Breaking: Yankees Acquire James Paxton from Mariners

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports has reported that the Yankees have acquired LHP James Paxton from the Seattle Mariners in a deal later confirmed by Corey Brock of The Athletic to be headlined by’s No. 31 prospect Justus Sheffield.

Paxton, 30, posted a 3.76 ERA/3.24 FIP in 160.1 innings with an 11.68 K/9 over 28 starts in 2018. The Yankees will have him under control through 2020 in a rotation where he’ll likely slot in right before Masahiro Tanaka as their No. 2 starter, giving them a potential rotation of:

  1. Luis Severino RHP
  2. Masahiro Tanaka RHP
  3. James Paxton LHP
  4. (Blank)
  5. CC Sabathia

In return, the Mariners will receive the Yankees’ No. 1 prospect in LHP Justus Sheffield, No. 22 prospect RHP Erik Swanson and unranked outfielder prospect Dom Thompson-Williams. Sheffield is, of course, the main piece heading to Seattle in this package and could be considered the only significant loss to New York’s farm system.

The 22-year-old put up a 2.48 ERA over 116 combined innings between Double-A and Triple-A this past season. This deal is just over two years since the Yankees acquired Sheffield along with Clint Frazier from the Cleveland Indians in the Andrew Miller deal in 2016.

However, the Yankees have no intentions of stopping their hunt for starting pitching. 

Jon Morosi of Fox Sports has reported that the Yankees are still monitoring the market for left-hander starters JA Happ and Patrick Corbin and are “placing a higher priority” on adding one more starting pitcher.

If say, the Yankees retain JA Happ, who went an undefeated 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA in 11 starts in pinstripes, on a two or three-year deal, they would certainly possess one of the more dominant staffs in all of baseball.

  1. Luis Severino RHP
  2. James Paxton LHP
  3. Masahiro Tanaka RHP
  4. JA Happ LHP
  5. CC Sabathia LHP

The message here is clear. The Yankees are heavily prioritizing starting pitching this offseason and they will continue to do so as they look to put a championship team together for the first time in nine seasons.

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