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Dodgers notes: James Paxton, Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto

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MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers-Workouts Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

One of the more recent additions the Dodgers made this offseason to address their rotation was the signing of James Paxton.

Last season was Paxton’s first since a lone start in a short lived reunion with the Seattle Mariners in 2021. Paxton managed to record 19 starts with the Boston Red Sox last season— the most amount of starts in a season since 2019— yet continued to deal with injuries.

Bringing in Paxton is quite the gamble for the Dodgers, as they have signed a pitcher who has made just 25 starts since the start of this current decade and is entering his age-35 season. These concerns ultimately made the team adjust Paxton’s contract, going from $11 million guaranteed with incentives to a total maximum of $13 million including added incentives.

Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register has more on Paxton’s updated contract, while also noting how Paxton is feeling coming off a season that ended due to right knee inflammation.

“I’m an older player now, and I’m not perfect anymore. My body’s not perfect,” Paxton said of the restructuring. “So there’s things that have kind of built up over the years. But I’m feeling really good right now. All the physical tests are really good. I’m feeling strong and ready. We were able to figure things out and just make a plan for me going forward, how to build up and manage my load.”

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Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes about the pandemonium surrounding the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes, and what it means for president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman— who had been scouting Ohtani since his high school days— and for the game of baseball as a whole.

“That kind of initiated a lot of our internal conversations about the potential impact of a country so passionate about baseball, with their respective MLB teams that they root for, but what if we could become their Major League Baseball team, and just the potential impact of that. After we signed Shohei, the hysteria around it, we heard about how difficult it was for stores in Japan to keep Dodgers hats in stock.”

Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic writes about the expectations the Dodgers have for their newly signed ace, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, for what will be his rookie season in Major League Baseball.

“There’s going to be a learning curve as far as the league learning him and him learning the league, and things like that,” [Dave] Roberts said.

Reliever Nabil Crismatt is certainly happy to be a part of the Dodgers spring training roster, taking to Instagram to express how he feels wearing Dodger blue for the first time in his career.

Crismatt spent the 2023 season with the San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks, but only appeared in eight games overall, struggling to an 8.31 ERA and a 52 ERA+ across 13 innings.