The New York Yankees have claimed another star pitcher. Heading into the offseason, one of their big concerns as a team was starting pitching depth. With Sonny Gray on the trading block and the health of C.C. Sabathia in question, starting pitching became a major concern for the Yankees beyond Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka.
New York Yankees Acquire LHP James Paxton
But, in a blockbuster trade with the Seattle Mariners, the Yankees picked up LHP James Paxton, sending over three prospects in outfielder Dom Thompson-Williams, right-handed pitcher Erik Swanson and left-handed pitcher Justus Sheffield. It is clear that the Mariners are in rebuild mode after another disappointing season. For Seattle General Manager Jerry Dipoto, it is an opportunity to ship a star player at the peak of his career to get young players in return.
“To add three dynamic athletes who are entering the prime of their respective careers, while also maintaining six seasons of club control for each, is very exciting,” Dipoto said in a statement. “Justus Sheffield has an unquestionable prospect pedigree. With a combination of high-end velocity to go along with an advanced slider and a developing changeup, we think Justus has a chance to pitch at the upper portion of our rotation soon. Erik Swanson has performed at every level, combining a mid-90s fastball as well as two effective secondary pitches. At 25 years old, he is just entering the prime years of his career, and we think he will impact our Major League club in the near future. Dom Thompson-Williams is an electric athlete, who we think will move quickly through our minor league system. He brings a powerful left-handed bat, speed on the bases and athleticism in the outfield.”
The Yankees, who had 100 wins last season, are now poised to be even better after acquiring an ace in Paxton. At 30 years old, he has a lifetime 3.40 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 11.1 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 over 296.1 innings in the past two seasons. Health has been an issue for the Canadian, so it will make sense for Yankees manager Aaron Boone to watch his pitch count.
However, Severino, Paxton, and Tanaka at the top of New York’s rotation could prove deadly to opposing teams. Paxton recorded a no-hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays last season and he is not expected to slow down anytime soon.