He’s very comfortable there…. He really felt it was the best thing at this point in his career.”

Chris Cotillo
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Boras says Paxton’s decision was more about comfort than money. “Sometimes it’s better to take the six-pack than the champagne.”
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Sale, Pivetta, Paxton, Bello, Whitlock. The rotation could be done. Which is kind of frightening. They could add another high end guy and figure out what to do with Bello / Whitlock later, but they are running out of roster spots.
 

GB5

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Let’s not treat the words out of Boras’ mouth during free agency as Gospel. However 4 mill is a small pittance against the upside of Paxton actually being healthy.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Sale, Pivetta, Paxton, Bello, Whitlock. The rotation could be done. Which is kind of frightening. They could add another high end guy and figure out what to do with Bello / Whitlock later, but they are running out of roster spots.
Not a chance they're done. Whitlock can go to the pen. Bello can be stashed in Worcester. Trades can be made. Free agency hasn't even begun yet.
 

nvalvo

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I'm excited! We actually have some useful SP depth in guys like Crawford, Mata and Ward, so we're actually in a good position to carry high upside if healthy guys like Sale and Paxton.
 

YTF

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Interesting. He may be opting in because he’s hurt and knows it, but I think it’s possible he likes his chances of staying healthy with our staff in Boston than elsewhere.

At 1/$4, a healthy Paxton is great asset. There’s a scenario he could turn into a decent trade chip if he finds his form again. Maybe we could deal him back to Seattle.
There's a scenario that if he finds his form again he might be quite useful where he is at $4M. Of course needs at the trade deadline would be a factor as well.
 

Harry Hooper

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For what little it probably matters, this might save the Sox a little bit on the luxury tax for this season. His original hit for 2022 was $10M: $6M salary + the $4M option. Now it will count as $6M and $4M will go on the 2023 books (or it'll be $5M each, I'm not 100% sure how that breaks down).
So are the Sox now under the threshold for 2022?
 

chawson

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Sale, Pivetta, Paxton, Bello, Whitlock. The rotation could be done. Which is kind of frightening. They could add another high end guy and figure out what to do with Bello / Whitlock later, but they are running out of roster spots.
I know you’re concerned that Bloom is content to bring the same rotation back, but I don’t think this outcome is alarming at all. It’s a great place to start from, and gives us more options, especially if we get Hill back too.

The only concern I have is that the majority of our starters will have innings limits next year. We’re gonna need a real horse or two if we have playoff aspirations, and the only guy who can throw a heavy workload of innings, Pivetta, doesn’t seem to me like a very strong one.
 

A Bad Man

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I know you’re concerned that Bloom is content to bring the same rotation back, but I don’t think this outcome is alarming at all. It’s a great place to start from, and gives us more options, especially if we get Hill back too.

The only concern I have is that the majority of our starters will have innings limits next year. We’re gonna need a real horse or two if we have playoff aspirations, and the only guy who can throw a heavy workload of innings, Pivetta, doesn’t seem to me like a very strong one.
Gloves should mostly be off on Bello, right? 150ish IP in '22
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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I know you’re concerned that Bloom is content to bring the same rotation back, but I don’t think this outcome is alarming at all. It’s a great place to start from, and gives us more options, especially if we get Hill back too.

The only concern I have is that the majority of our starters will have innings limits next year. We’re gonna need a real horse or two if we have playoff aspirations, and the only guy who can throw a heavy workload of innings, Pivetta, doesn’t seem to me like a very strong one.
Year, I think running it back with this staff and hoping for better health from Sale and Paxton is a bold move, but not really sure what the other options are. Success of this team will be reliant on Sale and Paxton being healthy and Bello, Whitlock, etc. emerging. I am not sure I see a role for Hill, though. They only have so many roster spots and they’ve got a lot of low cost veterans taking up many; where will they flex their financial muscle? Acquiring a younger #2, #3 type who can be signed to a multi year deal would be my ideal. Burnes or Woodruff, ideally. Maybe there’s a way to include Pivetta in a deal like that; although he’s tough to give up given his likely durability.
 

chrisfont9

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I'm not shocked that he opted in. He hasn't actually pitched, at all, in a coon's age! I don't think any team... at all.... was going to take yet another chance on him. Only the Sox because of the perception of his last year.
I imagine that the Sox will figure out if he's looking healthy or not and figure that into the rotation plans. Assuming health for both him and Sale to start the season, they have what should be a good rotation already:

Sale
Whitlock
Bello
Pivetta
Paxton

I still think they'll add Hill and one of Eovaldi/Wacha. Lots of risk but some depth to mitigate risk. Of course, everyone hitting the DL at the same time will hurt but the mL depth chart at SP is much better at this point than last off-season.
If you look at his career earnings, he's never made more than $12.5m, he only became a UFA in 2021, and so he's never hit the free agent market coming off a healthy year. $4m might not be much, but there's no point in signing for 2x$7m somewhere else unless he's just never going to be healthy. Now, he can stay the course with his rehabilitation, put himself in the best possible position for a healthy season, and if that all works and he pitches well, he hits the open market next year with a case for a serious contract. That seems like one of the few situations where you would prioritize fit over total dollars.
 

JM3

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Year, I think running it back with this staff and hoping for better health from Sale and Paxton is a bold move, but not really sure what the other options are. Success of this team will be reliant on Sale and Paxton being healthy and Bello, Whitlock, etc. emerging. I am not sure I see a role for Hill, though. They only have so many roster spots and they’ve got a lot of low cost veterans taking up many; where will they flex their financial muscle? Acquiring a younger #2, #3 type who can be signed to a multi year deal would be my ideal. Burnes or Woodruff, ideally. Maybe there’s a way to include Pivetta in a deal like that; although he’s tough to give up given his likely durability.
Something like Burnes + Yelich for Pivetta + Duran seems sensible to me (even if BTV has us getting -48.10 & giving up +6.80).

Burnes has 2 more arb years (projected to make $12.7m this year) & is a bit younger & much better than Pivetta (who also has 2 more arb years & is projected at $5.9m this year). Yelich is obviously quite overpriced at 6/$156 remaining ($26m/year), but he's at least a competent every day outfielder who could hopefully bounce back some, & I think Duran is fairly not useful.

Obviously the more salary of Yelich's that the Brewers were willing to eat or the more pre-protection prospects they could throw in, the better.
 

chawson

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Gloves should mostly be off on Bello, right? 150ish IP in '22
Probably, but there's not a ton of precedent in the last decade for 24-year-olds to throw more than 150 IP, and many of those that have have gotten hurt in the next year or so (Bieber, Buehler, Cole, Shelby Miller, Eovaldi, Severino, Wheeler, Bundy, Fulmer, Harvey, Jon and Sonny Gray, et al.).

Bello throws a harder fastball than any of those young pitchers besides Severino. I have no idea what leads to increased injury risk in young pitchers, but throwing 97 m.p.h. high-spin fastballs over 175-200 IP would have me a little worried about Bello's arb years.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Interesting. He may be opting in because he’s hurt and knows it, but I think it’s possible he likes his chances of staying healthy with our staff in Boston than elsewhere.
You mean like how he stayed healthy through his rehab work with us last year?

I'm astonished to see some people in this thread acting like Paxton can be counted on for anything this coming year. If we get anything at all from him, I'd be thrilled.
 

moondog80

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Sale, Pivetta, Paxton, Bello, Whitlock. The rotation could be done. Which is kind of frightening. They could add another high end guy and figure out what to do with Bello / Whitlock later, but they are running out of roster spots.
If the rotation is done, they are either signing Judge or not spending to (or near) the tax threshold.

Which is to say, the rotation is not done.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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If the rotation is done, they are either signing Judge or not spending to (or near) the tax threshold.

Which is to say, the rotation is not done.
Who do you think gets moved from the current rotation? They seem committed to Bello and Whitlock, although that could of course change. The big thing is going to be clearing 40 man roster spots.
 

StuckOnYouk

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You mean like how he stayed healthy through his rehab work with us last year?

I'm astonished to see some people in this thread acting like Paxton can be counted on for anything this coming year. If we get anything at all from him, I'd be thrilled.
Not counting on it, hoping is more like it. But I’d be more suprised if he throws less than 5 than more than 5. His arm was healthy
 

moondog80

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Who do you think gets moved from the current rotation? They seem committed to Bello and Whitlock, although that could of course change. The big thing is going to be clearing 40 man roster spots.
I don't know, there are many possibilities. For one thing, I doubt they are just assuming 200 IP from either Sale or Paxton, never mind both.

But the larger picture is that even if I assume 30 mil for Xander, that still leaves them with about 70 mil to spend. And I don't think they are signing Judge. And the IF will be set. If the rotation is out too, we are running out of ways to wisely spend it.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Not counting on it, hoping is more like it. But I’d be more suprised if he throws less than 5 than more than 5. His arm was healthy
This is where I am as well. This is effectively a replacement for Hill (I know there's talk of him possibly coming back). You hope for 10-15 starts and ~100 innings. If you get more, great. If you get less, he doesn't cost all that much anyway.

As for the 40-man roster, I'm not understanding the concern. There are half a dozen guys on the roster right now that are likely to be non-tendered, traded, or DFA. I'm not sure they're going to be all that precious about holding on to the likes of Yu Chang or Caleb Hamilton.