Projecting Where the Red Sox' Top 4 Free Agents Will Sign This Offseason

If they don't come back to Boston, where will they end up?

Projecting where the Boston Red Sox' top 4 free agents will sign this offseason.
Projecting where the Boston Red Sox' top 4 free agents will sign this offseason. / Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports
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2. James Paxton: San Diego Padres

James Paxton was like the pitching version of Duvall. He started strong, finished poorly and missed nearly half the season with injuries.

He's the same age (35), too, and also seems likely to sign a one-year deal this offseason (maybe two years if he's lucky).

The market for an affordable veteran starting pitcher is pretty broad, so Paxton could end up on almost any contender.

I almost went with the Texas Rangers here, but the San Diego Padres have a more pressing need for him. They're about to lose star left-hander Blake Snell to free agency and need to scale back on payroll after splurging the last few offseasons. Paxton -- who's also a southpaw -- would be an affordable replacement for Snell.

Paxton spent seven of his 10 seasons with the Seattle Mariners, so he could be looking to return to the West Coast. He'd also enjoy pitching in Petco Park, which has historically been one of MLB's most pitching-friendly venues.

If Paxton wants to improve his numbers to make his next bid at free agency more attractive, he should strongly consider San Diego.