James Paxton, Dodgers close to deal (source)

The Dodgers are close to a deal with free agent left-handed pitcher James Paxton, a source tells MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand. The club has not confirmed the deal, which is expected to be worth one year and around $12 million, according to a source.

Paxton further strengthened Los Angeles’ new rotation after signing club-sought free agent Yoshinobu Yamamoto and acquiring right-hander Tyler Glasnow via trade.

After making only six major league starts from 2020 to 2022, Paxton bounced back with 19 quality starts for the Red Sox last season. Paxton’s 4.50 ERA was largely based on a rate of 1.69 home runs per nine innings, but his expected ERA of 3.77 indicates that he performed better than his raw earned run average. The Canadian player combined an above-average empty swing rate with the ability to throw strikes in nearly 100 innings of work.

Injuries have been a frequent problem for Paxton throughout his career. The left-hander played at least 120 innings in four consecutive seasons from 2016 to 2019, but he battled a series of injuries in almost every other season. Also in 2023, Paxton began the season on the disabled list with right hamstring discomfort and ended it due to inflammation in his right knee. When Paxton has been on the mound, he has been very effective (career ERA+ of 112 and FIP of 3.46). The main problem for the 35-year-old left-hander is staying on the field.

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