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

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2021
5,860
I don’t think it works, Rodon threw 133 innings at a 185 ERA+ last year. Best case, Paxton throws 35 or so innings this season, which will give him a three year total of…57.

It’s hard to remember any pitcher Paxton’s age who has pitched so little over the prior three years getting a multi year deal.
 

chawson

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
3,133
I don’t think it works, Rodon threw 133 innings at a 185 ERA+ last year. Best case, Paxton throws 35 or so innings this season, which will give him a three year total of…57.

It’s hard to remember any pitcher Paxton’s age who has pitched so little over the prior three years getting a multi year deal.
I think Wood, Cobb and Rodon all fit the bill to varying degrees. They each made a total of 31-35 starts over three seasons before signing multi-year deals with the Giants, which is interesting. Paxton will have made fewer before we decide on the club option.

Again, why are people concerned about this? What is the downside? We're about $170M under the first tax LT threshold next year assuming Bogaerts opts out, not counting arb contracts. We're not at a point in the team's arc where we should be concerned about extracting surplus value. We should be focused on getting good players under contract.
 

nvalvo

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
19,942
Rogers Park
Rodon was coming of a 130 innings of elite pitching in 2021. Paxton has pitched 25 innings since the start of 2020. At best he'll throw 30 innings this year. Rodon is 29, Paxton will be 34.
I agree! And we've paid a small amount to have an option such that, if those 30 innings are promising, we get his next two seasons at an appealing price.

I dont see how the two are comparable in any way other than they are both guys who are going to have a discount due to health. The difference in magnitude is such that its not at all reasonably similar.
Other than both being left handed starting pitchers who have thrown almost exactly the same number of starts and IP at the same ERA+, with very close career peripherals? Sure, other than that they're different, in that Rodón is younger and was more recently healthy and effective when he signed his deal...

...which is why he got a much higher guarantee than Paxton. The purpose of my post was to make some sort of effort to ballpark the discount we're getting on our club option with Paxton in exchange for our commitment this year.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2021
5,860
I think the debate is over what defines “appealing price”. A $26M commitment isn’t a ton of money, but pitchers who have thrown <60 innings in three years usually don’t command a ton.

There’s an alternate world where the money used to pay Bradley, Paxton, and Diekman is spent on Carlos Rodon; money does add up, but I guess hindsight is always 20/20
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
17,304
Maine
I think the debate is over what defines “appealing price”. A $26M commitment isn’t a ton of money, but pitchers who have thrown <60 innings in three years usually don’t command a ton.
Obviously younger but arguably similar MLB mileage (718 IP to 733 IP), Noah Syndegaard got $21M for one year after throwing only two innings in the same two previous seasons that Paxton threw 21.2 IP.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 23, 2001
9,248
I don’t think it works, Rodon threw 133 innings at a 185 ERA+ last year. Best case, Paxton throws 35 or so innings this season, which will give him a three year total of…57.

It’s hard to remember any pitcher Paxton’s age who has pitched so little over the prior three years getting a multi year deal.
How many pitchers at Paxton's age throw +/- 60 innings over three years and then become effective, reliable members of contender rotations? Brett Saberhagen is about the only one I can think of off the top of my head. Pitched 67 innings total in 1995, 1996 and 1997. He was 31 at the start of that period. He then had a decent year for the 1998 Red Sox (31 starts, 15-8 with a 119 ERA+) and was having a good year in 1998 (22 starts, 10-6 with a 171 ERA+) when he got hurt again in 1999, which basically ended his career.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
63,417
Justin Verlander pitched just 6 innings in 2020/2021 combined and is right back to Cy Young level, although guys like Paxton and Rodon were never on his level (although both quite good at their best).
 

chawson

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
3,133
How many pitchers at Paxton's age throw +/- 60 innings over three years and then become effective, reliable members of contender rotations? Brett Saberhagen is about the only one I can think of off the top of my head. Pitched 67 innings total in 1995, 1996 and 1997. He was 31 at the start of that period. He then had a decent year for the 1998 Red Sox (31 starts, 15-8 with a 119 ERA+) and was having a good year in 1998 (22 starts, 10-6 with a 171 ERA+) when he got hurt again in 1999, which basically ended his career.
Scott Kazmir had a hurt/very bad 2010 and pitched one inning in 2011-12, then came back to have three very good seasons in 2013-15 (83 GS, 531 IP, 3.61 FIP, 8.3 fWAR)
 

nvalvo

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
19,942
Rogers Park
How many pitchers at Paxton's age throw +/- 60 innings over three years and then become effective, reliable members of contender rotations? Brett Saberhagen is about the only one I can think of off the top of my head. Pitched 67 innings total in 1995, 1996 and 1997. He was 31 at the start of that period. He then had a decent year for the 1998 Red Sox (31 starts, 15-8 with a 119 ERA+) and was having a good year in 1998 (22 starts, 10-6 with a 171 ERA+) when he got hurt again in 1999, which basically ended his career.
Corey Kluber is in the midst of something like that. He's 36 now, and threw 116 IP in the 2019-2021 span, including 1 IP in the shortened 2020 season. He's made 17 high-quality starts for the Rays this year so far.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2021
5,860
Corey Kluber is in the midst of something like that. He's 36 now, and threw 116 IP in the 2019-2021 span, including 1 IP in the shortened 2020 season. He's made 17 high-quality starts for the Rays this year so far.
And he’s on a 1 year, $8M deal - which seems about what Paxton should probably get, IMO.
 

nvalvo

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
19,942
Rogers Park
And he’s on a 1 year, $8M deal - which seems about what Paxton should probably get, IMO.
Okay, but if Rodón is a questionable comp for Paxton because he's three years younger, surely it matters that Kluber is as old now as Paxton would be at the end of his time in Boston if the club option is picked up.

Kluber is a better comp for Hill and Wacha. Speaking of which, Hill is another example of a guy who lost multiple years to injury and then returned in his mid-30s to have some great seasons for contending teams.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2021
5,860
Kluber won multiple CYA. He had five years of 200+ IP and went 56-20 over a three year stretch; none of the guys you mentioned have close to that upside. Wacha was coming off three terrible years; Hill is like the oldest pitcher in baseball and pitched 150 innings once In the last 15 years.

Hill’s 3 year / $48M deal with the Dodgers coming off seasons of 110, 29, and 5 IP; and at the age of 36 is a pretty good comparisons. 110 innings still represents like 3x Paxton’s best case scenario, though.
 
Last edited:

scottyno

late Bloomer
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2008
10,186
It was incredibly innovative by Boras - getting a team to pay for an injured FA to rehab, and allowed him to coin the term “swellopt”. Although not sure the term has caught on!
Boras didn't come up with that contract, it's the same type of contract Eovaldi signed with the Rays in 2017 that eventually got him to the Sox.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2021
5,860
Boras didn't come up with that contract, it's the same type of contract Eovaldi signed with the Rays in 2017 that eventually got him to the Sox.
Not really, Eovaldi’s deal included a club option but it wasn’t a “swellopt“ because the value of the option year was the same as the first year.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2021
5,860

Apisith

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 19, 2007
2,951
Bangkok
$6m wasted then? It’s going to cost us even more if we don’t get a pick when one of the FAs leave because we’re over the cap.

I disagree that it was always about next year, that doesn’t fit with anything that’s been mentioned before by Cora or Bloom.
 

AB in DC

OG Football Writing
SoSH Member
Jul 10, 2002
10,206
Springfield, VA
That NJ.com article is total clickbait by the way. It's basically saying that the Sox have given up on this year so by definition they care more about next year. Plus one Globe quote that doesn't really support the article.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2021
5,860
That NJ.com article is total clickbait by the way. It's basically saying that the Sox have given up on this year so by definition they care more about next year. Plus one Globe quote that doesn't really support the article.
Paxton needed to be throwing live BP by the week after the ASG in order to go in a rehab assignment and be back mid to late August. This report states he has been unable to throw live BP, which suggests he is at least a few weeks behind- pushing his potential return to September. So it seems fair to surmise that he’s in danger of running out of time.

Hopefully, there will be an update from the Sox soon, but seems like no update (which seems to be the case lately with Paxton, Taylor, and Hernandez) increases the likelihood we won’t see them the rest of this year.
 

chawson

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
3,133
Paxton needed to be throwing live BP by the week after the ASG in order to go in a rehab assignment and be back mid to late August. This report states he has been unable to throw live BP, which suggests he is at least a few weeks behind- pushing his potential return to September. So it seems fair to surmise that he’s in danger of running out of time.

Hopefully, there will be an update from the Sox soon, but seems like no update (which seems to be the case lately with Paxton, Taylor, and Hernandez) increases the likelihood we won’t see them the rest of this year.
There was an update on Kiké Hernandez on Sunday. He's swinging the bat and Cora anticipates his return this month.
 

The Gray Eagle

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2001
15,215
Bloom signed Paxton and made the JBJ trade right before the lockout. At the time, it made me wonder if that was a sign that he thought the 2022 season was going to be at least significantly shortened, or possibly canceled. Both those deals look a lot better if over half of 2022 was canceled.

If the entire season had been canceled, the Bradley deal basically becomes us getting 2 prospects for almost nothing (from the Brewers, the team we just hired a new assistant GM from, who presumably knew their system very well) and Paxton becomes an optional deal.

At the time, I thought most of the season would be canceled, because of how far apart the sides seemed. (Given how it's gone so far, I almost wish the entire first half had been canceled. I love baseball, so I'm kidding about that. Kind of.) I wonder if Bloom looked at the dispute and took a gamble that a significant part of the season would be canceled. If so, he lost that gamble obviously.
 

A Bad Man

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2016
909
Paxton needed to be throwing live BP by the week after the ASG in order to go in a rehab assignment and be back mid to late August. This report states he has been unable to throw live BP, which suggests he is at least a few weeks behind- pushing his potential return to September. So it seems fair to surmise that he’s in danger of running out of time.

Hopefully, there will be an update from the Sox soon, but seems like no update (which seems to be the case lately with Paxton, Taylor, and Hernandez) increases the likelihood we won’t see them the rest of this year.
Judging from the Cora quote in the short Globe piece, it does seem that Paxton has had a setback. Hard to tell through the rather flimsily worded article and Cora's smokescreen.
"And there’s gonna be a few bumps in the road to recovery and we’re gonna be very cautious about it."
Cora appears to say that Paxton had another setback and the Sox are being very cautious.
 

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
18,772
Miami (oh, Miami!)
Given the month has just begun that's a pretty broad brush. Here's hoping it's sooner rather than later.
I don't know really. He's a good defensive CF when he's at 100% and has some extra utility to shift to 2B, etc. if needed. But he's just not hitting this year. Last year his OPS+ was only 107. That was bolstered by a hot July and August - which absolutely counts, but so do the colder months.

Best case - we get the hot-streak Hernandez. Worst case, we get what we saw earlier this year which was a 68 OPS+ (and that takes the dead ball/weather into account.) Still a step up over JBJ, overall, but not in all cases. Situationally, it's interesting to consider the splits. Each have a career batting split with JBJ hitting RHP better, and Hernandez hitting LHP better. They both hit a lot better at Fenway - Jackie particularly this year (OPS of .785).

I'd say Hernandez has more upside at this point. But do I start him against RHP in Fenway as soon as I possibly can? Maybe not. Much depends on how his rehab goes. I hope he hits the snot out of the ball.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2021
5,860
I don't know really. He's a good defensive CF when he's at 100% and has some extra utility to shift to 2B, etc. if needed. But he's just not hitting this year. Last year his OPS+ was only 107. That was bolstered by a hot July and August - which absolutely counts, but so do the colder months.

Best case - we get the hot-streak Hernandez. Worst case, we get what we saw earlier this year which was a 68 OPS+ (and that takes the dead ball/weather into account.) Still a step up over JBJ, overall, but not in all cases. Situationally, it's interesting to consider the splits. Each have a career batting split with JBJ hitting RHP better, and Hernandez hitting LHP better. They both hit a lot better at Fenway - Jackie particularly this year (OPS of .785).

I'd say Hernandez has more upside at this point. But do I start him against RHP in Fenway as soon as I possibly can? Maybe not. Much depends on how his rehab goes. I hope he hits the snot out of the ball.
Let’s keep this thread to Paxton, please :)

Paxton with a 2 inning simulated game today (per Tom Caron on the NESN telecast), so that’s a positive development.
 

A Bad Man

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2016
909
Paxton with a 2 inning simulated game today (per Tom Caron on the NESN telecast), so that’s a positive development.
Here's the tweet:

This is a very positive development. It makes me think that Cora was speaking in general terms in the Globe quote, perhaps referring to Paxton's setback earlier in the season. This sim game keeps Paxton on schedule for the timeline we've been working with (note the 2 innning sim game in "Week 24 Throwing" [second to last week] in the previously referenced throwing program).
 
Last edited:

scottyno

late Bloomer
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2008
10,186
Here's the tweet:

This is a very positive development. It makes me think that Cora was speaking in general terms in the Globe quote, perhaps referring to Paxton's setback earlier in the season. This sim game keeps Paxton on schedule for the timeline we've been working with (note the 2 innning sim game in "Week 24 Throwing" [second to last week] in the previously referenced throwing program).
Not sure if I'm excited that Barnes is close to being back, but this bullpen includes guys worse than him right now so might as well see if he figured anything out.
 

A Bad Man

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2016
909
View: https://twitter.com/alexspeier/status/1555620564655652866?s=21&t=wJMOJfDTgmim0RQ8k774-w


Tweet from Alex Speier: Can confirm this - Paxton was up to 95 while throwing his entire pitch mix in Fort Myers. This is his 2nd simulated game against hitters in recent days as Paxton progresses towards a rehab assignment in his return from Tommy John surgery.

Paxton making strides.
Have to think Paxton heads out for a rehab assignment next week if he responds well.
 

moondog80

heart is two sizes two small
SoSH Member
Sep 20, 2005
6,622
Question about the tax calculation as relates to Paxton; he is only getting paid 6 mil this year, but his tax number is 10 mil because the 4 million buyout for next year is included. Makes sense. I'm guessing this means that if the Sox do pick up his option (2 years/26 mil), his tax number the next two years will only be 11 mil because they will subtract out the 4 mil extra they are paying this year?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
17,304
Maine
Question about the tax calculation as relates to Paxton; he is only getting paid 6 mil this year, but his tax number is 10 mil because the 4 million buyout for next year is included. Makes sense. I'm guessing this means that if the Sox do pick up his option (2 years/26 mil), his tax number the next two years will only be 11 mil because they will subtract out the 4 mil extra they are paying this year?
If they pick up the option, I believe the 2022 number is adjusted to 6M and then it's a 13M hit each of the next two years. Either that, or it's figured as a 3/32 deal and re-adjusted to a 10.66M annual hit. Regardless, the 2022 number would change based on picking up the option.
 

jwbasham84

lurker
Jul 26, 2022
39
South Bend, IN
So, if it is the $6M - 2022 and $13M - '23 & '24, wouldn't that drop them $4M closer to being under the tax threshold for 2022? By no means would that be a reason they exercise his option but could be a benefit.
 

A Bad Man

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2016
909
Another sim game Friday for Paxton; not sure what this signifies other than the Sox being cautious. The Rangers throwing program does say that in the final week "it is ok for both if it takes time before you return to an affiliate to pitch (we are not in a rush at this point)." Maybe the rehab start is next week?

 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
SoSH Member
Jan 15, 2004
25,121
Kluber won multiple CYA. He had five years of 200+ IP and went 56-20 over a three year stretch; none of the guys you mentioned have close to that upside. Wacha was coming off three terrible years; Hill is like the oldest pitcher in baseball and pitched 150 innings once In the last 15 years.

Hill’s 3 year / $48M deal with the Dodgers coming off seasons of 110, 29, and 5 IP; and at the age of 36 is a pretty good comparisons. 110 innings still represents like 3x Paxton’s best case scenario, though.
Hill is also an example of why a multi-year deal could represent great value. When Oakland signed him to a 1/$6m deal following his 29 and 5 IP seasons they didn’t benefit from a healthy Hill but for one season. I’m sure someone like Hill, who had career earnings of $3m at the time, would have jumped at a second yr of gtd money with a team option for year 3. Instead, the A’s lose him for nothing and the Dodgers benefit by signing him.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
17,304
Maine
Hill is also an example of why a multi-year deal could represent great value. When Oakland signed him to a 1/$6m deal following his 29 and 5 IP seasons they didn’t benefit from a healthy Hill but for one season. I’m sure someone like Hill, who had career earnings of $3m at the time, would have jumped at a second yr of gtd money with a team option for year 3. Instead, the A’s lose him for nothing and the Dodgers benefit by signing him.
Nothing? The A's traded him to the Dodgers (w/Josh Reddick) and Frankie Montas was among the prospects in the return. I think the A's did okay.