BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox added to their rotation early Wednesday morning, reportedly signing lefty James Paxton to a one-year deal. The southpaw is coming off Tommy John surgery, and isn’t expected to return until midway through the season.
Paxton was once a top-of-the-rotation guy, but will likely slot into the back end of Boston’s rotation when he returns. Boston also has a two-year option on Paxton for the 2023 and 2024 seasons. The deal is reportedly for $10 million in 2022, and could be worth up to $35 million in total.READ MORE: Patriots Scouting Consultant Eliot Wolf Reportedly A Finalist For Bears GM Job
The 33-year-old Paxton pitched just 1.1 innings for the Seattle Mariners in 2021, leaving his only start of the year with a forearm injury that eventually led to his second Tommy John surgery in April. He also had a lost season in 2021, making just five starts for the New York Yankees.READ MORE: Tuukka Rask Is 'Not Where He Needs To Be' For Bruins
Paxton was one of the best starters in the American League from 2017-19, winning 36 games with a 3.54 ERA for the Mariners and Yankees. He was traded to the Bronx in 2019, with New York trading away its top pitching prospect for Paxton, and went 15-6 with a 3.82 ERA in his first season with the Yankees. He made a career-high 29 starts that season, but has struggled with injuries since.
Now Boston will bank on him filling out a spot in the back of its rotation when he returns midseason, with the chance that he could be much better in future years as he works back from Tommy John. But it’s certainly not the splashy signing that Red Sox fans have been hoping for since the team fell to the Astros in the ALCS.MORE NEWS: Tom Brady Says Family Will Help Make Decision On His Future: 'It's Not Always What I Want'
The Red Sox rotation is currently made up of Nathan Eovaldi, Chris Sale, Nick Pivetta, recently-signed Michael Wacha and potentially Tanner Houck or Garrett Whitlock filling out the fifth spot to start the year.