LAS VEGAS — The Red Sox received some unexpected good news on Wednesday when lefthander James Paxton picked up his $4 million option for next season.
Paxton, 34, was signed to a one-year, $10 million contract last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. The Sox were hopeful he would return by August, but a shoulder strain and subsequent setbacks kept him out all season outside of facing two batters in a Rookie League game.
The team declined a $13 million option for 2023 but Paxton decided to stay with the Sox rather than become a free agent.
Paxton has pitched only 21⅔ major league innings over the last three seasons. But he was 15-6 with a 3.82 ERA in 29 starts for the Yankees in 2019.
If healthy, Paxton offers a low-cost rotation option.
Where this leaves the Sox with Rich Hill is uncertain. The 42-year-old lefty has said he wants to return after going 8-7 with a 4.27 ERA in 26 starts last season.
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