Dodgers agree to one-year deal with former Red Sox starting pitcher James Paxton

James Paxton delivers during a game between the Boston Red Sox and Kansas City Royals on Sept. 1.

Even after a winter spending spree that netted two high-priced starting pitchers, the Dodgers aren’t yet done adding to their new-look rotation.

The team agreed to a one-year, $11-million deal with free-agent left-hander James Paxton, the team announced Monday.

Though Paxton, 35, will lack the flash of fellow offseason acquisitions Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Tyler Glasnow, the veteran could provide other important benefits to the Dodgers’ starting staff.

He wasn’t the biggest-name veteran left on the market, either, not with longtime Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw still unsigned. The Dodgers have interest in bringing Kershaw back, but the future Hall of Famer probably will sit out much of next season after having surgery.

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Paxton has 10 years of MLB experience, which would top any other of the team’s other rotation options.

After being limited to just six total starts from 2020 to 2022 because of a Tommy John surgery, he returned to regular action with the Boston Red Sox last year, going 7-5 with a 4.50 ERA in 19 starts.

And with workload questions surrounding the rest of the Dodgers staff, Paxton should offer the team a steadying veteran presence.

A hard-throwing Canadian with a scruffy beard and imposing 6-foot-4 frame — his nickname, fittingly, is “The Big Maple” — Paxton’s peak seasons came with the Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees from 2016 to 2019, when he had four straight campaigns of at least 20 starts and a sub-4.00 ERA.

While those years have drifted into the rear-view mirror, the southpaw still averaged more than 95 mph with his fastball last year, ranking in the 71st percentile among MLB pitchers. He also struck out 101 batters in 96 innings, while walking only 33.

Even before adding Paxton, the Dodgers' rotation had undergone a dramatic makeover this winter.

Tyler Glasnow delivers for the Tampa Bay Rays against the Boston Red Sox on Sept. 27.

Glasnow was acquired in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays, then signed to a five-year, $136.5-million extension. Yamamoto was added a week later on a stunning 12-year, $325-million contract, the most guaranteed money in MLB history for a starting pitcher (despite the fact Yamamoto, a 25-year-old Japanese star, has never before pitched in the majors). Walker Buehler, meanwhile, has been working his way back from Tommy John surgery, on track to make his return early next season.

While that trio, plus 2023 rookie sensation Bobby Miller, gave the Dodgers a formidable stable of front-line arms, the group was still entering 2024 with myriad questions about each pitcher’s potential workload.

Buehler might have the start of his season delayed intentionally, if he and the Dodgers decide that managing his regular-season innings total will help keep him fresher for October.

Miller pitched more than 140 innings between the majors and minors last year, easily setting a career high.

Glasnow has never even surpassed 120 innings in a single MLB campaign, thanks to injuries to his elbow (including Tommy John surgery in 2021) and oblique (which cost him a couple of months at the start of last season).

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And then there’s Yamamoto, who typically pitched only once per week in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league — stirring speculation the Dodgers might employ a six-man rotation at times next season.

It all highlighted the Dodgers’ continued need for added rotation depth — especially with only young arms like Gavin Stone, Emmet Sheehan and Michael Grove beckoning further down the depth chart (left-handed swingman Ryan Yarbrough also has starting experience but might be kept in the bullpen as a long reliever).

And it all made Paxton, who is 64-39 in his MLB career with a 3.69 ERA and 932 strikeouts, a logical fit; bolstering the Dodgers' rotation with a low-risk, high-upside addition as they round out a hectic offseason overhaul to their pitching staff.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.