Tuesday, November 20, 2018

My Thoughts on the James Paxton Acquisition

In case you have been living under a rock for the past 24 hours, the New York Yankees acquired left-handed starter James Paxton from the Seattle Mariners for LHP prospect Justus Sheffield, RHP Erik Swanson and outfield prospect Dom Thompson-Williams. Here are my thoughts on the trade, for what they are worth.

My initial thought process was one of a bit of confusion. I didn’t immediately love the trade, but at the same time I didn’t exactly hate the trade either. I am a prospect humper, deal with it, but at the same time I understand that nine times out of a ten that a trade is supposed to hurt. As a prospect humper, this trade hurt… and that makes me optimistic for the future.

Is Paxton the ace that the Yankees “need” this offseason? Probably not, not as it stands today anyway, but the fact of the matter is… he could be. Health concerns aside, which you have with any pitcher, Paxton is entering his prime as a starting pitcher. Sometimes it takes pitchers a little longer to figure it out, health wise, than others. AJ Burnett is a great example of this. While his statistics in New York were not anything to write home about, he had seemingly turned the corner into his 30’s and learned how to build up his body to pitch an entire 162-game schedule. There’s no reason that Paxton cannot do the same.

Losing Sheffield sucks but I do understand that some scouts have been down on him lately. He has a small frame, which scares most talent evaluators, and his control has been suspect at times. I would have loved to have seen Justus figure it out in the Bronx, but I understand that he needed to be included in the deal to get it done. If the Yankees didn’t include Justus then we would be reading about Paxton wearing a Houston Astros uniform right now, and after the Justin Verlander and Gerritt Cole debacles that was just not an option. Losing Swanson also sucks, but he needed to be protected on the 40-man roster before the Rule 5 Draft and I honestly felt like there were too many arms ahead of him on the depth chart to warrant his protection. Lose him in a Paxton trade, or lose him for nothing next month. I’ll go with the former. Thompson-Williams, no offense, is a throw-in in the deal in my opinion.

The trade for Paxton hurt, but it made the Yankees starting rotation a whole lot better. Paxton, at worst, can slide into the middle of the Yankees rotation alongside Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka. At best, the Yankees got an ace for the price of a #2 starter. Adding Patrick Corbin to this rotation would only make the starting five that much better, and that idea excites me. As a prospect humper the deal has me worried, but as a Yankees fan this deal has me excited for the 2019 season. Go Yankees!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)