James Paxton is in the final year of his contract and will be due for a well-deserved payday this offseason, but how much will the southpaw get?
In eight months, James Paxton will be a free agent, or at least is projected to be. MLB.com ranks him as the No. 17 top free agent of the 2021 class, so he will see a lot of money thrown his way by many teams if he makes it that far. The Yankees may see themselves trying to retain Paxton over the course of the season. But the major question will be the terms of his pact.
There are a couple of pitchers that rank closely to Paxton when it comes to age and just got contracts this past offseason.
Hyun-jin Ryu got a four-year, $80 million contract from the Blue Jays with an AAV of $20 million. He came in second in voting for the National League Cy Young Award and led all of baseball with a 2.32 ERA. He will turn 33 on March 25 and will be 36 by the time his contract expires. Ryu got a very nice contract, but his age affected the length of the contract.
Madison Bumgarner got a five-year, $85 million contract from the Diamondbacks tallying an AAV of $17 million. Bumgarner has been around baseball for a long time and was on all three of San Francisco’s World Series rosters… and yet he is only 30-years old. Although his arm has worn down over the years, Bumgarner is still able to be productive, posting a sub 4.00 ERA in 2019. Bumgarner was looking for longevity, and he got that with Arizona.
Analyzing these two contracts are more than likely going to be the talking points if the Yankees want to engage in contract talks with Paxton, or any other team for that matter.
An ideal contract for Paxton would be a four-year, $68 million with a team option for a fifth year that could bring the total contract up to $85 million. It is a contract that gives Paxton his money, but also gives the Yankees some flexibility. They do not have to take him for the full five years if they do not want to.
The Yankees may not be able to get a deal done with Paxton, but he will grab the bank this offseason regardless.