Boston Red Sox pitcher James Paxton has been dealing like an ace since his return, and teams around the league are surely noticing. With trade speculation heating up as the MLB trade deadline on August 1st approaches, contenders will be lining up for the chance to acquire a top-of-the-rotation veteran lefty like Paxton.

While some of that pressure might make others fold, Paxton has been through a lot just to get back to this point. He's had spinal surgery, Tommy John surgery, a rib cage fracture, and more over the last four years, and missed the 2022 season completely. Now finally healthy again, Paxton is trying to put his head down and ignore all the outside noise, as he recently told The Athletic.

“I’m focused with what we’re doing here,” Paxton said after an 8-6 win over the Mets. “That (trade) stuff is totally out of my control. I’m not trying to think about that at all. Obviously, you see it, you hear it, but no control. For me, I’m focused on winning here with Boston.”

It's unclear whether the Red Sox will be buyers or sellers at the deadline, and what role the 34-year-old pitcher could play in the team's future. Boston is currently tied with the Yankees for last place in the NL East, with the red-hot Baltimore Orioles leading the way.

If the Red Sox don't decide to trade James Paxton, the wins could pile up. He's allowed two or fewer earned runs in nine of his last 12 starts for Boston and has a WHIP of just 1.000 on the season. There should be no shortage of suitors for his services, but we'll have to wait and see what Boston decides to do at the MLB trade deadline.