Peter Gammons' oddly specific Dodgers-Red Sox trade deadline rumor sparks questions

The kind of hypothetical you'd only offer if you know?
Los Angeles Dodgers v Boston Red Sox
Los Angeles Dodgers v Boston Red Sox / Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Dodgers' search for pitching at the 2023 trade deadline led them to Lance Lynn and an ill-fated scramble in the wake of Eduardo Rodriguez invoking his no-trade clause to stay in Detroit instead of heading to sunny California.

The Boston Red Sox' search for an identity at the 2023 trade deadline proved even less fruitful. Instead of executing a strange hybrid like last summer, when he gutted the team's soul by sending Christian Vázquez away while also adding a win-now player in Tommy Pham, Chaim Bloom mainly stood pat. He added bounce back candidate Luis Urias, but held on high-profile potential rentals like Adam Duvall and James Paxton.

Duvall has been a revelation for the Sox in the second half, and singlehandedly attempted to carry them through a crucial 10-game stretch with Houston (seven times) and the Dodgers. Paxton has remained healthy and upright, and might earn a raise this offseason. In fairness to Bloom, it was certainly not obvious he should've sold either asset; his Red Sox surged in late July and, this past week, had a home series with Houston that would've left them 1.5 games out of the Wild Card if they'd swept.

Instead, they were swept, leading insiders like Peter Gammons -- who know that Boston clubhouse inside and out -- to dissect their fate.

While positing that they should've added starting pitching at the deadline rather than sacrifice an arm like Paxton (FACT CHECK: True!), he dropped the type of "hypothetical" that seems ... a little too detailed to be something he just invented off the cuff.

Did Dodgers, Red Sox float James Paxton trade structure at 2023 deadline?

"Get real! The Red Sox would never have, say, discussed James Paxton with the Dodgers! They never would've been satisfied with, like, Emmet Sheehan and two top prospects in return. That would never happen!"

Like Gammons said, it's highly unlikely anything like this got close to the finish line without the Red Sox also acquiring additional starting pitching, but ... if Bloom wanted to try to thread the needle again this summer, he could've done worse than flipping the expiring Paxton for the MLB-ready Sheehan and two other assets.

It's funny, too, that Gammons floats this hypothetical as something Boston would've never done. Don't they make out like kings here, adding Sheehan plus two potential lottery tickets, the same way they did last summer when they flipped Vázquez for Wilyer Abreu and Enmanuel Valdez? Or was Gammons trying to say that this was Boston's ask from the Dodgers, meaning they weren't serious about selling? If so, that's a completely absurd package Andrew Friedman wouldn't even need to respond to.

The specificity of Gammons' claim would make you think he heard those names floating around the clubhouse sometime in July. Unfortunately, Boston stayed mostly dormant at this year's deadline, so we never got to see anything come to fruition.

Let's make it clear, though. The Dodgers say no to that Paxton deal if it goes far enough up the food chain to Friedman.