Could the Boston Red Sox lose out on a rumored reunion candidate to an American League East rival?
Red Sox chief baseball officer Craig Breslow has been fairly inactive in the starting pitcher market — swapping out Lucas Giolito for Chris Sale — and still needs at least one more arm in the rotation.
Unless he is able to shock the ailing fanbase and land Jordan Montgomery or Blake Snell, Breslow would be looking for value plays.
If Boston does not act fast for one of the best fits remaining, it could have to face the southpaw multiple times next season.
“The (Baltimore) Orioles have considered every starter from Marcus Stroman on down (they couldn’t seriously consider Blake Snell or Jordan Montgomery ‘unless the market collapsed.’) Baltimore also has been eying James Paxton,” The New York Post’s Jon Heyman wrote Thursday.
Paxton posted a 4.50 ERA (101 ERA+) with a 101-to-33 strikeout-to-walk ratio, .250 batting average against and 1.31 WHIP in 96 innings across 19 starts last season for the Red Sox.
The 35-year-old became an anchor for Boston down the stretch in what became a successful comeback attempt from injury. The Red Sox reportedly had been in constant contact with Paxton around Christmas before they seemingly started to create separation.
It’s probable that Breslow has interest in bringing the veteran back but would first like to see if he can acquire a more impactful addition. Time might be running out on both fronts, as the star power is dwindling and Paxton is getting other calls.
The Orioles have a bevy of young position players ready to do damage — their only real weakness is their pitching staff.
Paxton would be a notable addition for them as a league-average starter paired with a great core can win a lot of games.