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Red Sox Free-Agent Starter Has 'Decent Chance To Return' To Boston

Boston might bring back a familiar face

The Boston Red Sox may be bringing back a veteran arm in an effort to strengthen their rotation. 

The free-agent market is still filled with a pool of talent even after the largest names available have already found new homes. Though the Red Sox have yet to make a notable splash this offseason, they still have an opportunity to bolster their weakened rotation. 

"The Red Sox still need to do something in a division that’s getting tougher for them (three last-place finishes in four years)," New York Post's Jon Heyman wrote on Thursday evening. "Pitching is the main need. James Paxton has a decent chance to return and they’ve been connected to (Jordan) Montgomery, (Shōta) Imanaga and (Lucas) Giolito."

Paxton posted a 4.50 ERA with a 101-to-33 strikeout-to-walk ratio, .250 batting average against and a 1.31 WHIP in 96 innings pitched across 19 games last season. 

The righty has been very injury-prone throughout his career but still managed to be serviceable last year and could offer a handful of strong outings in 2024 and beyond if Boston decided to bring him back.  

Bringing back Paxton likely wouldn't break the bank for the club, meaning they could still afford to pay some of the best free agents available to improve their rotation.  

More MLB: Red Sox Have Shown Interest In Hard-Throwing High-Leverage Reliever