2. James Paxton sticks around
After spending all of 2022 rehabbing, Paxton has been a revelation for the Red Sox this year. The 34-year-old southpaw hasn’t skipped a beat, going 6-2 with a 3.46 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP in 12 starts.
Normally, Bloom would be salivating to trade a guy like that. Not only is Paxton old and injury-prone, but he’s also on an expiring contract. Based on his recent trades, one would expect Bloom to flip Paxton for prospects, as he did with Betts, Andrew Benintendi, Hunter Renfroe, and other veterans who didn’t fit his long-term vision for the team.
While the thought of getting some high-upside prospects in exchange for Paxton is certainly appealing, I expect Bloom to override his natural instincts here. As one of Boston’s few healthy starters right now, Paxton is simply too valuable to lose.
He’s playing some of the best baseball we’ve seen from him in years, with a 3.46 ERA that he hasn’t beat since back in 2017. His 1.00 WHIP is also the best he’s ever posted in a season that saw him play 5-plus games.
Even if Paxton leaves in free agency after the season (which he probably will), the team needs him for the stretch run.
So while the Red Sox could certainly fetch a nice return for Paxton, Big Maple stays put.