Pittsburgh Pirates: Previewing the Left-Handed Starting Pitching Market

The Pirates have signed one LHP SP every off-season in Ben Cherington's reign, so what does this year's market look like?

Aug 4, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (52) pitches
Aug 4, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (52) pitches / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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James Paxton

A high-risk/reward option is James Paxton, who, up until recently, was having a quality rebound season with the Boston Red Sox. Through his first 15 starts of the year, Paxton had a 3.36 ERA, 3.86 FIP, and 1.15 WHIP. He had a strong 27.4% strikeout rate and a 6.7% walk rate, but his HR/9 of 1.34 was underwhelming at best.

However, over his last five outings, he’s 18 earned runs in just 15.2 innings. Paxton may be breaking down. This is the first time since 2019 he’s pitched more than 20.1 innings. He made just six starts in 2020-2021 combined, then didn’t pitch at all in 2022.