A Paxton bounce back season might not be fully necessary in 2024, considering the Dodgers will have Clayton Kershaw coming back in July-ish. But no organization will ever complain about having extra pitching depth, and the Dodgers saw the effects of not having that depth in 2023 when LA was without Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin, Walker Buehler, Kershaw, and more for various parts of the season due to injury.
Paxton posted a 3.57 ERA in 127 starts from 2014-2019. After that, he had Tommy John surgeries in 2020 and rehabbed through 2021, stopping his momentum from a solid start to his career.
In 2023, it looked like he was on his way to a miraculous comeback season with the Red Sox. He ended the season with a 4.50 ERA, but even entering his final start, his ERA was sitting at a solid 3.99 ERA. Paxton gave up 23 earned runs in just four of his starts over the course of 11.1 innings. Outside of the four blowup starts, he had a 2.65 ERA, albeit across a small sample size of just 84.2 innings. If he can just avoid those types of starts in 2024, he will be a valuable piece for the Dodgers.