Dodgers Rumors: James Paxton’s Contract Reworked Due To ‘Health Concern’

The Los Angeles Dodgers made another addition to their starting rotation with the signing of James Paxton to a one-year contract worth a reported $11 million for the 2024 season.

The left-hander missed the entire 2022 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery and then sustaining a Grade 2 lat tear during his rehab assignment. He was also limited to 19 starts last year with the Boston Red Sox because of multiple injuries.

It appears that Paxton is still having some injury concerns as the Dodgers reportedly reworked his contract, via Fabian Ardaya and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:

An unspecified health concern caused the Dodgers to lower the guarantee in their agreement with free-agent left-hander James Paxton, sources told The Athletic on Wednesday.

Paxton will now receive a guarantee of just $7 million but can earn up to $13 million through incentives:

The one-year deal, announced on Monday, still has a maximum potential value of up to $13 million with performance and roster bonuses, according to a copy of the contract details obtained by The Athletic. The Dodgers and Paxton’s agent, Scott Boras, however, agreed to reduce the total guarantee from the originally reported $11 million to $7 million. The issue, while not serious enough to scuttle the deal, resulted in a reworking of the structure of the contract.

Paxton began the 2023 season on the 15-day injured list due to a right hamstring strain that kept him out until the middle of May. He later finished the year on the IL because of right knee inflammation.

Paxton made just nine starts in the second half and did not pitch again after September 1. The 35-year-old went 7-5 with a 4.50 ERA in 96 innings last season, but carried a much better 2.73 ERA into the All-Star break when he was healthy.

Paxton’s current status was not enough for the Dodgers to back out of their deal. He is still expected to have a prominent role, although the team may need to be cautious with their handling of him.

James Paxton preferred West Coast

The Dodgers have benefited several times this offseason from players preferring to be on the West Coast, and that includes Paxton, who reportedly chose L.A. over re-signing with the Red Sox.

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