On Monday afternoon, the New York Yankees bolstered their rotation by acquiring Seattle Mariners left-hander James Paxton.
Paxton is coming off a season in which he went 11-6 with a 3.76 earn run average with 208 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.098. On May 9, Paxton threw the sixth no-hitter in Mariners history in his native land of Canada against the Blue Jays.
Pitchers with K% above 30% and BB% below 7% (min. 150 IP) in 2018:
— Katie Sharp (@ktsharp) November 19, 2018
Going to the Mariners in return the Yankees top prospect left-hander Justus Sheffield who went 7-6 last season with a 2.48 earned run average 123 strikeouts in 116 innings pitched between Double-A Trenton Thunder and Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre. A September call-up to the big league club, he pitched in three games for the Yankees with a 0-0 record with a 10.13 earned run average.
Also going to the Mariners in the Paxton deal from the Yankees is Dom Thompson-Williams. The Single-A outfielder hit .299 last season with the Charleston River Dogs and Tampa Tarpons connecting on 22 homers and 74 runs batted in for the two ball clubs.
The final player in the four-player deal is Erik Swanson, a right-handed pitcher who was 8-2 last season between Trenton, Staten Island, and Scranton Wilkes-Barre. Swanson posted a 2.66 earned run average with 139 strikeouts in 121 innings pitched between the three Yankee minor league affiliates.
Winner – The Yankees
The Yankees were able to bolster the rotation, an area of need of help by adding Paxton to the rotation that already features the likes of Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia. Adding Paxton means adding a pitcher who is under team control for two more years. This trade will give the Yankees the financial flexibility to go out and try to land another top started to bolster the rotation even more.
Loser – The Mariners
Losing Paxton and adding the unknown of Sheffield and two other prospects is always a risk. There is a silver lining for Seattle, adding two young pitchers to an older rotation could very well prove to be beneficial in the long run.
James Paxton: “I couldn’t be more excited about it. It’s going to be a fantastic opportunity in New York, always expecting to win, the way I do. I’m looking forward to being a part of a fantastic team.”
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) November 20, 2018
James Paxton had a career-best strikeout rate of 32.2% in 2018, the 5th-highest mark in MLB (min. 150 IP) and the highest strikeout rate by a Mariners starter since Randy Johnson in 1997 (34.2%). No starter in Yankees history has had a strikeout rate of at least 30% (min. 150 IP) pic.twitter.com/mWnXAbU5HP
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 19, 2018
Paxton will be another arm in the Yankees rotation that could help them track down the Red Sox next season something they lacked during the 2018 season. The Mariners will use this trade and build up the farm system to brighten the future down the line in the upper northwest.
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I am honored to have been chosen by the Yankees to help aid them in their quest for World Series ring #28. The Yankees organization has such a great history, tradition, and commitment to winning. I am extremely excited to put on the pinstripes and become a part of that. Let’s go win a championship @Yankees