The Dodgers signed James Paxton to a 1-year deal as an insurance policy for the rest of the pitching staff. He last pitched for the Boston Red Sox. Paxton finished the 2023 season with a 7-5 record and an ERA of 4.50. 

Paxton last finished a season with an ERA under three back in 2017 with the Seattle Mariners. His record that year was 12-5. He missed the entire 2022 season after a season ending LAT tear. 

Clearly, the Dodgers are hoping to work the same magic it previously sprinkled on pitchers like Tyler Anderson and Andrew Heaney. We don’t talk about Noah Syndergaard. Paxton’s presence in the starting rotation will come as a way of addressing the lack of pitching it has had in the last two seasons. 

Probable Reasons 

In the previous two seasons, the Dodgers have been its own worst nightmare in the playoffs. Last year, during its NLDS series against the Diamondbacks, Dave Roberts gave the ball to a Clayton Kershaw dealing with a shoulder injury, home run happy Lance Lynn and rookie sensation Bobby Miller. 

Why? Because that’s what the Dodgers had. The Dodgers were swept and eliminated in the first round to the World Series-bound Diamondbacks. 

This offseason, Andrew Freidman has handed checks to multiple pitchers. Okay, two pitchers, but that’s definitely more than one: Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Tyler Glasnow. Miller and Emmet Sheehan are slotted to be the back end of the rotation with Walker Buehler joining the rotation. 

Anything can happen in a season of 162 games. Buehler can rip his arm off as he throws a pitch in the first game of the season. Yamamoto can be a bust. Glasnow may break his hand combing his lushes hair. Anything is possible.

With Paxton in the bunch, Freidman guarantees there is a backup to secure any of the long-season-bound-to-happen injuries. I’m pretty sure the Dodgers are not done yet.

Yes, I’m talking about the big goat in the room named Clayton Kershaw. Here’s hoping he signs by the time the Super Bowl ends and the clock turns to Spring Training time. 

Other Possibilities 

The rumor mill is hot right now. As hot as Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift’s love, or men spewing sexist theories about the NFL rigging the Super Bowl, or Fox News’ obsession in making Swift’s presence at the Super Bowl a conspiracy theory by the left to get votes for Biden and not the criminal monger. 

The Dodgers are rumored to be after old friend Kenley Jensen and Kike Hernandez wants to return to Los Angeles. Two old friends who the fans would welcome with open arms. 

Bullpen arms are always needed. Jensen is not the closer he was before, but having him in the back end’s rotation would be massive. Hernandez is a tough one. His role has been relayed to Chris Taylor. Especially with a somewhat jam packed outfield. 

I’ll just say it. The Dodgers need to trade Manuel Margot and make room for Hernandez. 

Let’s run it back. 

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