Red Sox, James Paxton Agree to 1-Year Terms; Lefty Will Return Late 2022 After Tommy John Surgery, Pitched Just 1.1 Innings in 2021 (Reports)

James Paxton

The Boston Red Sox have finally made a significant free-agent move, as they’ve signed left-handed starting pitcher James Paxton to a one-year, $10M deal, according to several reports.

Paxton is recovering from Tommy John surgery and recorded just four outs (1.1 innings) on the mound in 2021 before his season came to an end due to elbow discomfort — it ended up being Tommy John. The 33-year-old will return during the 2022 season, likely during the later part. He returned to the Mariners in 2021 after two seasons with the Yankees, as he had been with Seattle from 2013-2018.

The southpaw pitched an ugly five starts during the 2020 season with the Yankees, as Pinstripe Alley gave him an F grade on the season. They also noted his reduction in fastball velocity, and with his decrease in velocity hitters’ wOBA went up with his decrease. His fastball in 2020 went down by roughly three miles per hour (95.4 to 92.1); note that he was also at 97.5 MPH in 2016.

Paxton did pitch a 3.82 ERA in 2019, as through 29 outings he went 15-6 with a 4.03 in xFIP. The lefty, through six seasons with Seattle, posted an xFIP above 4.00 just once (2015: 4.35).

(Photo of James Paxton by Elsa/Getty Images)

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