Red Sox sign James Paxton (old thread)

mikcou

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He made sense at a small backup salary. He didn't make much sense at the salary he actually got from the Reds when the Sox had 4 internal options to cover right field. Once all 4 of those options failed, got hurt, or were no longer realistic options in right then Pham at that price made sense.
He got either 1/$7.5M or 2/$12M. What exactly is this small salary that he'd make sense at if that isnt small? You dont get competent FAs for anything less than that.
 

scottyno

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He got either 1/$7.5M or 2/$12M. What exactly is this small salary that he'd make sense at if that isnt small? You dont get competent FAs for anything less than that.
How many guys are signed to be a backup/smaller end of a platoon at anywhere near that?
 

mikcou

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How many guys are signed to be a backup/smaller end of a platoon at anywhere near that?
I dont accept your premise, but using that premise, just off the top of my head, the Red Sox gave Gomes a 2/10 back in 2013. Seems relatively similar assuming some salary inflation.

Back to your premise, that goes back to a pretty failed eval of JBJ if they thought they only needed a weak side of a platoon. He was coming off the worst season of any position player in a long time - he wasnt just no worth his salary, he wasnt close to a major league player in 2021 and predictably, even with a bounce back, was still really bad.

I like Bloom, but that doesnt mean hes infallible. The combination of his moves for 1B and RF were poor and its a good portion of the reason they are on the outside looking in of the playoffs.

Edit: Not to mention that Pham is a better/more flexible bench player than Gomes ever was.
 

jon abbey

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There’s still a chance it works out well, but while Chaim would never admit it publicly, he wouldn’t sign Story again if he had a do-over. No way.
I disagree with this because I think a big part of why he got Story was as insurance against Bogaerts leaving this winter, and if that happens and Story is capable of playing a solid SS (we have no idea here really IMO), then I think it will have worked out much as Bloom intended.
 

Ganthem

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Story had a 792 OPS from May 15 on, which is in line with what preseason expectations should have been. (Because of the move from Colorado and the down year in 2021, actual expectations were all over the map.) If Story was playing above average D at shortstop, that production would be well worth the $24M/year price tag. At second base, it really isn’t. And that’s before you get into the injury and the lost first month of the season, which of course do count, and made his actual value much less.

Story will enter the 2023 season at age 30, four years removed from his last elite offensive season, and with question marks about his ability to play the position he pretty much needs to play to have any hope of justifying his contract. There’s still a chance it works out well, but while Chaim would never admit it publicly, he wouldn’t sign Story again if he had a do-over. No way.

I’m still a Chaim supporter, but his 2021-22 off-season was at least as bad as his 2020-21 off-season was good.
I think the Story signing has thus far been good, but I will remove it from the list of players that were lottery tickets. I would disagree that lottery tickets are a luxury. Lottery tickets are a good way to try to find stop gaps until a more permanent solution presents itself or to try to get surplus value. People who really hated the JBJ signing or the fact that Dalbec was pencil in as the starting first baseman this year are really not going to enjoy Bloom's tenure running the Red Sox. I think most heads of baseball ops now adays have at least one or two positions where they take a chance on somebody who has had a down year or just hasn't tapped into their potential yet.
 

moondog80

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Going back to before the season started, they expected JD to play some OF (he started 35 games in OF last year) and either he or Arroyo was going to play RF against lefty pitchers. Everything seemed fine with Arroyo playing OF in spring training.



It's not accurate to say that they planned on Bradley playing RF every day. That specifically was not the plan as of April.



Arroyo started 16 games in RF, all but one before the end of June.

But JD's barely been able to run all season, and Arroyo couldn't make the transition to OF. If either had worked out, then Bradley would have had fewer at-bats, and more times coming in as a defensive replacement.
Neither of those worked out at all, but they were actual options that were part of the OF picture before the season. Add them to the list of things that blew up.
Another OF backup plan in place before the season, in case Bradley couldn't bounce back, JD couldn't play the field, Duran didn't hit, Franchy didn't hit, and Arroyo couldn't handle OF, was to have Refsnyder, vet RH outfielder, stashed in AAA. As it turned out, that one actually worked great. Until Refsnyder got hurt and missed a bunch of games.
They were caught off guard that JDM, RF, and Fenway was a bad mix?
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

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Paxton getting pulled for that sounds like "abundance of caution" territory. He's not expected to contribute much this year, so they aren't going to rush him along. He'll get another start in a couple days, I'd guess, maybe on his normal bullpen day, and they'll see how that goes. I'm not seeing a reason to panic or cast doom and gloom over this just yet.
 

jon abbey

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Paxton getting pulled for that sounds like "abundance of caution" territory. He's not expected to contribute much this year, so they aren't going to rush him along. He'll get another start in a couple days, I'd guess, maybe on his normal bullpen day, and they'll see how that goes. I'm not seeing a reason to panic or cast doom and gloom over this just yet.
Not sure where you're getting that from, MLBTR says:

"Cotillo adds that Paxton is seeing a doctor tomorrow to determine the severity of the issue, but there’s no question this is a significant setback for the hurler. Today was his first attempt to pitch in an organized game since undergoing Tommy John surgery in April of last year. He was still going to need some time to ramp up for a starter’s workload and will now have to push that further down the road. Even a mild lat strain usually requires a recovery period of 2-3 weeks, which means the southpaw will likely be sidelined until some time in September even in a best case scenario."

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2022/08/james-paxton-diagnosed-with-lat-strain.html
 

StuckOnYouk

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Any chance they pass on the two year portion of the deal and work out another two year deal for lesser money? Or even just a 1 year deal?
 

RedOctober3829

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He made sense at a small backup salary. He didn't make much sense at the salary he actually got from the Reds when the Sox had 4 internal options to cover right field. Once all 4 of those options failed, got hurt, or were no longer realistic options in right then Pham at that price made sense.
Or maybe they should’ve spent the money it took to sign Pham and they would have been a better team with him in the lineup and JBJ on the bench.
 

scottyno

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Or maybe they should’ve spent the money it took to sign Pham and they would have been a better team with him in the lineup and JBJ on the bench.
Pham was pretty bad for most of the season, that's why he was available for nothing. So instead of being 59-60 right now maybe they'd be 60-59. Then instead of people complaining that they were paying $12m for bad RF production they'd be complaining that they'd spent $20 for bad RF production, big improvement.
 

mikcou

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Pham was pretty bad for most of the season, that's why he was available for nothing. So instead of being 59-60 right now maybe they'd be 60-59. Then instead of people complaining that they were paying $12m for bad RF production they'd be complaining that they'd spent $20 for bad RF production, big improvement.
Are you going for some sort of parody? Pham is a below average starter or nice bench player - thats a completely reasonable guy to spend $6-$7M on. JBJ is a defense only player whos bat is so bad that its questionable whether hes a MLB player. No one would be complaining about giving a 1-1.5 WAR vet $6M. $12M to a guy who is clearly below replacement; yeah people are going to complain.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Feel like we are overly complicating this; keeping Renfroe was the right move; they wouldn’t have had to take on Bradley’s buy out for next year and would have saved a few million this year too. Hell, a case can be made that bringing back Schwarber, Iglesias, and Ottavino would have made more sense than adding Story and Diekman. Sometimes it feels like the Sox have made moves with the idea that they get extra credit for the degree of difficulty.

Also, Pham has an 832 ops vs LH this year and would have been fine in that role. Maybe he didn’t want a role like that; but perhaps the Sox shouldn’t have put themselves in a position to needing an impossible to find player to have a decent RF situation, a situation they created themselves for no apparent reason other than to get two middling prospects.

And while I get that injuries hurt the team, that’s a risk you take when your only backup OF (who isn’t really an OF) is also your utility infielder, when your starting CF is also your backup 2B, or when your backup LF is also your every day DH. Suddenly Arroyo and Kike get hurt and four positions are impacted.
 
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Sin Duda

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I recall many of us thinking Chaim was selling high on Renfro's bat, and that his defense, with the Sport Center highlight throws, was not really acceptable for Fenway. JBJ had indeed been historically bad in 2021, but he had been quite good in 2020 (2.0 Bref WAR in only 55 games!), and perhaps Chaim attributed his bad 2021 to new team, new league, and that returning to Boston would rejuvenate him (I know that's what I has hoping for). Of course, we all thought Chaim would acquire another RFer, so that's a miss. But, at the time, many of us thought it was a savvy trade because JBJ would provide better defense, worse offense (but maybe not much worse) and we were paying JBJ's higher salary to get two prospects.
 

scottyno

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Are you going for some sort of parody? Pham is a below average starter or nice bench player - thats a completely reasonable guy to spend $6-$7M on. JBJ is a defense only player whos bat is so bad that its questionable whether hes a MLB player. No one would be complaining about giving a 1-1.5 WAR vet $6M. $12M to a guy who is clearly below replacement; yeah people are going to complain.
People are already complaining that Eric Hosmer isn't good enough to be a starting 1b on a playoff team in 2023 making the minimum and you don't think people would have been complaining if the Sox were 60-59 right now and they were paying Pham $7m to be well below average through 3/4ths of the season?
 

mikcou

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People are already complaining that Eric Hosmer isn't good enough to be a starting 1b on a playoff team in 2023 making the minimum and you don't think people would have been complaining if the Sox were 60-59 right now and they were paying Pham $7m to be well below average through 3/4ths of the season?
Neither Tommy Pham nor Eric Hosmer are good (or even average) MLB starters. Tommy Pham is a better player than JBJ and is worth $6M a year. Those two statements are not in any way contradictory.

There's also a huge difference between paying a guy to be a guy who plays 100 games a year as borderline bench/starting OF and keeping a "backup" first basemen - the latter is really difficult from a roster construction perspective - the former is a great depth move.
 

Super Nomario

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I recall many of us thinking Chaim was selling high on Renfro's bat, and that his defense, with the Sport Center highlight throws, was not really acceptable for Fenway. JBJ had indeed been historically bad in 2021, but he had been quite good in 2020 (2.0 Bref WAR in only 55 games!), and perhaps Chaim attributed his bad 2021 to new team, new league, and that returning to Boston would rejuvenate him (I know that's what I has hoping for). Of course, we all thought Chaim would acquire another RFer, so that's a miss. But, at the time, many of us thought it was a savvy trade because JBJ would provide better defense, worse offense (but maybe not much worse) and we were paying JBJ's higher salary to get two prospects.
I get the idea of selling high on Renfroe for prospects, but the return here was pretty mystifying. JBJ was a negative value asset at his contract, coming of a 34 OPS+ season. And the prospects are nothing special. Obviously it was a wild misjudgment all around by Bloom here - too low on Renfroe, too high on JBJ, too high on the prospects.
 

soxin6

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If you want to criticize Bloom for JBJ feel free, but I don’t understand the criticism about Paxton. Sure, the Sox may get nothing out of him but it was worth the risk. There are very few sure things on the mound and even those can get hurt and miss significant time, see DeGrom and Buehler this season. Taking a flyer on guys using short contracts with some money seems like a way to maximize the chances of having enough pitching for a season. That approach probably only works 60-70% of the time, but the Sox don’t have 30 million a year tied up in another guy that can’t pitch.
 

chawson

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Feel like we are overly complicating this; keeping Renfroe was the right move; they wouldn’t have had to take on Bradley’s buy out for next year and would have saved a few million this year too. Hell, a case can be made that bringing back Schwarber, Iglesias, and Ottavino would have made more sense than adding Story and Diekman. Sometimes it feels like the Sox have made moves with the idea that they get extra credit for the degree of difficulty.

Also, Pham has an 832 ops vs LH this year and would have been fine in that role. Maybe he didn’t want a role like that; but perhaps the Sox shouldn’t have put themselves in a position to needing an impossible to find player to have a decent RF situation, a situation they created themselves for no apparent reason other than to get two middling prospects.

And while I get that injuries hurt the team, that’s a risk you take when your only backup OF (who isn’t really an OF) is also your utility infielder, when your starting CF is also your backup 2B, or when your backup LF is also your every day DH. Suddenly Arroyo and Kike get hurt and four positions are impacted.
Renfroe is really nothing special. He's a low-OBP power goof. I think Bloom saw him as more or less the same asset as post-swing change Refsnyder, and honestly he was right. We have Refsnyder through 2024, pretty inexpensively. I think that will turn out to be a more beneficial use of a roster spot than Renfroe on essentially a 2/$20M deal through '23, which is what Bloom traded to Milwaukee.

There's too much focus on the narrative that JBJ was Renfroe's replacement without any other context. Besides Refsnyder, keeping Renfroe would have incurred several opportunity costs. It seems clear that Bloom needed to give Duran a shot this year, and you really can't do that with a Verdugo/Kiké/Renfroe outfield. He probably wanted Franchy to get some work in right field too. No one could have predicted that Kiké had a "bowl of blood" clotted in his chest that would screw up his mechanics and ultimately shut him down for three months, which changed the outfield dynamic completely. Getting Binelas was a factor too, and while his stock has dropped, he's hardly beyond hope.

Bradley's buyout next year doesn't matter at all in the grand scheme of things, and neither does his salary this year, because the Sox are going to reset under the cap in '23 or '24.
 

dynomite

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If you want to criticize Bloom for JBJ feel free, but I don’t understand the criticism about Paxton. Sure, the Sox may get nothing out of him but it was worth the risk. There are very few sure things on the mound and even those can get hurt and miss significant time, see DeGrom and Buehler this season. Taking a flyer on guys using short contracts with some money seems like a way to maximize the chances of having enough pitching for a season.
Taking short term risks on iffy pitchers is a strategy lots of teams are employing (not just the Sox, but the Rays, Giants, Dodgers, etc.). I don’t see people complaining about that, per se.

The problem with the Paxton signing was always that 1) the 2022 Sox went into the season with glaring deficiencies at 1B, RF, and the pitching staff and that $10M could have helped address them, and 2) even in terms of short term pitching help, Paxton was *already* hurt last off-season and recovering from TJS and clearly would contribute nothing until, at best, late July or August. From the start the signing appeared to prioritize 2023 at the expense of 2022.

Take a look at the other starters that signed 1 year deals this off-season for less than Paxton’s $10M. Sure, some didn’t pan out (Matt Boyd, Dylan Bundy). But then some have been outstanding: old friend Martín Perez has been an ace for the Rangers bizarrely, current friend Wacha, Tyler Anderson has helped anchor the Dodgers rotation (13 wins, 2.81 ERA), Kluber has been solid for the Rays, Drew Smyly has been good for the Cubs, even guys like Chris Archer and Cueto have been huge for the Twins and White Sox.

I’m not reflexively anti-Chaim. He helped get the 2021 Sox to the verge of the World Series. But his approach to 2022 never made sense, and Paxton is a prime example.

Here are all the SP free agents and the contracts they signed: https://www.spotrac.com/mlb/free-agents/2022/starting-pitcher/
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Paxton seems unlikely to pitch in the majors this year. So you’ve spent $6M for the right to now give a 2 year $26M deal for the age 34-35 seasons of a guy who has thrown 22 innings at a 6.7 era over the last three years. I guess it’s “only money”.
 

moondog80

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No one could have predicted that Kiké had a "bowl of blood" clotted in his chest that would screw up his mechanics and ultimately shut him down for three months, which changed the outfield dynamic completely.
At the time Kike went on the injured list, JBJ had started 41 out of 56 games.

Look, I like Bloom. If they fired him now I'd be mad and consider it reactionary. But going into the season with a plan of playing JBJ as often as he did, and then giving him 290 PA before fixing it was a fail, there's no other way to spin it. I hope he learns from it and moves on.
 

Super Nomario

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Renfroe is really nothing special. He's a low-OBP power goof.
I agree with this. Renfroe is a solid major league player but not special.

I think Bloom saw him as more or less the same asset as post-swing change Refsnyder, and honestly he was right.
Refsnyder has hit very well this year, but we are talking about barely over 100 plate appearances. It's way too early to make this kind of proclamation. He's also a year older than Renfroe, FWIW.

There's too much focus on the narrative that JBJ was Renfroe's replacement without any other context. Besides Refsnyder, keeping Renfroe would have incurred several opportunity costs. It seems clear that Bloom needed to give Duran a shot this year, and you really can't do that with a Verdugo/Kiké/Renfroe outfield. He probably wanted Franchy to get some work in right field too.
This looks like another miscalculation to me - Duran and Franchy both stink. It doesn't seem reasonable to go into the year assuming either (or Bradley, or Refsnyder) would outproduce Renfroe, so I'm not sure why they would prioritize getting them on the field instead of the better player. It would be one thing if they saved money dumping Renfroe, but they didn't, and it would be one thing if the prospects they got in return were really good, but they're not.

We have Refsnyder through 2024, pretty inexpensively. I think that will turn out to be a more beneficial use of a roster spot than Renfroe on essentially a 2/$20M deal through '23, which is what Bloom traded to Milwaukee.

Bradley's buyout next year doesn't matter at all in the grand scheme of things, and neither does his salary this year, because the Sox are going to reset under the cap in '23 or '24.
Why does Refsynder being cheaper than Renfroe matter but wasting a lot of that savings by taking on JBJ doesn't matter?
 

Ganthem

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I agree with this. Renfroe is a solid major league player but not special.


Refsnyder has hit very well this year, but we are talking about barely over 100 plate appearances. It's way too early to make this kind of proclamation. He's also a year older than Renfroe, FWIW.


This looks like another miscalculation to me - Duran and Franchy both stink. It doesn't seem reasonable to go into the year assuming either (or Bradley, or Refsnyder) would outproduce Renfroe, so I'm not sure why they would prioritize getting them on the field instead of the better player. It would be one thing if they saved money dumping Renfroe, but they didn't, and it would be one thing if the prospects they got in return were really good, but they're not.


Why does Refsynder being cheaper than Renfroe matter but wasting a lot of that savings by taking on JBJ doesn't matter?
So you knew Duran was going to stink prior to this season?
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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For a team largely devoid of power, Renfroe’s .501 slugging, at a lower cost than Bradley, and no commitment beyond this year, would have been useful. I get the logic behind the move, but it didn’t work out, and it was clear it wasn’t working out long before they made a too little too late move to address it. Same goes for the 1b situation.
 

mikcou

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I agree with this. Renfroe is a solid major league player but not special.


Refsnyder has hit very well this year, but we are talking about barely over 100 plate appearances. It's way too early to make this kind of proclamation. He's also a year older than Renfroe, FWIW.


This looks like another miscalculation to me - Duran and Franchy both stink. It doesn't seem reasonable to go into the year assuming either (or Bradley, or Refsnyder) would outproduce Renfroe, so I'm not sure why they would prioritize getting them on the field instead of the better player. It would be one thing if they saved money dumping Renfroe, but they didn't, and it would be one thing if the prospects they got in return were really good, but they're not.


Why does Refsynder being cheaper than Renfroe matter but wasting a lot of that savings by taking on JBJ doesn't matter?
None of it makes any sense. Stating that Refsnyder is comparable never mind better than Renfroe when Refsnyder is 32 years old and barely has more plate appearances in his MLB career (dating back to 2015) than Renfroe gets in a typical season (725 for Refsnyders career v. 500 in a typical Renfroe season) has absolutely no support.

Renfroe is not a star; that does not mean he is not a solid average starting position player - something that is sorely lacking on the current roster. He'd be the 4th best position player on the roster right now.

For a team largely devoid of power, Renfroe’s .501 slugging, at a lower cost than Bradley, and no commitment beyond this year, would have been useful. I get the logic behind the move, but it didn’t work out, and it was clear it wasn’t working out long before they made a too little too late move to address it. Same goes for the 1b situation.
Its a bit worse than that - Renfroe is going into his last year of arbitration in 2023 - he'd be a nice piece for next year's roster.
 

Super Nomario

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So you knew Duran was going to stink prior to this season?
Not for sure but it looked more likely than not. I certainly would not go clearing at bats of competent major league play to create opportunity for Duran to maybe give you competent major league play. Let him force his way onto the roster.
 

YTF

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Not for sure but it looked more likely than not. I certainly would not go clearing at bats of competent major league play to create opportunity for Duran to maybe give you competent major league play. Let him force his way onto the roster.
That's not exactly how things went down considering Duran's only game played for the Sox was on May 6th before getting called back up and playing two games in early June and then getting inserted into the lineup on a more regular basis on June 15th after Hernandez got hurt.
 

sean1562

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Hunter Renfroe's .821 OPS would be the second highest on the team if he was in Boston. His bWAR(2.2) matches Story's in about the same amount of games. He will probably end the year with like 3 bWAR in around 120 games. At 7.6 mil this year, that is a pretty solid roster piece.
 

scottyno

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Is a torn lat something that should be fine for next year? If he's going to potentially miss a bunch of next year too then the Sox probably decline their option and he opts in to his 1 year 4 mill
 

moondog80

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Is a torn lat something that should be fine for next year? If he's going to potentially miss a bunch of next year too then the Sox probably decline their option and he opts in to his 1 year 4 mill

My half-assed internet research says that grade 2 means most likely no surgery, 6-12 weeks to heal. So this particular injury would be healed well before spring training, but 2/26 won't be on the table.
 

Rusty13

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Is a torn lat something that should be fine for next year? If he's going to potentially miss a bunch of next year too then the Sox probably decline their option and he opts in to his 1 year 4 mill
Can we just divide that 4 mill by 20 and send him a Bonilla yearly kiss in the mail instead?
 

DeadlySplitter

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Chronically injured guy continues to be injured.

I didn’t mind this low-risk gamble but it definitely blew up.
 

scottyno

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My half-assed internet research says that grade 2 means most likely no surgery, 6-12 weeks to heal. So this particular injury would be healed well before spring training, but 2/26 won't be on the table.
So then the question becomes does Paxton think he can get more than 4m gtd on the open market or would be rather opt in and hopefully rebuild his value for 2024. He'll be presumably healthy, but no one will really have seen him pitch in a game in 2-3 years.

Also, he probably has to decide on the option before he's fully healthy.
 

moondog80

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So then the question becomes does Paxton think he can get more than 4m gtd on the open market or would be rather opt in and hopefully rebuild his value for 2024. He'll be presumably healthy, but no one will really have seen him pitch in a game in 2-3 years.
Assuming he's projected to have a clean bill of health by December or so, hitting FA seems like the play. If he ends up with less than 4 mil, it won't be by much.

Put another way -- if I am in the ballpark with his prognosis, I'd be happy if he picked up the option.
 
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Petagine in a Bottle

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I think you have to decline 2/26, maybe you try to work something out (guaranteeing the $4M with incentives / option triggering at certain # of innings i pitched), but that kind of a guarantee seems much higher than he would expect in the open market.
 

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I think you have to decline 2/26, maybe you try to work something out (guaranteeing the $4M with incentives / option triggering at certain # of innings i pitched), but that kind of a guarantee seems much higher than he would expect in the open market.
Absolutely. All he’s going to get now is something with big incentives. I think there is no chance he’ll get close to 2/26.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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The guy couldn't throw more than an inning of actual baseball before his arm ripped apart again. He's barely pitched in three years. Why would we want to roll the dice on him again?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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The guy couldn't throw more than an inning of actual baseball before his arm ripped apart again. He's barely pitched in three years. Why would we want to roll the dice on him again?
Is there anyone actually advocating for that at this point?

The only question at this point is whether Paxton wants to roll the dice or not. He has a player option to stay next year for $4M. He can exercise that or go to free agency and try to get more.
 

scottyno

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Is there anyone actually advocating for that at this point?

The only question at this point is whether Paxton wants to roll the dice or not. He has a player option to stay next year for $4M. He can exercise that or go to free agency and try to get more.
Advocating for what? If the Sox had the option for next year for $4m and they had to decide today then yes 100% I'd want them to pick it up, I think most here would as well, because the worst case is it's $4m which has no impact on next year's roster and the best case is getting a good pitcher for $4m.

He gave them nothing this year for $6m and there's no reason to think that lost money hurt the 2022 team.