3 buy-low candidates - 2. James Paxton
Given his solid career numbers, James Paxton is another interesting option this winter. In 2023, he registered a 4.50 ERA after returning from Tommy John Surgery. Having only pitched 21.2 innings between 2020 and 2021, Paxton has dealt with a slew of injuries in the last few years, but it's hard to deny his effectiveness when he is healthy. Throughout his 10-year career, Paxton has had a respectable 3.69 ERA.
The main concern is health, and this move is likely a very last-case scenario. Paxton has pitched at most 160 innings. This is the type of move if all else fails. If the Cubs are even considering rolling the dice here, it's because of how cheap a one-year deal will be and how much the front office loves to have depth. It's not the most attractive option, but it does come with an upside, given the success he has seen in his career.